Saturday, September 28, 2019

'Review fees for loan documents'

The Bar Council said it is high time for banks to review its practice of imposing fees for loan documents. (Image by Pixabay:  For illustration purposes only)

New Straits Times

Banks' practice against the law, a burden to customers, says Bar Council official 

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council said it is high time for banks to review its practice of imposing fees for loan documents.

Bar Council conveyancing practice committee chairman Datuk Roger Tan said the practice was against the law and has a become a burden which consumers could do without.

He said the fee was imposed on the banks’ loan documents, which borrowers sign when taking, for example, a housing loan.

“These documents are largely standardised documents for each bank.

“The bank’s solicitors will typically download the documents from the bank’s website and, after completing the particulars relating to the borrower and the loan, print for the borrower’s signature,” said Tan.

He said banks currently charge a fee for the ‘purchase’ of these documents ranging from RM100 to RM500, even though the cost of printing the documents is borne by the solicitors.

He said that the document fee is usually passed on to the borrowers as part of the solicitor’s charges. However, Tan said that in some cases, solicitors are compelled by the banks to absorb these costs.

“This results in the borrowers having to pay additional costs when taking a loan from a bank and the solicitors getting peanuts for the professional work done especially purchasers of low- and medium-cost and affordable homes.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Who is Roger Tan, the lawyer in Pastor Koh and Amri’s task force?

Senior lawyer Datuk Roger Tan Kor Mee  is one of
the two latest additions to the  special task force probing
the high-profile enforced disappearances of Pastor
Raymond Koh and social activist Amri Che Mat.
— Picture via RTNP.my
Malay Mail
by Ida Lim

KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — Senior lawyer Datuk Roger Tan Kor Mee is one of the two latest additions to the special task force probing the high-profile enforced disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh and social activist Amri Che Mat, but who is he? 

Tan is currently serving as a Bar Council member, but his peers and his long list of achievements can easily attest that his appointment is not mere tokenism for better diversity in the government’s seven-man task force. 

Here’s a quick look by Malay Mail at Tan’s background, based on his law firm’s website and publicly available information: 

Tan, who was born in Yong Peng, Johor and has a law firm in his home state, graduated with a law degree from Queen Mary College, University of London and also holds a master of law from the National University of Singapore.

Trained as a barrister of the UK’s Gray’s Inn, Tan was admitted as a lawyer in peninsular Malaysia in October 1989 and is also qualified to practise as a lawyer in Singapore. 

Throughout his 30-year career, Tan had actively contributed to the legal community, including as Bar Council member for the years 2004 to 2009, during which he was also the webmaster for the Malaysian Bar’s website which he went on to redesign. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Unconscionable for banks to seek refuge behind exclusion clauses

The Star
by Roger Tan 

Protection needed: It is time for the government to introduce a legislation or extend the protection currently given to consumers under  the Consumer Protection act, 1999  to all types of contracts, including financial dealings and transactions, involving, particularly, purchasers and borrowers of a housing  development.
In April 2008, a British couple living in the United Kingdom obtained a loan facility of RM715,487 to finance the purchase of their property in Malaysia. It was a term of the loan facility that the bank would make progressive payments to the developer against certificates of completion issued by the architect at each progress billing.

In March 2014, the developer sent a notice for a progressive payment to the bank, supported by an architect’s certificate.

The bank’s disbursement department then sent several internal emails to its branch to conduct site visit inspection on the property.

The branch did not do anything, and meanwhile, the due date for payment had also expired on March 25, 2014.

Neither did the bank notify the developer nor the couple that a site visit inspection was an additional condition precedent to drawdown.

The bank also did not request for any extension of time to make the payment pending the completion of the site visit.

On April 10, 2015, the developer terminated the sale and purchase agreement (SPA), after about one year from the issuance of the invoice.

The couple then sued the bank for breach of agreement and/or negligence.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Working together for a cleaner world

The Sunday Star 
by Roger Tan


Not wasting time: Pushing for sustainable waste management, the writer (centre) standing beside Ho, who is leading the organising committee of ISWA 2018.
Malaysians still have a lot to learn about solid waste management.

FROM Oct 22 to Oct 24, an important world event, which took place at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, almost went unnoticed by the general public. 

The event was the congregation of the best in the waste management industry at the World Congress of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). Some 1700 over participants from 64 countries took part. 

Four years ago, the Waste Management Association of Malaysia (WMAM), the national member of the ISWA, led by its Chairman, Ho De Leong, had gone to great lengths to bid successfully for this most important annual event of ISWA to be held here. 

Regrettably, when it came to the big day, the Housing and Local Government Minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin was not able to officiate it due to her parliamentary obligations. She was represented by her deputy, Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad. However, the Secretary General of the ministry, Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek, was most supportive by making an effort to be present at several sessions. The Secretary General of the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry Datuk Dr Tan Yew Chong was equally supportive. And what is most gratifying to note is that 99% of the participants who were surveyed said they were most satisfied with our beautiful Malaysia being the destination for this year’s world congress. 

But then again, what is most alarming is Malaysians are generally ignorant about solid waste management. Most will immediately ask what is actually “solid waste”. In simple terms, it is any unwanted material or substance which is required to be disposed of, but does not include sewage, hazardous and radioactive wastes. The most common types are household and commercial solid wastes, that is, solid waste generated from a household or any commercial activity. 

Malaysians too have little knowledge about or regard for generation, collection, transportation, recovery, treatment and disposal of solid waste. This explains why our drains and rivers are always clogged up by solid waste, and every day workers have to clear the litter trapped in floating booms installed in rivers throughout the country in order to prevent and minimise pollution and flood. 

The situation is exacerbated by us generating more waste over the years. Three years ago, Malaysians generated about 19,000 tonnes of solid waste daily (TPD). Today, the figure has reached two-fold, 38,000 TPD. Out of this amount, waste separation and recycling rates only account for 24%. The remaining 76% goes to 160 landfills, of which about 15 of them are sanitary landfills. A sanitary landfill, unlike dumpsites, is a properly engineered landfill where solid waste is safely isolated from the environment with lining materials and designs to prevent leakage of leachate and contamination of groundwater and surrounding soils as well as making it possible for landfill gas to be captured and converted into a renewable energy resource. So, in developed countries, it is quite a common sight for golf courses and public parks to be built and landscaped on sanitary landfills that have been closed.