Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Date of Forum : 23 October 2008

Venue : PKNS Seminar & Conference Centre, Petaling Jaya

Organized by : PPC’s Sub-committee on the New Engineers Act

Panel Members :

a) Y. Bhg Dato Ir Chew Swee Hock
b) Engr P.E.Chong
c) Ir Dr. Abdul Majid bin Dato’ Abu Kassim
d) Ir Chen Thiam Leong
e) Engr Rocky H.T.Wong

Facilitator : Y. Bhg Dato Paduka Engr Hj. Keizrul bin Abdullah

Rapporteur : Ir Lai Sze Ching

No. of Participants : 130

Objective of the Forum

a) To review the effectiveness of the Registration of Engineers Act;

b) To identify weaknesses and problems in the operation of the Act;

c) To obtain feedback and suggestions from stakeholders to improve the Act

2. Opening remarks by the Facilitator

The Facilitator opened the Forum by explaining the objectives of the forum, history of the Registration of the Engineers Act 1967 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) and stipulations and relevant sections of the Act.

The Facilitator then proceeded to explain the framework of the review which are broken down into ten (10) sections, namely:
a) Purpose of the Act;
b) What Engineering Services need to be regulated
c) Who should be registered;
d) Exclusive rights of professional engineers;
e) Code of professional conduct;
f) Classification of engineering discipline;
g) Disciplinary power of the Board;
h) Offences and Penalties;
i) Functions of the Board;
j) Composition of the Board

3. Purpose of the Act

3.1 The Facilitator presented the following information:-
a) The Act is silent as to the purpose of the Act

b) The Professional Engineers Act 2002 of Australia stipulated that the purposes of the Act are:

  • To protect the public by ensuring professional engineering services are provided by a professional engineer in a professional and competent way;
  • To maintain public confidence in the standard of services provided by a registered PE; and
  • To uphold the standard of practice of registered PE.

c) The Association of Professional Engineers of Manitoba, Canada is established under “The Engineering and Geoscientific Professions Act 1998” and the 1998 Act provides the purposes of the Association as follows:

i) Govern and regulate the practice of professional engineering and professional geoscience in Manitoba;

ii) Promote and increase by all lawful means and in public interest, the knowledge, skill and competency of its members and students in all things relating to the professional engineering and geoscience; and

iii) Advocate when the public interest is at risk.

d) The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers provides following policy statements:

i) Level 1
In Canada, the protection of the public requires that the practice of engineering be regulated by the engineering profession. The public shall not be confused pr misled by the misuse of words engineer and engineering.

ii) Level 2
The protection of the public requires that the practice of engineering in emerging areas be regulated. The profession shall identify and recognize when basic science emerges as the practice of engineering.

e) Comments from the Rapporteur:

i) In Singapore, the Professional Engineers Act 1991 does not state the purpose of the 1991 Act;

ii) In the UK, there is no similar Act to regulate the registration of engineers. Council of Engineers UK is set up by the Royal Charter as an organization to regulate the engineering profession in the UK. Its mission is “to maintain internationally recognized standards of competence and commitment for the engineering profession, and to license competent institutions to champion the standard”.

f) The Facilitator then opened to the floor to discuss on what the floor think should be the purpose of the new Act; ie whether to protect the public or the engineers or both.

3.2 The panel members submitted the following views:

a) Should the purpose of the new Act is to protect public interest, then it should be targeted at Practicing Engineers;

b) The purpose of the new Act should be to protect public interest rather than the Engineers’ otherwise every profession or trade would require the Parliament to enact specific Act to protect them. This is unhealthy to the country;

c) Malaysia follows the UK in that the purpose of an Act is normally not stipulated in the Act itself;

d) The Act is also indirectly protecting the Engineer as a PE cannot claim for the fees for work done if he is not registered under the Act;

e) Most of the Mutual Recognition Arrangements (“MRA”) including MRA on Engineering Services involve essential elements such as safety and welfare of the public.

3.3 Comments from the floor:

Generally the participants agreed that the Act is enacted to protect the public interest.

