• “If you engage a contractor directly, please do ensure that they are reputable by checking with CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board) to ensure that they are properly licensed and not blacklisted.”

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 20): Malaysia Institute of Architects (PAM) president Sarly Adre Sarkum urges the public to approach registered professionals through their respective institutes prior to starting a renovation project to avoid being scammed.

In response to the recent news about five people alleging that a renovation company has cheated them out of more than RM1 million, PAM issued a statement on Tuesday (Dec 20) to help and guide the public as to the parties responsible by law regarding construction and renovations.

“My advice is to approach registered professionals such as architects and interior designers through their respective institutes prior to starting a project," Sarly said in a press statement.

"They will guide you through the process accordingly and will show you the legalities involved in all the stages of construction. All of these professionals are conversant in the acts and laws that govern construction in Malaysia, only after mastering these legalities would they be able to be registered with the board — LAM (Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia) as a professional.

“The professionals will advise in terms of local authorities’ requirements and submission procedures. All the fees with regard to hiring the professionals have been stipulated in the governing act. They will also be able to point out contractors with good track records to undertake the construction work,” he said.

Sarly also urges the public to not take the word of people claiming to be professionals or contractors, but check with the relevant statutory bodies.

“If you engage a contractor directly, please do ensure that they are reputable by checking with CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board) to ensure that they are properly licensed and not blacklisted. The internet can work positively for the consumer; all the professional board and statutory bodies' websites run public registries in which the public can easily check the legitimacy of anyone claiming to be a professional just by simply searching for the name of the individual or company in the website,” he shared.

Sarly highlighted that the best weapon to protect ourselves from scammers is information and knowledge. “At PAM, in line with our mission statement ‘To promote the advancement of architecture and the architectural profession for the betterment of society’ we endeavour to help the public gain a better understanding of what architects do and other pivotal roles that architects play in the construction industry, while creating a better environment to encourage all scale and manner of positive developments in the nation.”

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