The Local Government Development (KPKT) minister, Nga Kor Ming, warned architects in Malaysia to avoid undercutting each other on fees for their services.
Architectural fees are a minor component of the overall cost of a project, but the destructive state of affairs in which the architects undercut one another on fees is especially important to solve in the building industry.
"There is a minimum scale of fees for performing your services; you must be fair to each other and avoid undercutting each other on fees," he said in his speech during the Malaysian Institute of Architects' (PAM) 100th Anniversary dinner and awards event last month.
Nga reminded architects to maintain the highest professional standards that reflect the duties assigned to them.
PAM's vice president, Dexter Koh, agreed with Nga, saying that the minister's message is important for architects to avoid undercutting each other for work.
"After the difficult years of the pandemic, we find that everything has increased in price. We must all act with integrity; ultimately, our duty of care is to the public. The fees we receive should be commensurate with our responsibilities and properly remunerate our staff in order to provide a consistent level of service to all our clients," he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, PAM's newly elected president, Abu Zarim Abu Bakar, applauded KPKT's commitment to promote sustainable development through the Green Building Index (GBI) assessment of public housing and other facilities.
He said architects have been encouraged by KPKT to promote better design outputs through architecture design contests for public structures under the ministry's scope.
"Nga highlighted the need for sustainable, green, and modern designs that promote a clean, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle. Many of the projects awarded this year are prime examples of the high quality of work our architects are capable of," he said.
Tan Sri Esa Mohammad, a past president of PAM, hoped that tight collaboration between the ministry and PAM would result in advancements in the building industry while adopting best practises to protect the environment.