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MDC calls for review of laws

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Developers' Council (MDC) has called for the government to resist and review legislations that will enable organisations and professional service providers dominating a particular sector to demand prior payment before work commences, in the interest of fair and free trade practices.

"Such payment should be made in proportion to and commensurate with the level and quantum of services provided. Such practice (of demanding pre-payments) will add to the financial cost of business, which will be passed on to consumers," it said in a statement on Monday, Oct 4 following its 13th meeting held two days earlier.

It cited the Land Surveyors Ordinance as one of these legislations.

The council also objected to restricting the right to manage and maintain any building and property as well as its related facilities to a select profession or interest group.

"The building/property owner, joint management body (JMB), management corporation (MC) or commissioner of building (COB) should have the freedom to appoint any person outside any particular profession.

MDC argued that the exclusion of other competent parties from undertaking property management and its related activities runs contrary to the spirit of the Consumer Protection Act 1999, the Competition Act 2010, the Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007 and the Strata Titles Act 1985.

"Critically, the additional costs arising from any monopoly will adversely impact the consumers," MDC said.

The council also appealed for the stamp duty imposed on construction and service contracts to be kept at RM50 indefinitely, as the fee represented a 500% increase from RM10 previously. It also called for the 0.5% level of stamp duty to be repealed.

On low-cost housing, MDC maintained that the endeavour is a social engineering tool that should be undertaken by the government through Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, as well as sanctioned government-linked companies.

It also asked for the federal and state governments to create a "simple, transparent and equitable system" to automatically release unsold bumiputera-quota units in a bid to reduce the burden of developers who have had to allocate such discounted properties.

"This automoatic release can be done on a pre-determined time-scale. There should be no further contribution/levy/penalty from/on the developers upon release," it recommended.

The council said it was in support of the new economic measures such as the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) and the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) Plans to transform the nation into a high-income economy, and called for a level playing field to promote more foreign direct investments (FDI) and private investments in order to optimise efforts from the private sector.

The MDC comprises the Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association (Rehda) Malaysia, Sabah Housing and Real Estate Developers' Association (Shareda) and Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers' Association (Sheda).

Rehda has 951 corporate members, Sheda 230 corporate members, and Shareda 148 corporate members.
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