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About PAM Sabah Chapter
In the Beginning….

In the days before Sabah joined Malaysia in 1963, the practice of architecture was under the Malayan-Singapore Association of Architects. The Association was under the purview and control of architects who were mostly expatriates working in the Public Works Department (now known as Jabatan Kerja Raya). However, when Sabah joined Malaysia in 1963, the Malayan-Singapore Association of Architects was relatively disorganized and unprepared for many issues facing the profession in the early days of Malaysia. Some of the major issues were:

  • Registration of Architects under PAM and the proposed Board of Architects, Malaysia;
  • Registration of Building Draftsman who were in existence long before Malaysia was formed;
  • The Architects Act and Scale of Minimum Fees;
  • Recognised Schools of Architecture and the Part 3 Professional Examination;
  • RIBA Form of Building Contract;
  • Lack of building regulations and town planning guidance.  (GKKS was drafted and TP44 was being by Lands & survey Department and Town Planning Section to guide Local Authorities)
  • Non-Existence of Board control;
  • Professional responsibilities – some registered architect architects under the British were submitting both architectural and structural drawings;
  • Some Local Authorities were allowing engineers to submit architectural and submission plans;
  • Developers Act,
  • Infringement of Engineers doing architectural works; and
  • British Standard verses SIRIM.

To deal with the avalanche of issues and to provide a common body for consultation and communication, the Sabah Association of Architects, headed by Mr. Lawrence Chin was initiated.  The association included all those who were registered under the British.

The Birth of PAM Sabah Chapter…..

In early 1975, Mr. Francis Wong mooted the idea of forming PAM Sabah Chapter, and enlisted the assistance of Mr. Kington Loo in Kuala Lumpur.  Mr. Francis Wong went to KL to attend the Council Meeting to get familiarize with PAM activities, constitutional matters, while Mr. Kington Loo came to explain PAM matter to architects in Sabah.  A protem committee comprising Mr. Raymond Pang, Lawrence Chin, Ng Boh Kien, Aziz Mahfar, Cheng Yu Chung and others was then formed.  The following action plans were initiated:

  • To propose to PAM, KL in a change in the constitutions to allow colonial registered architects to join PAM.  This included George Chin, Billings Leong and Chung Chee Man.  That would bring all practicing architects in Sabah under one roof.  Mr. Francis Wong and Lawrence Chin tabled the proposal in KL and was accepted.
  • To start a PAM drafting school to supply a pool of architectural draftsman and technicians to ease the shortage of technical staff.
  • To ensure all members understood the implications of the Architects Act, and PAM’s role in this Act of Parliament which was instrumental to the establishment of the Board of Architects;
  • To provide a basis for registered building draftsman and their relevant control;
  • To bring in speakers on the subjects of:-

(i)        The impending Developers Act;

(ii)      The Uniform Building Bye-Laws which had been under study for already 10 years;

(iii)     Who should submit what plans;

(iv)     Practice and Building contract matters which were under constant evolution.

  • To initiate communication with the Local Authorities regarding the drafting of the GKKS and “who should submit what Plans”;
  • To bring Part 3 Examination to Sabah instead of candidates having to fly over  to KL;
  • To instill a sense of brotherhood among architects and to prevent any erosion of our status in society and the building industries.

PAM Sabah Chapter was officially registered on 30th October 1976 with Mr. Francis Wong as the founding Chairman.  The office was located at the 2nd floor of a shop lot in Sinsuran Complex, Kota Kinabalu, and was managed by a part time staff.

In 1981, the PAM Drafting School was set up to supply a pool of architectural draftsman and technicians to the profession.  Many architects volunteered as lecturers without pay and some held even donated cash to fund the renovation and rental and all the other activities in the old PAM Centre in Sinsuran. The school continued to train out many capable draftsmen until the downturn in the late 1990s, when the Chapter decided to close the school and leave the training the Sabah Institutes of Arts which was just set up.

In 1986, a full time secretary was employed to cope with the increased demand for better services as a result of the great number of graduates returning to the State.  In 1990, PAM Sabah Chapter moved from its premises at Sinsuran Complex to the Town Padang.  After 8 years, PAM Sabah Chapter was on the move again, and this time, shifted to Block C of Damai Plaza, Phase IV.

Finally in 2000, PAM Sabah Chapter purchased two adjourning units of the 3rd floor, with the PAM Education Fund. The centre was as the “Centre of Excellence”

PAM Sabah Chapter Website….

With the gradual increase in the number of memberships over the years, PAM Sabah Chapter found in increasingly difficult to service all its members efficiently and effectively and effectively, even with the modern invention of the fax machine.  Faxing of information virtually took the whole day and for all the time, not every fax went through.

The information explosion in this digital age had speeded up the pace with which the information is to be handled and transmitted.  The need to set up the PAM Sabah Chapter website was eventually initiated by Ar. Victor Wong during the AGM in 2006/2007.

The EXCO members of 2006/2007 under the chairmanship of Ar. Yong Ming Cheong, gave full backing to Ar. Victor Wong to arrange for the design and commissioning of the PAM Sabah Chapter website, as a centre for information for easy access by its members.

With the PAM Sabah Chapter website, member can then access for information such as news, CPD seminars and social activities quickly can easily.  In do doing, PAM Centre is relieved of the mundane task such as sending faxes, thereby saving time for the more urgent and meaningful work.

With the respective links provided in the PAM Sabah Chapter website, members can also access the LAM and PAM websites for information such as the constitution, code of professional conducts, scale of fees, seminars and even checking one’s own CPD points.  All Local Authorities are listed with their full addresses and contact numbers, fax and email details for easy access by all.

With the many manufacturers being listed, the PAM Sabah Chapter website has become a hugh library and resource centre for building materials and services.

The website was officially launched on 18th August 2007 during its 32nd Annual Dinner held at the Grand Ballroom, Tanjung Aru Resort Hotel.

Article contributed by:
Ar. Prof. Francis Wong &Ar. Victor Wong


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