Auctioneers in bid to stop e-Lelong system

KUALA LUMPUR: The Council of Auctioneers Malaysia is challenging a decision by the High Court Registrar to implement electronic bidding or e-Lelong in all courts in West Malaysia.

The body representing over 2,000 auctioneers said the system had caused losses to them since it took effect in August, adding that it was also unconstitutional.

Council chairman Mustafa Osman said e-Lelong had deprived them from playing their role as auctioneers.

He said registered auctioneers were given powers under the Auction Sales Enactment 1929 and National Land Code 1965 to conduct public auction under the supervision of the court.

Mustafa said any auction should be conducted transparently, something he said was not the case with the e-Lelong system.

The council also sought for an order to halt all e-Lelong activities pending the disposal of the case in court.

Lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdullah who is representing the group said the registrar’s decision to implement e-Lelong was “illegal”, adding that laws governing auctioneers had not been repealed.

“The court may have ventured into illegal activities on auctions without amending the relevant laws,” he said.

The e-Lelong idea was mooted in 2014 by then chief justice Arifin Zakaria, saying it would better protect buyers.

The pilot project was conducted at the Kuantan Court Complex in July last year.

Former chief justice Raus Sharif had then said that the bidder’s identity would be kept confidential, encouraging more bidders to participate in the public auction.

The system is the first in Malaysia to conduct public auctions online in real time. It is expected to increase the public’s chances of owning fixed assets, especially residential properties at real value without price manipulation.