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Sabah architects state their position
Published on: Sunday, April 07, 2024
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Local professionals involving in peanut fees/ peanut service should devise a plan to exit such demoralising practices, and strive to compete on design excellence and deliver best values for the client and the larger community. - pix for illustration purposes only
WE refer to Datuk John Lo’s article titled “Sabah Professionals Must Rise Up” in your paper last Sun (31/3).

We are big fans of your writings, and share your passion for a more progressive and autonomous Sabah. In your recent article you pin-pointed the architects on a few issues and I am obliged to clarify as follows:
  • Architects and Valuers cutting their fees –


1. There are always black sheeps and it certainly does not happen to the architects and valuers only, nor in Sabah alone.

2. It is well understood by the profession that reducing fees will compromise the quality of design and services, as seen in many mediocre projects here and abroad.

3. The whole purpose of mandating a minimum scales of fees is to ensure the profession can deliver services of the highest quality and standards.

Unfortunately this is badly compromised by some members; this is an uphill battle for all professions in all regions (except lawyers and land surveyors who are well protected by their State Boards).

4. Nonetheless, there are many members that abide the rules and perform well, and some have ventured overseas. We hope Sabahans will shed the Gucci Syndrome, which is also prevalent in other cities and countries.
  • Concerns on Sabah’s rights and wellbeing.


1. It is every Sabahan’s concern on our constitutional rights in MA63; we hold in high esteem for our counterparts in SLS in advocating the issues on its legal merits.

2. Our Chapter is focused on cutting down the red tapes in planning and building approvals, as well as improving bylaws to deal with changing needs. This will go a long way to make Sabah the preferred destination for business and investment.

3. This journey has proven to be difficult and unproductive. Thus we find it necessary to have a stronger unified voice through the setting up of SPC (Sabah Professional Council) to advocate for efficiency and defend Sabahan’s rights- a matter that affects all the professional bodies.
  • SYBIL and SPC


1.  We are particularly proud that both SYBIL and SPC are led by architects despite our small membership.

2. SPC has made significant progress, and more professional bodies have elected to become a SPC member recently. Unlike SYBIL, SPC needs to thread carefully through the minefields of their respective governing Boards, Acts and ROS.

3. SPC will reply Datuk separately, suffice to say that we welcome collaboration with out-of-state professionals but the local professionals must be remunerated for their work done adequately and fairly. 

Local professionals involving in peanut fees/ peanut service should devise a plan to exit such demoralising practices, and strive to compete on design excellence and deliver best values for the client and the larger community.

Lastly, we wish to thank Datuk for your underlying trust in the professionals to lead in social activism. You also showed that age is never a criterion for activism – there is more fire in Lo than many younger people.

Ar. Mok Juang Yu

Chairman 2023/2025

Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (Sabah Chapter)


- The views expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Express.

- If you have something to share, write to us at: [email protected]



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