Dato’ Ubull Din Om
My fellow Gamudians, 2020 has been like no other in recent history. The COVID-19 pandemic ground all human activities worldwide down to almost a halt, as borders closed, and lockdowns were announced.
Even we at Gamuda were not immune to its effects, as we had to take unprecedented measures to keep afloat. We saw our colleagues leaving and while we will miss their contributions, some decisions were unavoidable for the company’s viability. Akin to a ship at sea in troubled waters, we are all in this ship together, and sometimes the captain has to make difficult decisions to keep the boat sailing forward.
Despite all these challenges, our teams in the different business units have persevered, ensuring work continued while embracing the new normal, and with that major milestones were still met.
We took active steps to keep employees safe while working. First by implementing Rapid Test Kit (RTK) screening, which was upgraded to a full Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swab testing system with the establishment of our in-house PCR Testing Laboratory in November 2020, the first privately-owned of its kind in the Malaysian construction industry.
These precautions allowed us to continue working throughout the pandemic on projects that could not be delayed like the MRT Putrajaya Line project which is proceeding smoothly.
While we await for the arrival of a safe vaccine, our single biggest challenge is keeping the entire community in the Group safe to ensure business continuity. Our colleagues in various projects have been working round the clock as it is a collective responsibility to keep ourselves safe.
Despite the trials faced in 2020, it is heart-warming to note that our other core businesses did well in 2020. Over at Gamuda Land, our property sales rebounded in the last quarter of FY2020, adding RM1 billion to RM2.2 billion of total property sales. Achieving RM1 billion sales in a single quarter is a new record that is truly to be proud of. This achievement illustrates that fast adaptation in varying environments is crucial.
We have had several wins for the MRT Putrajaya Line, namely the British Safety Council Award, retaking the crown. We have been awarded the Five Star Safety Award for a third consecutive year and thus qualified for the Sword of Honour Award which we also went on to win for the second year running. We are the only Malaysian company to achieve this.
This is a remarkable achievement, and I was told that the audits were focused on our anti-COVID-19 measures across the Group. It is also during this pandemic that the long-awaited signing of the Master Agreement was accomplished for the Penang Transport Master Plan.
I applaud the efforts of all of our business teams, for continuing to support each other as our ship sails through stormy seas. Your achievements this past year are a testament to your professional attitude to performing well despite the challenges. It is this attitude that is essential as we embrace 2021.
With the pandemic, a new era of change for businesses has been unleashed as well. Companies have seen the effects of high-consequence and low-likelihood risks first-hand.
This highlights the importance of ESG (environmental, social and governance) to be part of business operations and decisions. I can’t stress this more as practising the circular economy approach is integral in the way we construct and operate matters. Climate resilience starts with us as builders, and we need to reflect this in our track record as we bid overseas in Australia, Taiwan and Singapore.
Vaccines are on the horizon, as well as positive opportunities in securing projects in Australia and home ground.
The new year brings with it hope for clearer skies. With every Gamudian pulling together, I am confident we will successfully sail through 2021 and beyond.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As the world saw a resurgence in COVID-19 cases at the tail-end of 2020, Gamuda was taking no chances with the health and well-being of its employees, taking the initiative to establish its very own Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing laboratory.