Gamuda adhered to all regulations and guidelines issued by the Malaysia Government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to safeguard our employees and communities from the disease.
Malaysia entered a period of Movement Control Order (MCO) from March 18 to May 4, when almost all businesses and economic activities were halted and people were ordered to stay at home under the Government’s directive. This followed by Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) from May 4 to June 9 with more relaxed regulations following a decline in COVID-19 cases in the country. Most economic sectors and activities were allowed to operate during this time with strict adherence to business standard operation procedures (SOPs) such as social distancing and keeping patrons’ contact details for tracing purposes. Movement restrictions in Malaysia were further relaxed under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) phase between June 10 and December 31.
A special committee was set up to handle the pandemic, which consists of the COVID-19 Steering Committee headed by the Managing Director of Gamuda Engineering Sdn Bhd, the COVID-19 Working Committee, Business Unit and Project Task Force. The COVID-19 response plan is chaired by the Group Managing Director through a Steering Committee for business resumption, led by the Managing Director of Gamuda Engineering and the CEO of Gamuda Land. The Working Committee consist of personnel from the Group Human Resources and Admin, Group Corporate Communications and Sustainability, and the Quality, Safety, Health and Environment (QSHE) departments, while the Board aided the management as appropriate. We had also revised the Emergency Response Plan and included COVID-19 as a potential emergency.
Gamuda responded to the Government’s directives with several key measures, mainly related to the establishment of a process related to testing and contact tracing to ensure that early detection of COVID-19 can be done to prevent further spread of the virus. Centralised Quarantine Quarters (CQQ) were set up to serve as facilities to quarantine Patients Under Investigation (PUIs) while they wait for confirmation on the COVID-19 status. We had also introduced testing approaches such as RT-PCR and Antibody RTK tests, and redesigned the Centralised Labour Quarters (CLQ).
We have set up our RT-PCR testing facility to enhance our COVID-19 control measures to bolster infection prevention while mitigating the risk of the spread of the virus within our workforce. This in turn will support our business continuity plan. Our internal testing process is not intended to replace the Ministry of Health’s RT-PCR test, but rather to support the Group’s operations by preventing downtime and cost through the rapid establishment of any potential infection cases promptly. In the event of an internal test turned out to be COVID-19 positive, we would follow the usual practice of sending the case to a MOH Accredited Laboratory for due process. In such an event, we will be better prepared for the eventual outcome and this will enable us to take speedy action to prevent spread through isolation.
Other preventive measures put in place include having our employees working from home at the beginning of movement restriction period, while facilitating social distancing at our premises. We are in 100 percent compliance with the Government guidelines at both Menara Gamuda and our project sites. Gamuda’s commitment in adhering to the SOPs has helped our project sites obtain the approval from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). Special approval was granted to continue works at selected MRT Underground sites during the MCO with stringent adherence to precautionary safety measures and a limited workforce, as tunnelling works could not be temporarily halted due to public safety risk.
We are cognisant of the need to take care of the mental well-being of our employees due to the prolonged MCO period. Action was taken to organise sharing sessions online for all employees on a frequent basis to help ease the effect of isolation. Throughout this period, we have boosted internal communications through Workplace and other platforms to keep our employees updated about the pandemic.
Since 2016, we have contributed more than RM4 million to the annual Star Golden Hearts Award and Gamuda Inspiration Award a joint initiative by The Star, Star Foundation, and Yayasan Gamuda to celebrate the work of unsung heroes who go the distance in helping those in need irrespective of race, culture and religion. This is reflective of the values we hold dear as an organisation to galvanise and recognise an entire ecosystem of humanitarian and inclusive initiatives.
Every year, the number of nominations received increases double fold. In 2020, more than 500 nominations were received. This is a reflection of the growing humanitarian ecosystem in Malaysia over the years when we received 100 nominations when SGHA first started in 2016.
The nominations cut across all categories ranging from individuals, NGOs, social enterprises and companies. The range of benevolent, public-spirited and altruistic causes include education, environment and social purposes. The charitable initiatives involve employment, entrepreneurship, youth empowerment, digital literacy, waste management, nature conservation, urban agriculture, ecotourism, community welfare for the homeless and urban poor, disabled with special needs, water and sanitation in rural and indigenous communities, and animal welfare.
Each year, 10 outstanding individuals or groups are chosen as award winners and among them a Gamuda Inspiration Award winner will be selected to receive a grant of RM50,000 in contribution towards their cause. This resonates with our goal in empowering community-building efforts that leave a positive impact on the lives of others through socioeconomic development.