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An IEM Outreach Programme to G&S Members The Code of Ethics (or the Code of Professional Conduct) ~ The Hallmark of Professionalism; Engineering in Malaysia


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Title: An IEM Outreach Programme to G&S Members The Code of Ethics (or the Code of Professional Conduct) ~ The Hallmark of Professionalism; Engineering in Malaysia

An IEM Outreach Programme to GS MembersThe
Code of Ethics (or the Code of Professional
Conduct) The Hallmark of ProfessionalismEngine
ering in Malaysia
  • By Engr. Rocky H.T. Wong, PEng, FIEM Hon
    FAFEO-ASEAN Engr, Founding Fellow (AAET), Hon.
    Fellow (TEEAM) Chairman IEM pro ETI Bureau,
    Past Chairman ACEM, Past President - FACE, The
    Head Commissioner ASEAN Engineers Register
    (AER) Commission.

  • During the period before independence and
    immediately thereafter, membership of learned
    societies for engineers (including pupil
    engineers), with the ICE, IMechE, IEE, and the
    IEM (after 1959) was the Hallmark of

  • Most Malayan engineers then were in the employ of
    Telecoms (TM), MU (UM) etc.
  • A larger part of the early membership in the IEM
    came from amongst the rank of engineers working
    for the government.
  • The earlier Past Presidents of the IEM were
    usually the Heads of those Government
    Departments and agencies.

To be promoted in government service an
engineer must prove that he is a Professional
Engineer - meaning, he is a M.I.E.M a gold
standard hallmark of professionalism much
respected by peers and allure respect by others.
  • On the other hand, in the private sector, an
    engineer with IEM corporate membership such as
    MIEM or FIEM meant that he had the license to
    practise consulting engineering in the field of
    his engineering discipline.

  • A competitive consulting engineer would endeavour
    to attain corporate fellowship in the IEM and
    additionally, in a UK based engineering learned
    society of his discipline e.g. ICE or IMech or
    IEE, etc. and would have earned him the CEng

  • However, membership in the IEM (before the
    existence of BEM) entitled the engineer to
    pre-fix his name the appellation Ir. a
    qualified practitioner of engineering equivalent
    to the status of C.Eng.

The CodeofPractice
To qualify for membership in the IEM meant and
continue to mean, that a person conforms to a
Code of Practice defined by what follows-
The Engineers Code of Practice of five (5)
  • 1. Accreditation Procedure an engineering
    education programme and IHL audit process of
    qualifications for the purpose of membership
    entry consideration.

  • Code of Ethics (or Code of Professional Conduct)
  • Professional Interview (PI) for the purpose of
    admission into Corporate Membership by way of
    peer-based assessment which includes the

  • Actual face-to-face interview
  • Part A Written Exam on training and experience
    gained during the prescribed pupilage or PDP
  • Part B another written exam on the proper order
    of action required of a professional engineer, in
    situations that may result in a conflict between
    an Engineers self interest and his duty to
    others i.e. his COE .

Life long learning to keep obsolescence at bay
(now known as CPD) as per the objectives of the
IEM, i.e .. to promote and advance the science
and profession of all aspects of engineering.
  • Public Interest driven science, engineering
    technology (SET) centric design codes and
    standards, addressing the essential requirements
    of safety, health and the welfare of the
    community and the environment overall.

The Registration of Engineers Act, 1967 - the REA
  • The Registration of Engineers Act was passed by
    Parliament in 1967 but was only implemented on 23
    August 1972 when the Board of Engineers, Malaysia
    (BEM) was operationalised.

BEM registers ALL-
  • Professional Engineers,
  • Graduate Engineers, and
  • Foreign (Temporary) Engineers.

The REA 67 over 41 years, has been amended 6
  • The first two minor amendments of 1972 (Act A132)
    and 1973 (Act A173) for orperationalising the
  • Amendments in 1974 (Act 218) gave rise to the
    much talked about Clause 7A Body Corporate
    which may practise as consulting engineers
    hitherto was only restricted to the natural
    persons. And the power of the President of the
    BEM was further boosted!

  • Amendments in 1987 (Act A662) introduced the
    temporary registration as a Professional
    Engineer of any foreign engineer and making the
    Act explicit in the restriction on employment of
    unregistered person as an Engineer No person
    shall employ as an Engineer any person who is not
    registered under this Act.

  • Amendments in 2002 (Act A1158) introduced the
    term Engineering Consultancy Practice (ECP)
    under the amended Clause 7A . a sole
    proprietorship, partnership or body corporate may
    practise as an Engineering Consultancy Practice
    and recover in any court any fee remuneration or
    other form of consideration for any professional
    engineering services rendered...

  • New clause 7B permits a body corporate ECP in
    providing combined engineering and architectural
    consultancy services, together with quantity
    surveying services. It deals with details
    concerning the Board of Directors, and permitted
    percentages of equity by the various parties.