3.4 a) One participant raised the question that it is more appropriate for the law to regulate only certain branches of engineering, for example under the Uniform Building Bylaw, only Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers are permitted to submit plans. There is no such allowance for other branches of engineers such as Chemical Engineers;

b) The panel members commented and replied as follows:

i) An engineer is allowed to submit plans for the discipline that he is registered with for example a mechanical PE may only submit plans for mechanical works.

ii) This appears that we are ‘overly’ regulating ourselves. For example, for fire fighting services, only civil engineers are allowed to submit passive fire plans under the current practice.

iii) In Singapore, S.2 of the Professional Engineers Act 1991 defined “professional engineering work” to include any professional service in connection with any public or privately owned public utilities, buildings wherein “the public interest and welfare, or the safeguarding of life, public health or property is involved”.

Therefore, the Singapore Act only registers three (3) branches of Engineering ie. Civil, Mechanical and Electrical.

Comment from Rapporteur: S.10(8) of the Singapore Act stipulates that “prescribed branches of professional engineering work” means civil, electrical, mechanical and such other branches of engineering as may be prescribed.

Thus it appears that Singapore Act does allow registration of other branches of engineering.

If the Act is aimed to protect public interest, it may be said that the registration of engineers from these 3 branches is sufficient. (c.f. Currently the registration by BEM has now reached 86 disciplines such as Aeronautical & Space Engineering and Software Engineering).

3.5 a) There was a comment from the participant that registration of engineers should cover all engineering disciplines. Engineers who, besides providing the principal engineering services (ie. civil, mechanical or engineering) could be also involved in some other type of engineering services such as design of automobiles (which is under automobile engineering) in which the issue of public safety and consumers’ interest are also involved.

b) The Panel Members commented as follows:

i) Cars manufactured and sold to the public are not prototypes and have been well tested for safety before being launched to the market. As for building work, every service is a prototype and is not tested until it is completed, tested and commissioned.

ii) The Registration of Engineers Act 1967 applies to all branches of engineers and there is no qualification or restriction of eligibility for registration. Thus it appears that engineers from other branches of engineering eg. chemical engineers need to be registered under the Act as well.

3.6 Conclusion

The Facilitator concluded that all participants agreed that the Act shall be enacted to protect the public interest instead of the interest of engineers.

4. What Engineering Services need to be regulated to protect the public interest?

4.1 The Facilitator clarified that the existing Act covers all branches of engineering. One, so long as he practices engineering, must be registered with BEM and failure to do so is an offence under the Act.

4.2 a) A participant expressed his opinion that only engineering services that affect public safety need to be regulated; otherwise it seems to be too wide a coverage.

b) The Panel Members commented as follows with regards to this:

i) An aeronautical engineer who is responsible to maintain aircrafts is therefore responsible for public safety as well.

ii) However if the aircraft is improperly maintained, it is the airline that may be sued for negligence and not the maintenance engineer.

iii) It must be noted that there is more than one regulator to protect the public interest. Thus public interest may be protected by different Authorities such as DCA and the Court of law.

4.3 Categorization of Engineers

a) One of the Panel Members commented that in other profession such as legal and medical field, there is no distinction between the members. For example, a lawyer can practice in any field of legal work whether family law, contract law or Intellectual Property Law whereas a mechanical engineer is not allowed to be the submitting person for civil engineering design work.

b) Below is the comments of other Panel Members and some participants :

i) There was one school of thought that we should follow the practice of lawyers and doctors and with no categorization required. If a mechanical engineer wishes to take the responsibility and risk by submitting a civil engineering design work, he should be allowed to do so.

ii) Some were of the view that we should only allow those engineers who are qualified and trained in a specific field of engineering to practice in that particular discipline only. Hence a mechanical engineer who is not trained in civil engineering should not be allowed to be the submitting person for civil design.

iii) There is a need for us to categorize the registration of different disciplines of engineering; however, this need not be over-categorized. We may reduce it to 4 basic disciplines ie. Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical. One example to illustrate this is that as automobile is considered part of mechanical engineering; the engineers involved in automobile engineering could be allowed to be registered under Mechanical Engineering.

