buyers group fear abuse
Sunday Star 27/06/2004
By Lam Li
PETALING JAYA: A group of condominium buyers paid hefty sums for
resort-concept dream homes in Johor but ended up moving into a place
where roads, drainage, plumbing and wiring were incomplete.
Another 100 house buyers in Rawang had neither water nor electricity
supply in their new homes.
A house owner in Klang had to face floods whenever it rained heavily
and blamed the shoddy drainage works for the problem.
These were cases where house buyers were short-changed when
architects issued undated certificates affirming the completion of
various aspects of the housing projects for developers to claim
final payments from buyers.
These cases were highlighted in Board of Architects Malaysia's (LAM)
publication, Warta LAM, which listed the offences and penalties
imposed on guilty architects.
The National House Buyers Association (HBA) cited these incidents to
object to a Government proposal to rely on architects and engineers
to certify the safety of new buildings and do away with the present
system of having certificates of fitness (CF) issued by local
HBA secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said the plan would remove the
check and balance mechanism and provide “absolute power” to
architects or engineers, who were on the payroll of the developers.
“There are black sheep in the profession, albeit only a small
percentage, and the Government must be present to be the last tier
“There were incidences of shoddy workmanship, premature and
inaccurate certification and premature hand-over of vacant
possession before the application of CF.
“A common threat in all these instances is that the architects were
under pressure and coerced into submitting to the developers'
wishes,” he said in an interview yesterday.
On Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the
Housing and Local Government Ministry would prepare a Cabinet paper
on replacing CF with declarations from the professionals involved in
He said the new policy was based on “trust” towards the private
sector to fulfil its obligation and as part of the plan to reduce
red tape and inefficiency that could lead to corruption in
Malaysian Architects Association (PAM) president Paul Lai Chu said
the proposal must be studied in total by examining the role of
various players, including building supervisors and contractors,
involved in all stages of construction.
“In principle, PAM is in favour of the proposal for its positive
impact on the time factor as it shortens the procedures by removing
another layer of checks and clearance.
“However, we must be careful in its implementation to avoid a
scenario where we are solving a problem at the expense of
compromising other issues, such as safety.
“Acts and bylaws must be revamped to govern not only the performance
and ethics of architects or engineers, but also supervisors and
contractors who are equally important,” he said.
Institute of Engineers Malaysia president Prof Abang Abdullah Abang
Ali believed that engineers were well governed by the professional
“We welcome the proposal. The profession already has an internal
mechanism to deal with black sheep, they will be de-registered and
cannot remain in the practice,” he said.