Illegal brokers from neighboring countries giving Malaysia bad rep — deputy housing minister

2018-10-21

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 21): The Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) plans to work with relevant stakeholders to tackle the issue of more illegal brokers in Malaysia, said its Deputy Minister Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad.

Raja Kamarul said some of these illegal brokers are from neighboring countries and many of them go home after committing crimes and developing a bad reputation here, he told EdgeProp.my at the National Real Estate Awards (NREA) gala dinner organised by the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) here tonight.

"I hear concerns and disgruntlement that there are a growing number of illegals and that enforcement is the biggest issue.

"I am also made to understand that there are illegal brokers disguised as marketing firms to represent the developers," Raja Kamarul said.

He said that while the police were empowered to act against these illegal brokers, not even one of them have been charged in the courts.

Hence, his ministry is concerned that illegal brokers are "having the time of their life" practicing illegally due to the lack of enforcement, thus resulting in the public being cheated or misrepresented.

"Since this is a housing issue I am willing to discuss with MIEA, the board [the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP)], the police and all parties concerned as to how best we can mitigate this problem to ensure the real estate practice is safeguarded.

"I wish to stress that as a developing nation we have no place for illegal brokers. There need to be some forms of regulations," he emphasised.

MIEA president Eric Lim, who was also present at the event, pointed out that illegal brokers are "spreading wildly" throughout the country, causing the government to suffer huge revenue losses while affecting the professionalism of registered estate agents.

"We appeal to the relevant authorities to take action against illegal brokers," he said, adding that illegal brokers should register themselves under BOVAEP before the authorities take action.

According to KPKT, there are some 20,000 real estate negotiators,1,375 real estate firms and 1,964 registered estate agents in the country.

Meanwhile, Raja Kamarul said while the government is committed to put all its focus towards delivering a million affordable homes to the masses in the next 10 years, it is also concerned about the issue of stakeholders in the housing industry being regulated by different ministries.

"There is also a concern by the government and my ministry that stakeholders of the housing industry are under different ministries, like the property and facilities managers and real estate agents.

"To ensure there is proper coordination, cooperation and cohesion of the practitioners, the stakeholders should all come together to discuss, debate and contribute to the cause of the housing industry.

"In this respect we would like to meet up with the relevant stakeholders to study and see how to bring back [together] these stakeholders and in return help grow the housing sector," he said.

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