4.4 Is it necessary to register all Engineers?

a) One of the Panel Members raised the issue of whether there is a necessity to register all Engineers as the Act requires all engineers who practice engineering services to register with BEM. On this issue, there were also queries from the floor on the need for engineers who work in private sector eg. SHELL to register with BEM as after all, they work for the company.

b) This was echoed by one participant who expressed that her employer does not require her to be registered with BEM.

c) The Panel Members replied as follows:

i) It is a contravention of the Act if a company employs unregistered engineers. Upon hearing this the floor responded with surprises however it was reiterated that the Act requires all engineers to be registered and companies which are expected to practise good corporate governance must comply with the requirements of the law.

ii) We should register all engineers including graduate engineers. This is done not only for statistical purposes but also to ensure that they are bona fide engineers.

iii) There were those who believe in otherwise. Reason being out of 11,500 PE, there are only 2,000 to 3,000 PE are Submitting Persons hence they do not see the need to regulate those who are not Submitting Persons.

iv) It appears that some areas are under-regulated, for example in a petrochemical complex, only building services eg. a small building that house the compressors need to be approved whilst other services are not regulated. In contrast, some areas are over-regulated, such as the registration of those maintenance engineers who are not Submitting Persons. Therefore, the question here is how do we streamline the regulation and make it more efficient.

v) It would be a more balanced exercise should the Act only regulate certain disciplines such as civil, mechanical and electrical engineering only and not others such as oil & gas etc.

4.5 Submission by PE or the Engineering Consultancy Practice (“ECP”)?

a) A question was raised as to whether the PE or ECP should be the Submitting Person. Currently under the Act, both are permitted to submit plans and drawings.

b) The Panel Members and participants expressed their views as follows:

i) The Act has created some confusion by allowing either a PE or ECP to submit plans and drawings. Initially, the Act only permitted PE to submit plans however the Act was amended later to include ECP as the Submitting Person. There is no distinction between a PE and ECP to be the Submitting Persons if the ECP is a sole proprietorship or a partnership. However the situation will be different if the ECP is a private company registered under the Companies Act 1965 as then the liability is limited. In such a case, the interest of the public is seriously affected as the remedy that an innocent party can seek against the Submitting Person for any negligence will be limited. Therefore the Act in this respect is outdated and needs to be amended.

ii) The question then one need to ask is whether the Act should require a PE or the ECP be registered. Currently only the Uniform Building By-law (UBBL) regulates the construction work. Do we require law for building industry and other types of engineering work such as maintenance?

iii) If the Act is to protect public interest and not Engineers, the ECP should be held responsible for negligence committed and not the PE who endorses the plans. However, the issue of limiting liability of an ECP will grossly affect the remedy that the aggrieved party is entitled to seek.

iv) Thus should the liability of a Submitting Person be limited? If so, should it be limited by the number of years or by amount? The current law is that the liability of a Submitting Person is unlimited in both amount and period, even if the Submitting Person has died when the negligence is discovered ie. the aggrieved party may still bring a claim against his estate in order to recover damages.

v) It is understood that BEM and the AG Chamber are now discussing on the possibility of limiting liability as to the amount (and not to the period) for all professionals including the Engineers.

vi) In addition to being liable to fines and other disciplinary actions by BEM, the Engineer may be subject to actions brought under UBBL or the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 and any other relevant law.

c) The Facilitator then concluded the discussions as follows:

i) The Act should regulate all disciplines of engineering professions.

ii) The Act should register all engineers including Graduate Engineers who practice professional engineering services.

iii) The Act should provide a three-tier registration:

1. Graduate Engineer

2. Professional Engineer

3. Licensed Professional Engineer

5. Who should be registered?

a) The Facilitator clarified that the current Act only requires all ECP, PE and Graduate Engineers to be registered if they practice professional engineering services. However, question arises as to whether do we need to register the para-professionals? If so, should they be regulated under the same Act (ie. REA) or a different Act?

b) The comments from the Panel Members and the participants were:

i) It is a globally well accepted practice that engineering services include the work carried out by other engineering service providers such as the para-professionals. Therefore the Act should also regulate the para-professionals such as technologists, clerk-of-works etc. It is noted that the clerk-of-works is to be regulated by CIDB and not the REA.

ii) The Engineers are not working alone; there are other members in the team such as the clerk-of-works and other para-professionals. Therefore it seems reasonable for para-professionals to be regulated as well.

iii) The REA only refers to the registration of “Engineers” and not other parties such as the para-professionals vis-à-vis the Architects Act 1967 now includes registration of other professions such as interior designers, building draftsmen and landscape designers.

iv) Should the registration of these para-professionals is not allowed, they may resort to forming various associations in order for them to request the government to enact parliamentary Act to cater for their needs. This will certainly create confusion.

v) In relation to this issue, it is noted that BEM is of the opinion that REA should only be meant for engineers and not other para-professionals.

vi) Should we wish to register para-professionals, the Act should be amended to “Registration of Engineering Services Act”.

c) Conclusion

The Facilitator then concluded that the new Act should include registration of para-professionals as they constitute part of the engineering team as well.

