Time to push for mandatory IBS adoption

Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan has urged the government and the private sector to carry out their plans to make Industrialised Building System (IBS) mandatory for adoption.

According to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, “Since Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) has been in talks with the government on added incentives for developers who voluntarily adopt IBS, I do not see why Rehda cannot take this dialogue further on making IBS mandatory within three years. We can make this happen, for the good of the people and the country.”

Noting that he is well aware of the challenges that lie ahead, Abdul Rahman said, “For a technology that has been advocated by the government for close to two decades, the adoption rate has remained low. The industry players will still be resistant to change as long as foreign labour is readily available at a low cost.”

The statement by Abdul Rahman was in response to a report by The Edge Financial Daily which highlighted that the government should have a discussion with property developers in Malaysia before the adoption of IBS is made mandatory.

“I understand there are some contentions on whether IBS can indeed reduce property prices. Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) chief executive Datuk Ahmad Asri Abdul Hamid mentioned in April last year that IBS will not provide much impact on property prices as there are many other factors affecting them such as land valuation, supply and demand.

However, most industry players agreed that the adoption of IBS could slash construction period and labour cost by as much as 50% and ultimately reduce dependency on foreign labour and ensure a safe and clean construction environment,” he said.

Abdul Rahman added that IBS is not a new issue in Malaysia as the IBS Strategic Plan was published by the CIDB back in 1999. The cabinet has also approved the IBS Roadmap 2003-2010, the IBS Roadmap 2011-2015 and the recent Construction Industry Transformation Programme 2016-2020.

The Minister concluded by stating, “CIDB Malaysia as the government agency in charge of IBS also set up a one-stop reference centre for IBS that began operation since January 2007. In a bid to show exemplary leadership, the Treasury issued a circular in 2005 that required all government projects to have at least 50% IBS content. A new circular was issued in October 2008 that mandated 70% IBS Score for all government projects.”