Wednesday, October 13, 2010

PRESS STATEMENT

PRESS STATEMENT
Pakatan Rakyat calls for the withdrawal of the proposed amendments to the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981 (VAEA Act) in Bill DR 30/2010
We, Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament call upon the Ministry of Finance to withdraw the proposed amendments to the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981 (VAEA Act) in Bill DR 30/2010.
We have arrived at this view after studying the implications of the amendments and receiving input from some of the key stakeholders involved.
We call for the withdrawal of the proposed amendments because:
1. The proposed amendments would create a monopoly for valuers in property management detrimental to 2,000,000 strata titled flats, apartments and condominium owners
At the lowest scale for calculation, owners of the approximately 2,000,000 stratified properties in the country would have to pay an additional RM3 – 4 billion annually for fees which would be shared out amongst the only approximately 800 registered valuers currently.
Even now, owners of low and medium cost apartments are finding it difficult to pay their current maintenance fee. With the proposed amendments, owners may have to pay an additional RM67 per month.
2. The proposed amendments would be in conflict with the Competition Act 2010 (Act 712) and the Consumer Protection Act 1999 (Act 599)
The exclusivity granted through a monopoly will encourage corruption, rent-seeking and “back-door” activities in the property management industry. The costs of these negative impacts would be passed on to owners with no proportionate increase in service value.
3. The proposed amendments would be in conflict with the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007 (Act 663) and the Strata Titles Act 1985 (Act 318)

The proposed amendments would take away the rights of the owners and the duties of the Commissioner of Buildings and conflicts with the duties and functions of the Joint Management Body as provided for in Act 663 and Act 318 which is to give owners the right to have the final say in the management of their own properties.

The necessary powers to oversee and regulate property management are already vested with the Commissioner of Buildings via Act 663.

4. The proposed amendments would interfere with the inherent and indivisible rights of property Owners.

Property owner who have invested in their property should have the freedom to choose whom they trust to best manage their properties and protect their investment. The proposed amendment would remove this right from the owners.

5. The proposed amendments would result in a brain-drain of property management practitioners and denying entrepreneurship.
We understand that almost all our buildings in Malaysia are currently managed by non-valuers. The proposed amendments would therefore result in job losses in the building management industry. We are already losing many experienced property managers to neighboring countries.
This would therefore be inconsistent with the efforts of the Government to attract talented and capable Malaysians working abroad to return and serve the country.
We call upon the Minister concerned to consult with all the relevant stake holders and industry players before proposing any amendments in the future.
We question why the Minister is proposing these amendments which would make Malaysia the only country in the world to introduce a monopoly solely for valuers in the building management industry and at the same time remove the rights of owners to manage their own properties.
We are sure even the Barisan National Members of Parliament would have received much negative feedback from the various stakeholders including from strata property owners and would agree with our views above.

Pakatan Rakyat Members Of Parliament
YB Sivarasa Rasiah, Subang
YB Dato’ Johari Abdul, Sungai Petani
YB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, Bukit Gantang
YB Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud , Kota Raja
YB Chong Eng, Bukit Mertajam
YB Tony Pua Kiam Wee, Petaling Jaya Utara

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