6. Exclusive Rights of Professional Engineers

6.1 One of the Panel Members explained that the entitlements of Engineers and ECP are now regulated by S.7A of the REA. The questions raised are whether that should be maintained under the new Act or to be amended. If it is so what are the issues need to be amended?

6.2 Entitlement of Engineers

a) It takes almost one year for BEM to register a Graduate Engineer. Therefore, should a graduate engineer start to practice once he submits his application or only do so upon approval by BEM? It will be a more practical approach for BEM to respond within certain timeframe upon receipt of application.

b) Upon deliberation, it was agreed that the current entitlements should remain unchanged.

6.3 Entitlement of ECP

a) It is noted that if an ECP is not registered under the REA, the company is unable to recover any fees not paid by his client.

b) An ECP may only provide professional engineering services in the branch of engineering in which the sole proprietor partners/directors are qualified to practice (S.7A (4A) REA).

c) If an ECP carries out professional engineering services without registration with BEM under the REA, then he is liable to a fine not exceeding RM50, 000 (S.7A (5) REA).

6.4 Conclusion

The Facilitator concluded that the current entitlement of the Engineer and ECP under the REA shall be changed ie. the submission of plans should only be made through an ECP. The Submitting Person should practise his engineering services through a ECP.

7. Code of Professional Conduct

7.1 The Facilitator explained that the Code of Professional Conduct is laid down in the circular No. 3/2005 issued by BEM on 28/06/2004. Pursuant to S.15 REA, if an Engineer or ECP conducts misconduct, he is liable to be deregistered by BEM and a fine of not exceeding RM50, 000.

7.2 The Panel Member and participants commented as follows:

a) Currently there is no guideline as to the advertisement on web sites. However, BEM is now reviewing this issue and guidelines will be issued in due course. One Panel Member opined that web page may be considered as catalogue and should be regulated as such.

b) An Engineer is allowed to practice in other professions simultaneously and the situation is different for legal profession where it is strictly prohibited under the Legal Profession Act 1976.

c) Clause 2.1 of the Code stipulates that a PE shall not affix signature to any plan in which he lacks competence or not prepared under his direction or control. If he contravenes this rule then he has committed misconduct and is subject to disciplinary action under S.15 REA.

d) Clause 5.6 of the Code stipulates that a Registered Engineer shall not directly or indirectly supplant another Engineer. Hence the issue here is what amounts to ‘supplanting’? It was clarified that it is a situation where an Engineer intervenes in engineering work which to his knowledge has already been entrusted to another Engineer. An Engineer shall not take over any work of another Engineer acting for the same client unless he has obtained a letter f release from the other Engineer or has been formally notified by the client that the services of that other Engineer have been terminated in accordance with the provisions of the contract entered into between that Engineer and the client.

e) However this must be differentiated from the situation whereby the Employer engages another Engineer to re-design the project and in such a case, this is not classified as ‘supplanting’ and hence it does not contravene the Code.

7.3 Conclusion

It was concluded that there is no necessity to add, delete or amend any of the provisions in the Code of Professional Conduct issued by BEM.

8. Classification of ECP

8.1 The Facilitator invited comments on whether ECP should be classified by expertise and capability (size of ECP etc), similar to that of classification of contractors?

