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Friday, May 9, 2008

Architects push for inspection every five years

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (2nd left), PAM president Lee Chor Wah (2nd right), Architect Centre general manager Hussein Hamzah (left) and Archicentre Ltd (Australia) chief executive officer Robert Caulfield (right) at the launch.

KUALA LUMPUR: Every piece of property should be inspected every five years, said Malaysian Institute of Architects immediate past president Dr Tan Loke Mun.

“Just like a car has to undergo regular servicing to make sure it is in working order, homes too need to be maintained and have the necessary repairs carried out regularly,” he said.

“There are also buildings in Malaysia which were built in the 1960s, and most building materials have a lifespan of around 20 to 30 years, so things will start to break down if they are not checked,” he said at the launch of the Architect Centre Sdn Bhd here yesterday.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, who launched the centre, said the ministry had received between 2,400 and 4,500 complaints a year over the last five years.

“In 2005 alone, there were 356 complaints of defective work, while the figures for 2006 and 2007 were 238 and 192 respectively.

“While there appears to be a downtrend which augurs well for the industry, the figure should be kept at a lower level,” he said, adding that most of the complaints were on wall cracks, roof leaks, plumbing problems, poor plaster and paint work, and ground settlement.

The centre aims to have a standardised system of inspection of new and existing buildings, especially with regards to defects, appraisal of quality of workmanship and dissemination of advice to rectify such defects.

“We only do visual inspections. If there are any serious structural problems, we will advise the house owner to engage an engineer to solve the problem. Inspection services start from RM500 for smaller low-cost housing,” said PAM president Lee Chor Wah, who was also at the event.

For more information on the centre, go to

When asked to comment on a news report that about 2,000 disgruntled housebuyers had threatened to march to Parliament and seek legal redress if their houses were not delivered next year, Ong said:

“I urge these housebuyers to be patient. We are already trying to get another developer to salvage the project,” he said.

The report said that the 2,000 housebuyers in Puchong had waited for more than three years for their homes, some of which were supposed to have been completed in 2003.

By The Star

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