The construction sector in Malaysia covers the general construction and specialized construction activities for buildings and civil engineering works. These activities may include new work, repair, additions and alterations, erection of prefabricated buildings or structures, and also structures that are of temporary nature.
In 2017, the Gross Domestic Product at factor cost (“GDP”) of the construction sector was valued at MYR53.4 billion (constant 2010 prices). The construction sector contributed 4.6% to Malaysia’s GDP of MYR1,156.7 billion in 2017. Between 2010 and 2017, the GDP of the Malaysian construction sector registered a 9.6% average year-on-year growth rate. Compared to the other primary sectors—services, manufacturing, agriculture, mining and quarrying—the GDP of the Malaysian construction sector grew the fastest from 2010 to 2017.
The construction sector in Malaysia is further categorized into the following subsectors.
- Construction of residential buildings.
- Construction of non-residential buildings.
- Civil engineering works.
- Specialized construction activities.
In 2017, the construction of residential buildings subsector contributed 26.9% (or MYR14.4 billion) to the GDP of the Malaysian construction sector; the construction of non-residential buildings subsector contributed 23.5% (or MYR13.4 billion); the civil engineering works subsector contributed 31.4% (or MYR16.8 billion); and the specialized construction activities subsector contributed 18.2% (or MYR9.7 billion) to the GDP of the Malaysian construction sector. Although the civil engineering works subsector contributed the largest share to the GDP of the Malaysian construction sector in 2017, the GDP of the construction of residential buildings subsector grew the fastest between 2010 and 2017 (12.6% average year-on-year growth).
In 2017, there were an estimated 50,000 establishments within the Malaysian construction sector, employing approximately 1.3 million people across all occupation levels. The mean and median salaries of employed persons within the Malaysian construction sector in 2017 across all occupation levels were estimated to be about MYR2,200 and MYR1,700 per month respectively.
Growth of the construction sector in Malaysia has slowed down in recent years. Between 2010 and 2017, the average year-on-year GDP growth rate of the Malaysian construction sector declined from 9.6% (2010—2017) to 8.5% (2013—2017) and to 6.7% (2016—2017). Based on the historical growth trend of the Malaysian construction sector between 2010 and 2017, the GDP of the Malaysian construction sector is projected to grow by 5.9% to MYR56.6 billion in 2018.
General construction: General construction is the construction of entire dwellings, office buildings, stores and other public and utility buildings, farm buildings, etc. or civil engineering works such as the construction of motorways, streets, bridges, tunnels, railways, airfields, harbours and other water projects, irrigation systems, sewerage systems, industrial facilities, pipelines and electric lines, sports facilities, etc.
Construction of residential buildings: The general construction of residential buildings of all types.
Construction of non-residential buildings: The general construction of non-residential buildings of all types.
Civil engineering works: Activities including the construction of heavy constructions such as motorways, streets, bridges, tunnels, railways, airfields, harbours and other water projects, irrigation systems, sewerage systems, industrial facilities, pipelines and electric lines, outdoor sports facilities, etc.
Specialized construction activities: Activities which require specialized skills or equipment, such as pile-driving, foundation work, carcass work, concrete work, bricklaying, stone setting, scaffolding, roof covering, plumbing, installation of heating and air-conditioning systems, antennas, alarm systems and other electrical work, sprinkler systems, elevators and escalators, etc.
Establishments: Establishments include individual proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability partnerships, private limited companies, public limited companies, co-operatives, and public corporations.
Occupation levels: Occupation levels include skilled (managers, professionals, technicians and associate professionals), semi-skilled (clerical support, plant and machine operators, etc.), and low-skilled (elementary occupations).