8.2 Following are the comments of the Panel Members and participants:

a) One Panel Member provided some background information as to this and stated that the Government discovered that some of the government projects were awarded to ECP who are not qualified either technically or financially. Hence the Treasury Department requested BEM to prepare guidelines on classification of ECP in terms of their expertise and capability.

b) It was proposed by a participant that these guidelines (on classification) be applicable to government projects only and not to projects initiated and funded by private sectors.

c) The Forum was informed that the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM) currently provides a system of classification of consulting engineers, albeit rather simple classification.

d) One Panel Member explained that the Government has studied this proposal in great details with few reports being submitted to them on the findings. Therefore, he was of the view that we need to tackle this issue seriously with some supporting facts if we wish to disagree on this issue, otherwise the Government will proceed on the classification of ECP as planned.

e) IEM has made a stand on this issue ie. to oppose to the proposed classification as this could be subject to abuse for example whether Class A ECP could be awarded smaller projects.

f) One Panel Member also classified that ACEM has adopted the stand that this is not a good idea as the classification may be implemented by BEM as a mandatory policy. ACEM has already set up a working group to improvise the proposal of BEM. They also queried whether it is BEM’s duty to classify ECP. If the Government wishes to implement these guidelines, it should be done in the form of internal means to all Governmental departments and not to enact in the new Act.

g) The classification of ECP is also practiced in Singapore but it is only applicable to Government departments.

8.3 Conclusion

The Facilitator suggested that IEM and ACEM should form a joint working group to work on this.

9. Disciplinary Power of the Board

9.1 The Facilitator explained that the current disciplinary powers and procedures of BEM under the REA 1967 and sought views from the floor whether any changes are to be made to the disciplinary powers and the disciplinary procedures.

9.2 The Forum unanimously agreed that this shall remain status quo and the current practices shall continue to be applied.

10. Offences and Penalties

10.1 The Facilitator explained the current offices and corresponding penalties imposed under the REA 1967. The Forum is requested to comment on whether these existing provisions are good to serve as deterrent purposes.

10.2 The Panel Members and participants commented as follows:

a) Some of the penalties appear to be ridiculous and are overly severe, for example under S.14, if an Engineer fails to notify BEM on the change in their business address, under S.25(1), he is liable to a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.

Similarly under S.15(1)(f), if an Engineer is found to be of unsound mind then he is liable under S.15(1A) to a fine not exceeding RM50,000

b) As an Engineer is a professional, then he should not be criminalized for the offences which will subject him to custodial sentences.

10.3 Conclusion

It was unanimously agreed that custodial sentences shall not be applicable to any offences committed by Engineers.

11. Functions of the Board

11.1 The Facilitator explained that the implicit functions of the Board are:

  • To ensure that engineering practices in Malaysia are of high standards
  • To protect the public from malpractices

11.2 The participants were of the view that as the purpose of the Act is to protect the public interest, the function of the Board should also protect the public by ensuring no malpractice by the Engineers.

11.3 Conclusion

It was unanimously agreed that the functions of the Board shall be more explicit and be clearly stated.

12. Compositions of the Board

12.1 The Board is currently comprised of 17 members, five out of whom are appointed from a list nominated by the IEM and the appointment is made by the Minister of Works.

12.2 The Panel advised the forum that in Singapore, half of the Members of the Board is elected by the fee-paying registered engineers while the other half is appointed by the Government. The President is elected by all Board Members.

12.3 Conclusion

Upon deliberation, the forum agreed to adopt the model from Singapore and to amend the composition and the nomination procedures as follows:

a) the Board should appoint nominees from ACEM

b) The President and the Members of the board are to be selected or elected by the fee-paying registered engineers.

13. Recommendation

13.1 It was unanimously agreed that the REA should be revamped in totality and a new Engineers Act be enacted in order to incorporate the latest developments in engineering profession.

Friday, July 4, 2008

ACEM wish list for "Revamp of REA"

By Ir. TL Chen


Proposed Wish List



Re-examine or re-establish the purpose of the Registration of Engineers Act and determine its Prime/Principal objective(s):

· Serve and protect public interest?

· Regulate the practice of professional engineering?

· Regulate the qualifications and conduct of professional engineers?

· Regulate corporations which supply professional services?

· Regulate the practice of engineering consultancy profession?

If the Act is to protect public interest by regulating the engineers, then the Act should be steered towards the practising engineers.


To clearly define and differentiate between ‘Practising Engineers’ and ‘Practising Engineering’.

To enable the Act to achieve its Prime/Principal objective(s).


The BEM Board should comprise more than 50% practising engineers. The President or Deputy President of BEM should be a practising engineer.

If the principal objective is to regulate practising engineers, then majority of the Board members should be conversant with practice issues to understand the in’s and out’s of the industry. It should be worth noting that in Canada, the regulation and licensing of consulting engineers is by its Association of Consulting Engineers established under an ACT!

