Property
Online auctions likely to face connectivity woes
Laura Lee | 15 Apr 2016 00:30
With e-bidding for property auctions set to start in July, many industry players see poor Internet connectivity as a key concern that could jam up online bids. The Akamai Technologies, Inc’s fourth quarter 2015 statistics on the state of the Internet in Malaysia show that despite the relatively high Internet traffic, our average connection speed of 5.2 megabits per second (mbps) is much slower than Singapore (13.9 mbps) and Indonesia (9.3 mbps). “We have one of the worst Internet services and lowest bandwidths among the countries in Asia Pacific,” Malaysian Bidders Association president Shanmughananthan Jeevan tells FocusM. He reckons about 30-40% of the public who are not tech-savvy will be deterred from bidding online for properties. Besides reducing the number of bidders for auction properties, he feels that e-bidding will also deprive certain parties of fair competition. The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) vice-president Lim Boon Ping and Penang Auctioneers Association chairman Stephen Soon both agree with Shanmughananthan that one of the biggest issues that could hamper e-bidding is Internet connectivity. Malaysia has some 21 million Internet users and 9.7 million non-users, according to www.internetlivestats.com. There has been no further details on how the e-bidding system will work after Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria announced on Jan 8 that e-bidding for property auctions will be implemented in Peninsular Malaysia. Some property players are understandably concerned about the lack of information on the matter.

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