Works Minister Mohd Zin Mohammed said the Industrialised Building System (IBS) expected to be fully adopted by 2010.
He said that currently there were 320,000 foreign workers, adding that when the IBS was adopted it could be brought down to 160,000 workers. Zin said 70 per cent of government projects had adopted the IBS which entails the assembly of ready-made components.
"It's like Lego. All you need to do is build whatever components you need at a plant, transport the components to the site and put them together. This way, you can bring down your manual labour needs by up to 80 per cent, and it also creates demand for skilled labour," New Straits Times quoted him as saying.
Malaysia relies heavily on foreign workers from India, Indonesia, Bangladesh to help out in its plantations, construction sector, and restaurants.