To consider the Singapore model of the entire Board being elected by members including the position of President.


There is need to either forget totally about registering engineers or clearly define distinct categories of engineers who wish to sell their services and those who prefer other vocation, related or unrelated to engineering.

All engineers have a choice of either upholding the profession in providing service or not to practise. Perhaps these can be segregated with the use of Ir. for both categories, and P Eng. for those electing to practise.



Registration of engineers and licensing should be separated. A registered engineer should have at least 10 years relevant experience before he/she could be licensed to practise as a sole-proprietor, partner or Director in a body corporate.

The Act does not uphold the status of engineers – the entry qualification to P.Eng status enables ‘automatic’ licence to practise, which has led to a decline in practice standards. The present Professional Interview format must be reviewed.

Consider adopting the format of registration for:

2) Graduate Engineers (similar to issuance of Birth Certificates) to ascertain that their degree are bona fide;

3) Non Practising Professional Engineers (akin to Identity Cards) for those with 4 years experience and pass the Board’s ‘existing format of’ professional examination;

4) Practising Engineers (practising licence similar to driving licence) for Category 2) Non Practising Engineers who pass the Board’s competency tests.


Limitation of Professional Liability to be included in the Act.

The issue has been documented in the paper prepared by BEM Working Group on Long Stop Liability, which is still pending AG approval.


Registration of Accredited Checkers should include body corporates, not just individuals.

An individual may not have Professional Indemnity Insurance coverage, whereas a firm would likely obtain PII coverage when acting as a Checker. Moreover, an individual would need technical support from his firm to carry out the tasks as a Checker.


Disciplinary action needs to be dispose off expeditiously. It is suggested that BEM’s disciplinary proceedings to follow along the lines of the Bar Council for their method of expedient disciplinary hearings and decisions. The Bar Council’s Advocates & Solicitors Disciplinary Board dispose off a case between 6 months to 3 years depending on the complexity of the case. As such BEM must have the power to summon people to appear before the Investigation Committees.

Board members must also be appointed from members who are willing and ready to give priority to the function of the Board during the period that they agree to serve. Perhaps typically busy corporate figures should be exempted from such regulatory service to the nation. Without resolving this issue, even if the disciplinary quorum is reduced further to 3, there will still be no quorum. And worst still, if there is no regular meeting, there is no case to dispose of.


Right to arbitrate to be included in the Act.

The Act should empower BEM to arbitrate on fee disputes between Clients and Engineers, which are relatively simple and straight forward to resolve.


The Act should empower BEM to take action against engineers not registered with BEM and non-engineers.

The current Act can be termed as discriminating against registered engineers, and the Act has no clout against others who flout its laws.


Review the registration of engineering consultancy practices (sole proprietorship, partnership and body corporates).

The current Act can only regulate individuals. As such, the need to register engineering consultancy practice is meaningless, apart from fee collection.

Registration of ECP can be made relevant by mandating that engineers can only practise consulting services through approved ECPs.


Definition of engineering services should cover all aspects of the engineering fraternity and not leave loopholes for others to attempt to exploit/monopolise any engineering sector.

Any loophole in the definition of engineering services allow for others such as the Valuers/Building Surveyors, to attempt to exploit/monopolise as is currently being debated for Facility Maintenance.


The Act should empower BEM to enforce the Scale of Fees.

It is crucial that engineers get a fair fee for their services to ensure a high standard of engineering services.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Review of the Registration of Engineers Act 1967 (Revised 2007)

By Engr. Dr. Teoh Seng Giap, incorporating comments from Engr. David N. Welch, Engr. Dr Aminuddin Mohd Baki & Engr. Nor Hisham b Mohd Ghazali.

1) Clause 8: Only Professional Engineer and Engineering consultancy practice may submit plans, drawing, etc.

1.1) Interpretation:

1.1.1) Who is qualified to do submission?

1.1.2) Submissions of products of engineering services (e.g. plans, drawings, design, and etc. al.) are exclusive to qualified Professional Engineer (PE) or Engineering Consultancy Practice (ECP).

1.1.3) Except otherwise provided under other written law and sub-clause (4).

1.2) Intent:

1.2.1) To ensure engineering services are delivered with predetermined standards by qualified personnel.

1.2.2) To safeguard public from misled by unqualified personnel.

