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House Buyers Must Hire Their Own Lawyers, Says Kayveas



KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 (Bernama) - The Government plans to review the present system to allow house buyers to hire their own lawyers instead of relying on housing developers' panel of lawyers.

The Deputy Minister in Prime Minister's Department, Datuk M. Kayveas, said the move was important as the Government had received numerous complaints from buyers who were forced to engage developers' or banks' panel of lawyers.

"Out of 10 buyers, nine complain. House buyers are forced to use lawyers engaged by the developer and also lawyers engaged by the banks. So the buyer has no choice but to hire the panel lawyer," he said here Monday after a media conference to announce the 2003 Home Ownership Campaign, to be held from Dec 11-14th at the Putra World Trade Centre.

"They want to exercise their right to choose their own lawyers to read and check the agreement. This is a complaint nobody is looking at.

"The Bar Council should be looking into this but they are more interested in looking at who is appointed as judges and who is not being promoted," said Kayveas.

He said the Legal Department in the Prime Minister's Department would look into this issue and forward it to the Cabinet for further action.

Kayveas said developers or banks could not force buyers to use the services of their panel of lawyers and this infringed on the freedom of choice.

"There is no specific law to stop them from hiring their own lawyers and there is no law to force them either.

"The countrys' Constitution provides the right for the consumer to choose any lawyer and it is a violation of the Constitution (to force buyers to hire panel lawyers)," added Kayveas.



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