The construction industry in Johor, Malaysia has come to a halt as contractors face difficulties in obtaining cement. Johor Master Builders Association president Tai Siak Sang said the crisis was not precipitated by cement shortage but transport operators’ refusal to deliver supply to contractors. Transport companies wanted suppliers to pay more for delivery charges following the increase in diesel prices. When this was shot down, they stopped delivering cement from Aug 1.
Tai said the crisis could affect economic growth as the standstill could erode confidence and morale in the construction industry. "We believe this is a nationwide problem but it is more acute in Johor, affecting some 10,000 contractors in the State," he said. Tai also said they were sympathetic with transport companies which had been burdened by the diesel and petrol hike. "But their boycott is hurting the industry. Contractors are now forced to buy cement well above the ceiling price fixed by the Government."