1.3) Review:

1.3.1) There are engineers without Ir., but are qualified in technical experience. Perhaps the Act could be amended to differentiate this group of engineers from recent graduated engineers. The contributions of these experienced engineers toward mentoring and training the recent graduated engineers in technical areas are worth noticing. Also, these experienced engineers surely could perform many “professional engineering services”.

1.3.2) Currently the submitting person is responsible for the submitted plans, design, etc. al., and not the ECP. Perhaps ECP could be made to share responsibility, just like a PE. In my opinion, ECP has an essential role in ensuring the quality of engineering services. This is just another corporate social responsibility.

1.3.3) A variation to the above Item 1.3.2 is a suggestion for the rules to state that the submitting body (person or company) be the entity named by the Client in the Agreement as the Consulting Engineer. If this is an individual, said individual should undertake all submissions in compliance with the ACT; if on the other hand the service provider in the Agreement is an ECP, then the ECP should undertake the submission, not a staff of the ECP in his individual capacity. Who can represent and be held responsible for the ECP should also be clearly spelt out. Incidentally, this suggestion is somewhat inline with "Universal Declaration of Engineers' Rights" by Walter L. Elden, i.e.” ... Further, as nearly all Professional Engineer licensing laws provide that there is an "industry exemption" from those laws, employee engineers engaged in industry have no recourse to these regulatory bodies either when their employment is threatened as they attempt to "protect the public", in opposition to some wish or dictate from their employer to the contrary....”.

1.3.4) The Clause implies that any of the listed “professional engineering services” should be signed on handover by a PE. This means, say, a resident engineer representing ECP on site must be a PE because only then he can perform “professional engineering services”, and sign and submit as-built plans to the ECP on completion of works (as he is employed by the ECP). The ECP will subsequently engage another staff (a PE) to submit the plans to the Authority (as very often the resident engineer is not the first or original submitting person). Is this the correct interpretation? If yes, it also implies that as-built plans must be submitted by more than one qualified person, namely, M&E PE to submit M&E as-built plans and C&S PE to submit C&S as-built plans. Item is further complicated by various sub-disciplines that the PE is qualified. E.g. a resident engineer may be a qualified structural PE, but not necessary qualified geotechnical PE or drainage PE or highway PE.

1.3.5) The liability for the submission should not be carried indefinitely but for a stipulated duration, say 10 years.

1.3.6) Submitting person is normally fully responsible for the plans submitted to Authorities. In today’s practice, contractors often propose alternate design to the original design that has been submitted. Currently, if the alternate design is accepted either “at-will” or being “coerced into accepting” by the first original design engineer, the first design engineer will have to take a huge responsibility. Because of this and other commercial reasons, the first design engineer and the second alternate design engineer often spend quite a bit of time in resolving the acceptance. Sometimes, the second design engineer is overly simplified and optimistic (and occasionally overly commercial), while the first design engineer could be conservative and unreasonably demanding on the second design engineer. The Client often has to mediate between the two and it is not always easy to find an agreement (especially if the Client is not technical incline). I propose second design engineer ought to take full responsibility of the alternate design and be allowed to re-submit to Authority, and hence discharge the first design engineer of his duty.

2) Clause 9: Registered Engineers, etc., subject to this Act.

2.1) Interpretation:

2.1.1) Who is bound by the Act?

2.1.2) All registered engineers and ECP must comply with this Act.

2.1.3) The Act stipulates who is permitted to provide “professional engineering
services”; they are essentially those who are registered with the Board and thereby required to comply with the provisions of the Act. The exceptions to this are those listed in Clause 8 (4)(a) to (4)(d).

2.2) Intent:

2.2.1) To regulate engineers and ECP.

2.3) Review:

2.3.1) Consequences for unqualified personnel or ECP submitting plans and providing professional engineering services are stipulated in Clause 24. However, bringing public awareness on the matter, policing and enforcement machinery and procedure of enforcement on non-engineers (or companies engaging engineers) are silent. Perhaps the revised Act could improve on this.

2.3.2) Interesting question that needs to be answered is whether the Act enables criminal proceedings to be brought against those (engineers or non-engineers) unregistered with the Board (and not in the list mentioned in Clause 8 (4)) who have provided “professional engineering services” in Malaysia. If so who initiates actions.