  • Act A1158 created the perception that there are
    two categories of P.Engs, viz the original
    category P.Eng having the inherent right to
    practise and the newly defined ECP P.Eng.
  • A new Clause 10B deals with the registration of
    Accredited Checkers who have proven practical
    experiences in the design and construction of
    buildings as defined in the Streets, Drainage and
    Building Act 1974 (Act 133).

  • The latest amendments passed as Act A1288 early
    last year (i.e 2007) aligns the REA with the
    introduction of the C.C.C. policy (implemented on
    12 April 2007). The issuance of the Certificate
    of Completion and Compliance was launched by the
    PM on 13 April 2007.
  • The C.C.C. replaces the Certificate of Fitness
    for Occupation (CFO) previously issued by Local

  • A new Part IIIA on Disciplinary Committee has
    been introduced. The intention of this is to
    provide the necessary confidence among the public
    that when ECP P.Engs as submitting persons
    signed off the CCC they do so professionally,
    after due care and diligence.

  • The BEM is the domestic Regulator of the practice
    of engineering in Malaysia. In the context of
    the ASEAN MRA on Engineering Services, the BEM is
    Malaysias designated Professional Regulatory
    Authority i.e. PRA for Engineering Services.

  • An Engineer can only be a Registered Engineer
    with the BEM and NOT call oneself a member of
    the BEM.
  • Whereas the same engineer when he joins the IEM
    becomes a Member and .. shall be entitled to
    the use of the title Engr. placed before
    (his/her) name.

  • The REA 67 provides for the BEM to work closely
    with the IEM vis-à-vis the Engineers Code of
    Practice in most aspects.

  • In the early days of the BEM and before the
    coming into force of the Registration of
    Engineers Regulation 1990 to be registered a
    Professional Engineer, the engineer must first
    have been accepted into the IEM as a Corporate

  • Even with the introduction of the BEMs
    Professional Assessment Examination (PAE), the
    equivalence of IEM Corporate Membership with
    P.Eng status has been maintained.
  • Section 10(2)(i)(b) says Quote- Subject to this
    Act, the following persons shall be entitled on
    application to be registered as Professional
    Engineers. Any person who has passed a PAE
    conducted by BEM, or is a Corporate Member of the
    IEM Unquote.

  • Section 7(i)(aa)(iii) of the REA 67, on the
    issue of Restriction on unregistered persons,
    Graduate Engineers etc, says Quote No person
    shall, unless he is a Professional Engineer be
    certified to describe himself or hold himself out
    under any name, style or title using the
    abbreviation Ir. before his name or the
    abbreviation P.Eng after his name or in any way
    in association with his name. Unquote.

  • Registration with the BEM is renewed annually a
    valid license to practise the rights of the
    natural person whos a registered professional
    engineer having the title Ir., and to use the
    stamp as prescribed in the Second Schedule of the

The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (The IEM)-
  • The governance, management and administration of
    the IEM is by way of its Constitution, its
    Bylaws and its Regulations on Professional
  • The encapsulation of what is IEM is by way of
    the IEMs Vision, Mission, Functions and
    Objectives, reproduced as follows-

Mission, Functions and Objectives
  • The Institution of Engineers, Malaysia aims to be
    the premier professional organization pivotal to
    Malaysia achieving Vision 2020.

  • IEM shall promote sound professional engineering
    practice in support of the socio-economic
    development objectives of the nation.
  • IEM shall service the needs and interests of its
    members and the public and uphold the social
    standing and image of the engineering profession.
  • IEM shall contribute towards nation building and
    shall strive to enhance societys consciousness
    of science, engineering and technology.

  • IEM is a society established to promote and
    advance the Science and Profession of Engineering
    in any or all its disciplines and to facilitate
    the exchange of information and ideas related to

  • The objectives of The Institution as set out in
    the Constitution shall include the following-
  • to uphold meetings, exhibitions and visits, and
    such other activities as The Institution may deem
    incidental or conducive to the promotion or
    attainment of the profession of engineering
  • to raise the character and status and advance the
    interests of the profession of engineering and
    those engaged therein

  • to promote honorable practice, and professional
    etiquette among members of The Institution
  • to communicate to members information on all
    matters affecting the profession of engineering
    and to print, publish, issue and circulate such
    publications as may seem conducive to any of the
    objectives of The Institution
  • to do such other things as The Institution may
    think incidental or conducive to the attainment
    of the objectives of The Institution.

Membership in the IEM-
  • Corporate membership in the IEM, viz. MIEM and
    more so FIEM (in due course), is the measure for
    peer acceptance of professional standing and it
    further represents the time honoured public
    recognition hallmark of ethical professional

The IEM welcomes engineers to become Corporate
Members and hence attain the status of
Professional Engineer, those who are
  • Ethical,
  • Competent,
  • Intellectual,
  • Mature, and
  • Responsible.

