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IN THE SPOTLIGHT


MOHD RAZIN GHAZALI


Mohd Razin Gazali began his career as a site engineer in 1989 and has been involved in numerous acclaimed projects such as North-South Expressway, Kulim Hi-Tech Park, Alam Warisan Development in Putrajaya, Penang Second Bridge project, KLIA 2 project and the KVMRT viaduct (Cheras-Kajang), and elevated stations (The Curve; Bandar Utama; TTDI). His international experience includes managing projects and overseeing master planning in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East. Razin holds a degree in civil engineering from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, United States of America and is currently the COO of MMC Corporation Berhad, Technical and Engineering.


What’s shifting in project management due to the COVID-19 pandemic? The pandemic has been impacting construction execution significantly as it has affected the availability of materials and resources by 30 to 50 per cent, even after the relaxation of the first MCO. The movements of skilled workers and professionals have also been declining as countries are controlling their respective borders. Projects like oil and gas or MRT that depend on external professionals are facing the most critical challenges. Specialised equipment and imported materials from the global market are mostly delayed because of the logistics restriction, resulting in late deliveries.


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If anything, what’s shifting or needs to shift is the industry players’ perspectives to turn to local materials and expertise, and to be less reliant on imports.


How about the business operations? Aside from the project management shortcomings, the pandemic has also caused potential contractual disputes due to late completions and cost escalations resulting from the logistics constraints. In most projects, the inability to replace shortages of skilled workers and professionals has also led to handover and testing/commissioning processes. There is a high possibility of project cost overruns as project duration


has increased without getting proper compensation from clients, both for state and private projects.


Have the initiatives and support


measures helped navigate the difficult situation? The government initiatives did help to a certain extent like staff’s salary subsidies for the impacted industries with reduced revenues, but the more pressing challenges due to local and global movement restrictions have to be managed by the companies themselves. What the government could assist is to put these challenges into consideration and to allow for fair evaluations to any


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