Independent body to oversee
By G. Umakanthan
The practice of property management must be brought under the control of an
independent body that is empowered to take action against anyone who
threatens public interest.
Such a step will also increase the integrity and transparency of the capital
market, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Tengku Putera Tengku Awang said.
Speaking at the convocation and dinner of the Board of Valuers, Appraisers
and Estate Agents (BVAEA) in Kuala Lumpur last week, Tengku Putera said only
suitably qualified persons should carry out property management as it is a
complex task, with the duties differing from one building to another.
This issue of professionalism, he said, has become more pertinent with the
rapid growth of a key investment area in the country - Real Estate
Investment Trusts or REITs.
REITs have made property management, which involves at least four
specialised management tasks - tenancy, maintenance, contract and financing
- more important.
“If property management is left to the manager of a REIT, it will in the
long run only create problems,” he said.
“REITs have opened opportunities for more investors to enter the property
market, which is the most important sector in the development of our
There are now six companies listed on the main board of Bursa Malaysia that
can be categorised as REITs, and this is expected to grow.
“REIT investors derive their returns on investment from a property’s
recurring rental income, and this makes property management an important
discipline,” Tengku Putera said.
“Therefore, there must be controls over property managers to ensure they are
responsible to their clients.”
He also said that property management plays a key role in the public sector
as well, but so far, the focus is on maintenance instead of management as a
“There must therefore be a move towards implementing holistic property
management, and this should begin with the creation of an inventory of
“Though it may seem difficult, it is necessary.
“I hope the National Property Information Centre and the Valuation and
Property Services Department will take the initiative to enable the
Government to legislate and strategise policies concerning property
management,” Tengku Putera said.
Some 600 people attended the BVAEA convocation and dinner, during which two
valuers were honoured for their contributions to the profession.
Khong & Jaafar managing director Elvin Fernandez was named BVAEA’s “Property
Consultant of the Year” while Azmi Ariffin of Azmi & Co was honoured for his
“Contribution to the Valuation Profession”.