They shall prove to their peers that they are
qualified to be M.I.E.M, because they are-
  • able to analyse and solve engineering problems by
    the application of science, engineering and
    technological knowledge
  • experienced and have the skills for good
    management and communications
  • able to perform design, or able to integrate
    systems, and have relevant site experience
  • confident and mature to assume responsibilities.

IEM membership generally consists of Engineers
  • Those who are engineering students who will one
    day graduate as Engineers
  • Graduates enroute to be Corporate members in due
  • Corporate Members who form the greater part of
    the membership strength.

Besides engineers, IEM offers membership to other
engineering services professionals, such as-
  • Incorporated Member
  • Affiliate Member and
  • Associate Member.

  • The aforesaid exemplifies the IEMs perspective
    how about the aspect from the BEM? Registration
    of an engineer with the BEM equates to legal
    recognition of qualification(s) and a BEM license
    to practise as an ECP provides the benchmark for
    QA professional services meeting the expectations
    of public interest. Only ECPs qualify to be
    UBBL defined Submitting Persons empowered to
    signing off the various forms aggregating to a
    project specific CCC.

The Engineers Code of Ethics (COE)
Why is the Code of Ethics important to engineers?
  • It is a HALLMARK of Professionalism
  • A BASIC qualifying requirement
  • An EDGE in competition
  • Ultimate BENEFIT of the profession.

  • Adhering to the Code of Ethics, the engineering
    profession will benefit in promoting its
    reputation, credibility and respect. The result
    the engineering profession will maintain its
    attractiveness as a rewarding and respectable

The Engineers Code of Ethics is a constellation
of noble ideals binding the following into a
virtuous paradigm of what a Professional Engineer
and his upright bearing should be-
  • The Profession An Engineer shall at all times
    uphold the dignity, standing and reputation of
    the profession by his behaviour, actions and

  • With Colleagues An Engineer shall not
    maliciously or recklessly harm or attempt to harm
    whether directly or otherwise the professional
    reputation of another engineer, but shall however
    foster the reputation of colleagues for the
    advancement of the profession.

  • Towards Employers and Clients An Engineer shall
    serve employers and clients with honesty, loyalty
    and integrity in conforming to the highest
    standards expected of their respective community.

  • The Public An Engineer in providing his services
    shall at all times be governed by the paramount
    interest of the public, in particular their
    welfare, health, safety and environment.

  • Oneself An Engineer shall maintain and enhance
    his health and competency in subscribing to self
    and continuing professional development.

The BEMs Code of Professional Conduct (COPC)
  • The BEMs Code of Professional Conduct governing
    every registered Engineer is detailed out in the
    Part IV of the Registration of Engineers
    Regulations 1990 (Revised 2003) which came into
    force 10th November 2003.

The IEM Regulation on Professional Conduct
  • Article 2.18 of the IEM Constitution states that
    Quote Every member shall so conduct himself as
    to uphold the dignity, standing and reputation of
    the profession. He shall be bound by the
    Regulation on Professional Conduct. Unquote.

Then, in the IEM Bylaws, we have Bylaws 9.2, 9.3
and 9.6 which also deal with the professional
conduct of members, and the formal set of
Regulation of Professional Conduct which has
been made by the IEM Council under the provision
of Section IX of the IEM Bylaws.
  • What are the differences among COE, COPC and

  • The Engineers Code of Ethics represents the
    collective stance and the shared conviction of
    the Fraternity of Engineers.
  • The sanctity of the Code amounts to a Honour
    Pledge which when breached brings shame and
    dishonour to both the transgressor and the
  • There is no legal enforcement only self-respect
    and self esteem, and the chosen inviolable value
    of life for someone belonging to a noble
  • If we dont respect ourselves, who would, - that
    is the point and the bottom-line.

  • The BEMs Code of Professional Conduct represents
    the Law and when broken, investigation and
    disciplinary processes follow akin to the legal
    procedures of the Court. Should the respondent
    registered engineer be found to have indeed
    broken the law, his act unbecoming of a
    registered engineeer will be criminalized!

  • The IEMs Regulation on Professional Conduct is a
    consensus among members, which will be reviewed
    periodically and made relevant. Enforcement is
    by way of peer-judgement followed by a complaint
    in writing.

  • Should the prescribed peer-judgement be taken to
    its logical conclusion, and the complaint
    substantiated, the member may be expelled
    perhaps reprimanded or fined otherwise
    expulsion. There is a long list of what may
    follow - but by then, the adjudged member would
    have resigned!

  • Conclusion cliché as it may, a professional
    engineer inspired by the Engineers Code of
    Practice, and believes without reservation the
    Engineers Code of Ethics, abides by the BEMs
    Code of Professional Conduct, and subscribes to
    the IEMs Regulation on Professional Conduct as
    an active IEM Corporate Member this Engineer
    would have attained the Hallmark of