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Colluding lawyers, architects targeted

The Star 19/1/2006

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyers and architects found to be working with illegal developers are being referred to the Bar Council and Malaysian Architects Board for disciplinary action.

The Housing and Local Government Ministry, which began submitting the names of these professionals to the two bodies recently, has made a stand to come down hard on illegal developers as well as professionals found working with them.

It was learnt that the names of several professionals have been forwarded to the respective bodies for investigation.

“We don’t have the power to investigate professionals but we can refer them to the respective organisations or boards that govern these professionals,” the ministry’s Monitoring and Enforcement division director Dr G. Parameswaran said.

He said investigations into public complaints revealed that lawyers had drafted sale and purchase agreements that did not protect the housebuyers, while architects had certified housing projects that did not comply with the Uniformed Building Bylaws.

“If the local authorities are at fault, we will haul them up to explain the situation and resolve the problems,” Parameswaran said, adding that the ministry’s main concern was to ensure that house buyers were not short-changed.

He said Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting had emphasised that all housebuyers’ complaints should be investigated thoroughly and their problems resolved.

Despite the complexity of problems involving housebuyers and developers, he said, the division resolved 63% of the 3,430 complaints it received last year, while cases that could not be settled were recommended for prosecution or the errant party fined.

“Most of the complaints involved late delivery and shoddy workmanship, followed by interest and deposit payments, and compensation claims,” he said.


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