PETALING JAYA: Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen has accused the government of rushing to get the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (Amendment) Bill 2017 approved in Parliament, saying it controversially seeks to regulate the two distinct professions of property valuer and property manager.
The PKR legislator said the bill is "illogicalâ€ as it intends to fuse the professions under one act and place them under the purview of the ministry of finance (MoF).
He said it may allow a crony system by empowering valuers to decide on the appointment of project managers, and possibly cost consumers an additional RM180 million in property management fees.
Wong said valuers, who deal with property valuation, already fall under the MoF.
However, property management, which has to do with organisation and management of buildings, is under the urban wellbeing, housing and local government ministry, with its related issues regulated under the Strata Management Act 2013.
"The speed at which this bill is debated is highly suspicious, unethical, and meant to catch members of Parliament (MPs) unprepared" he said, adding that the bill was first read on Tuesday and its debate which started yesterday is set to continue on Monday.
"There are also currently about 1,000 valuers of whom 200 are practising project managers. On the other hand, there are 10,000 project managers who are not valuers" he said in a statement today.
"This bill may therefore give rise to an inefficient crony system by seeking to give valuers power to determine who can become project managers" he added.
Wong said if approved the legislation would effectively force the 10,000 project managers to become sub-contractors of the 200 valuers.
He said the public would then have to pay an additional fee to the valuers.
"My office estimates that the entire project management fees of residential, commercial and office buildings amount to RM1.8 billion a year" he said.
"We can estimate that this fee may increase by 10% to cover the valuers' take. In other words, this legislation could potentially cost the public an additional RM180 million in property management fees.â€
Wong called on prime minister Najib Razak, who is also finance minister, to explain why the bill was being "rammed throughâ€ two days after it was introduced, and why project management should fall under his ministry's purview.
An explanation should also be given on how the "conflictâ€ between the MoF and the urban wellbeing, housing and local government ministry would be resolved, as the bill clashes with the Strata Management Act 2013, he added.
"If he is adamant to continue to ram this bill through Parliament, he must then give an undertaking that there will not be any increase of the overall project management cost" he said. Wong also asked the government to provide macroeconomic data on the impact of the legislation.
He urged MPs to be extra vigilant when the debate continues on Monday.