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Scale Fees Benchmark For Professional Bodies And Boards
Bernama 20/1/2006

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 (Bernama) -- Nine professional bodies and boards Friday agreed that the primary purpose of scale fees is to set a benchmark to establish a reasonable level of remuneration that commensurate with the provision of professional services of an acceptable and recognised standard.

The nine were the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia, Association of Valuers & Property Consultants in Private Practice Malaysia, Bar Council, Board of Town Planners Malaysia, Institution of Engineers, Malaysia, Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia, Malaysian Institute of Architects, Malaysian Institute of Planners and Malaysian Medical Association.

In a joint press conference initiated by the Bar Council, the professional bodies and boards issued a joint memorandum which, among others, noted that on the contrary no scale fees often led to unhealthy undercutting of fees and when the fees did not commensurate with the level of the services that ought to be provided, the quality of service would be affected.

Therefore, they agreed that the scale fees would benefit and protect customers as professionals would have to compete with one another on their quality of service rather than on how low they can charge.

The memorandum also states that scale fees have been an accepted and common method of charging for professional services in Malaysia and therefore, it is neither appropriate nor beneficial at this juncture to abolish the scale fees system.

The professional bodies and boards also affirmed that in determining the fees of their professions, it was necessary and desirable for scale fees to be maintained.

"We further jointly affirm that effective and stringent measures must be taken by the various professional bodies and boards to enforce their respective scale fees against their members in order to ensure and preserve high standards of the professional services rendered to the public," the memorandum said.

Darshan Singh of the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca) and Chang Kim Loong from the National Housebuyers Association also expressed their support for professional scale fees and "no discount" rule.

Bar Council Chairman Yeo Yang Poh said the support by the two consumer organisations was particularly significant and very much valued as it showed that consumers in Malaysia are increasingly aware of the need for good quality professional services.



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