2.3.3) Hypothetically, an engineer recently graduated from University and currently practicing engineering, but does not registered with the Board. What will happen next? Does the Act entrust the Board to take actions and stop the engineer from continuing the service?

2.3.4) Another scenario. Say a sale person is promoting an engineering product. In the process of promoting sales, the sale person extends additional service to the potential purchaser. The sale person advises the purchaser on the usage of the product from the engineering perspective and claiming performance of the product in resolving issues at hand. However, the sale person is not a qualified engineer and does not register with Board. Does the Act entrust the Board to take actions and regulate the engineering service?

3) Clause 10: Qualifications for registration.

3.1) Interpretation:

3.1.1) Who is qualified to register with the Board?

3.1.2) Briefly, Graduate Member of IEM or person with the recognized qualification may register with the Board.

3.1.3) Who is qualified to register as PE?

3.1.4) Person who complies with the requirements of the Board and passes the professional assessment examination or a Corporate Member of IEM.

3.2) Intent:

3.2.1) To regulate engineers (with or without Ir.) and ECP.

3.3) Review:

3.3.1) In between Graduate Engineer and PE, perhaps there should be another group of engineers, namely those who have graduated many years and have adequate technical experience but no Ir. (See Item 1.3.1 above).

3.3.2) Person who is holding a position carrying the title “engineer” perhaps should be registered with Board (e.g. sale engineer). This is to ensure the word “engineer” is used in appropriate context. Likewise, all graduate engineers ought to register with the Board.

4) Clause 10A: Registration of Temporary Engineers.

4.1) Interpretation:

4.1.1) Can foreign engineers register with the Board?

4.1.2) Foreign engineers with the necessary qualification and reside in Malaysia for not less than 180 days may registered as Temporary Engineers and perform the function of PE.

4.2) Intent:

4.2.1) To regulate foreign engineers.

4.3) Review:

4.3.1) As worded in Clause 2(a), it implies that a foreign engineer becomes eligible for consideration if “he possesses the necessary qualification which is recognized for the practice of engineering as a professional engineer in the country where he normally practices”. Therefore the person need not be currently registered in his country to practice (he may have allowed his registration to lapse, or perhaps have had his registration revoked temporarily or otherwise for one reason or another). it could be any country, regardless of whether Malaysia recognizes their standards for licensing professional engineers.

4.3.2) A suggestion for alternative wording on Clause 2(a): “he holds a current registration for the practice of engineering as a professional engineer in a country in the Board’s list of approved countries.”

4.3.3) Clause 2(b) excludes a resident representative of a local based foreign company from providing “professional engineering services” unless the foreign company is in a joint venture with a local company? Is this by design?

4.3.4) Can the Board (or any other body) impose and enforce the Act on a Temporary Engineer who has submitted plans, design, and etc. al. or perform engineering services and left the country (or after their temporary registration has lapsed, especially since it would seem from Clause 15 (1), that Board can only take action against engineers registered with it)? Legal help may be necessary to clarify this and tighten loose ends, should there be any.

4.3.5) Incidentally, concern described in Item 4.3.4 also applies to local engineers, who have retired or decided to discontinue with their Board’s registration (like if they suspect some very drastic action could be pending).

5) Clause 10B: Registration of Accredited Checker

5.1) Interpretation:

5.1.1) Who is qualified to register as Accredited Checker?

5.1.2) A person with a recognized standing in the profession may be registered as
Accredited Checker.

5.2) Intent:

5.2.1) To regulate the Accredited Checkers.

5.2.2) To ensure Accredited Checker could perform their function to predetermined standards.

5.3) Review:

5.3.1) It would seem from 10B (1)(b) that the services of Accredited Checkers are only anticipated for review of structural works, particularly with respect to “design and construction of buildings”. What about infrastructure and geotechnical works or for that matter for disciplines other than civil? Even if the present intention is have accredited checking only for limited applications, why be restrictive in the Act. Why not allow now for future expansion of the scope for Accredited Checkers, as and if the need arises? Suggest wording as follows for 10B (1)(b): “he has at least 10 years practical experience satisfactory to the Board in the relevant branch and discipline of engineering.”

5.3.2) The scope for accredited checkers is not clear and needs to be explained. Elaboration of Clause 10B (2) is necessary.