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Happenings around CEA

New CEA committee members appointed

The CEA Council has appointed new members to CEA's five committees - the Audit Committee, Disciplinary Panel, Human Resource & Finance Committee, Professional Development Committee, and Select Committee. The Committees assist the Council in guiding CEA in pursuit of its mission by providing diverse views and recommendations to tap current and expected opportunities, and meet the challenges in our operating environment.

Members of CEA's committees comprise Council members, professionals, and academicians with strong expertise in the real estate agency and property related sectors, as well as members of the legal profession and media. They will serve a 2-year term from November 2016 to October 2018.

For the Professional Development Committee (PDC) in particular, this is a new committee formed to replace the former Licensing & Practice Committee and Examinations & Professional Development Committee.

Since 2010, CEA has put in place an established regulatory regime and professional development framework. In view of this, the roles of both Committees have been consolidated into the PDC with the objective to further enhance and develop the standards and professionalism of stakeholders in the real estate agency industry.

PDC Chairperson Mr Ng Boon Yew, who is also executive chairman at Raffles Campus Pte Ltd, said that the committee will provide views and advice on the criteria for the initial approval and subsequent renewal of licences of property agencies and registration of agents, including the professional examinations and continuing professional development requirements.

The committee will look into the relevance and equivalency of educational and professional qualifications for licensing and registration purposes, as well as how the existing regulatory framework of property agencies can be enhanced.

Mr Ng thinks that work is cut out for the PDC given the technological disruptions that have emerged and changing consumer trends that will affect the industry.

Generally, the real estate agency industry has seen a downward trend in the number of licensed and registered property agencies and agents over the past three years. This could point to a slight consolidation of the industry due to current property market sentiments. At the same time, there could be a change in demand for real estate agency services given that consumers now have access more online tools and portals to enable them to handle transactions on their own.

At a glance: Figures from the 2017 licensing and registration exercise

Reflecting on this, Mr Ng said, "In the years ahead, the industry would need to transform to remain relevant. The PDC hopes to be an effective platform to contribute views in the transformation process as part of the Government's plan to develop the Industry Transformation Map for the real estate sector."

CEAnergy also spoke with Mr Derrick Wong, who now heads the Disciplinary Panel (DP) that conducts inquiry and decides on disciplinary cases involving property agencies and agents.

Mr Wong said that DP members have gained insights on how property agencies and agents deliver their professional skills and operate their business over the past six years. Members also appreciate the challenges faced by agents in a very competitive environment.

Mr Wong, who is a partner at Derrick Wong and Lim BC LLP, believes that a high standard of integrity and professionalism can be attained through stringent governance and the follow through publicity arising from disciplinary action taken against errant industry players.

He said, "…misconduct and non-compliance to rules of governance cannot be condoned as these compromise the interests of the public. The public will expect the DP to bring to book agents who wilfully offend for the sake of profit and gain."

Moving forward, Mr Wong said that the DP will endeavour to act expeditiously and accelerate the rate of completing cases.

"Delays will not be to anyone's interest; neither is it fair to keep a respondent on edge."

New appointments in CEA management

From left to right: Cheng Hwee, Geck Siang, Kwok Cheong, I-Ling, and Joseph

In February 2017, there were some changes in CEA's management appointments.

Mr Chan Kwok Cheong has been appointed as Director for Investigation & Inspection (DII). Kwok Cheong was previously Deputy Director, Policy & Planning. With this appointment, Mr Chan Mun Kit, Deputy Executive Director, will relinquish his other role of DII.

Succeeding Kwok Cheong is Ms Chia I-Ling, who has assumed the position of Acting Deputy Director, Policy & Planning. I-Ling recently attained her Masters in Public Administration at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Mr Joseph Kiong has taken over from Mr Khor Chor Huat as Acting Deputy Director, Investigation. Chor Huat and Joseph are both pioneer members of CEA's investigation team since our formation in 2010. Chor Huat has stepped down as Deputy Director and will continue to lend his expertise to CEA as Senior Specialist (Investigation).

Ms Chua Geck Siang, formerly Deputy Director for Licensing, has been appointed Deputy Director for Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) to head a dedicated project management office. She will continue CEA's work to streamline our business processes and enhance our customers' experiences.

Replacing Geck Siang as Deputy Director for Licensing is Mr Soh Cheng Hwee. Cheng Hwee joins CEA from the Ministry of National Development where he was previously Deputy Director for Research and Development.

View our organisation chart.

Selected graphics created by Freepik