It has been truly inspiring to see Malaysia's perseverance in rising up to the challenges of the pandemic.
Get a glimpse into how Fajarbaru has persevered through these unprecedented times, as explained by our Director of Construction - Building, Ir. Kong Kam Loong.
What is the impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry this year?
“As an industry, we are facing monumental challenges - Firstly, the cost of construction has increased, with the purchasing of swab tests for workers. This is significant, especially for us - since most of our projects are in Red Zone areas.
Secondly – the improvement of workers’ living conditions. Making necessary improvements towards ensuring safety and well-being is now a top priority for us at Fajarbaru.
Lastly – the lack of manpower. Many projects will suffer delays as restrictions pose various challenges to employ new construction workers.”
What are Fajarbaru’s strengths in dealing with the pandemic?
“As an industry player for more than 40 years, we have successfully built a solid foundation that has proven to be very useful, especially when dealing with these types of pandemics.
Over the decades, we have built a track record with a strong client base. This track record is not only limited in the private sector, but we have also built a positive standing with the government. During these tough times, we are lucky to have a government who supports us, as seen in the latest budget announcement.
But most importantly, it is our dedicated and experienced team. Our people have been instrumental in providing a very quick response of an emergency plan when dealing with this pandemic. Even in these tough times we are still able to keep our operations running smoothly.”
What are the emerging trends and opportunities catalysed by the evolving circumstances?
“We operate in a very competitive market, even before the pandemic. The aftermath of COVID-19 may see a number of companies being affected a lot harder than most.
I truly feel for those companies, but it is a testament to the highly competitive industry we operate in.
It is in moments such as these we are called upon to show our mettle, as the saying goes; Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected.”
How has Fajarbaru adapted the ‘new normal’ way of life?
“We have to make use of digital technology in order to continue with our business operations. For example, instead of having physical meetings, we now have adapted to implementing virtual meetings to keep the business going. These events have allowed us to recognise technology’s strategic importance as a critical component of our business, and not just a source of safe, cost-efficient communications.
In terms of project coordination and in order to reduce the work force at site visits, we make use of building information modelling technology. Thankfully, Fajarbaru is well-prepared, as we have implemented this even before the pandemic.
As we look into the near future, we have to explore more construction methods which can allow us to reduce the dependency on the foreign labour workforce, for example – the use of prefabricated products in construction activities."
A message for all facing the challenges of the pandemic:
"We need to be more vigilant as well as being adaptive to the new norm. What this has taught us is that everything you know may change in a blink of an eye.
We must also be united in the new way of doing business; industry players and the project stakeholders, starting from our suppliers, our consultants and up to our clients must all work together as a team.
Everyone has to share the pain and the gain together.
I believe this pandemic will be gone one day so let’s hope for that day to come."