We refer to the Article dated 18th March 2018 by the Chief Registrar of Federal Court of Malaya concerning the E-Lelong published by the Sun Daily .
1) According to Federal Court Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar, he claimed that the e-Lelong System was launched on a pioneer basis and four engagement sessions had been held and attended by Mustafa as president of the Malaysian Auctioneers Council.
While it is true that four engagements sessions were held, NONE of the views of the Auctioneers were taken into consideration. Weaknesses of the Online Platform being addressed and the role of auctioneers for the system were NOT taken into consideration at all. There had also been questions raised to protect the defendants where before the fall of the hammer, any defendant have the right to stop such an auction. This can never be done in an E-Lelong system. There are also so many other weaknesses we addressed in the e-lelong system which can greatly be mitigated via a hybrid system or other alternatives.
2) Latifah said the PKPMP had always recognised the assistance provided by the licensed auctioneers which had helped the court previously but in line with the modernisation of the digital technology, the implementation of the e-Lelong System was a necessity in the interest of the people as a whole.
While it is true that the e-Lelong system is a beneficial tool to the public, it should be implemented involving auctioneers, not blindside them as a whole. In fact, we understand that the e-Lelong System did not go through a Tender process and there will be an appointed firm to “maintain” and “manage” the system, which raises many questions of the fairness and equality of the Court in making such a decision. Approximately 2,000 auctioneers may risk losing their jobs, an income easily averaging from RM80 Million Ringgit to RM100 Million Ringgit (estimate RM40-50k per annum per auctioneer) will be “maintained” and “managed” by a Service Provider without involving the auctioneers. This had been the key point of Majlis Pelelong Malaysia raising this issue why isn’t the Majlis Pelelong Malaysia that represents all licensed auctioneers in Malaysia be given the mandate to Maintain and Manage the e-Lelong, but instead giving it to a private firm? The Court may come and defend it saying that it is under the purview of the Courts, and that the system is only being “maintained” by a private company which we think is a disguise to curtain the amount of profits by monopoly.
3) Auctioneers are fully Capable in developing the Online Auction System
One of the forerunners of online auctions, Ng Chan Mau had developed a complete and fully usable Hybrid Auction system, but all these are neglected and blindsided by the Courts. Auctioneers were blindsided and called “a thing of the past” and that it is a process of disruption. However, we had the utmost capability and ability to develop such a system, if such opportunity were granted to us in the first place.
Auctioneers had been in service as early as 1920’s and we may see an end to 2,000 families as they struggle to make ends meet. Distribution of income should be fair. The RM80 million to RM100 million ringgit will be siphoned off the market to certain parties and this is certainly something the public should be aware of. The elections are near. Political parties should take necessary steps to really ensure that decent and just public policy is being implemented.
This views is a personal view of a licensed auctioneer and you may email us at email@example.com for any feedback and comment.