Petition For Action Against Breaches By Kiegan Chia And DirectHome Pte Ltd
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A lot of salespersons and estate agents have been prosecuted, fined, and suspended for minor breaches such as failing to adhere to advertisement guidelines, not wearing their ID tags etc. Of late, a salesperson from ERA was prosecuted for wrongful advice on CPF usage to pay for government levies. He was suspended for 3 months and fined $2,500. This was publicised openly in CEA’s website.
And then we have Mr Kiegan Chia, major shareholder and sole director of DirectHome Pte Ltd (“DH”), who flouted regulations by misusing CEA’s official logo, and offering cashback through a corporate entity because he himself could not provide cashback as a Real Estate Salesperson(“RES”).
DH has also committed various offences by carrying out unlicensed estate agency work through Kiegan.
Kiegan and DH also made various claims TO THE WHOLE WORLD that the Cashback Scheme was reviewed and declared by relevant authorities to be legally acceptable and lawful. They even went as far as to say that prior to PC 04-18 (CEA Circular), there was never any issue on the legality of the Cashback Scheme.
To RES, the only authority which DH and Kiegan would possibly consult is CEA. CEA’s logo was even used by their White Paper which is published and made available internationally.
The above is clearly a breach of Practice Guidelines on Ethical Advertising PG 2/2011, which prohibits inaccurate, false or misleading offer, proposal, statement, representation, claim or information, and advertisements that infringe any law, specificallylaws against making false claims and misrepresentation.
Kiegan and DH’s breaches have wide-ranging impact and far worse repercussions when compared to the minor breaches by other salespersons which are most of the time “victimless breaches” or those which affect only a single client.
BUT WHY is there no public statement to state unequivocally that action was taken against Kiegan for the misuse of CEA’s official logo in a document which contains false claims; which also evidently misled investors to invest more than $3.2 million dollars in DH?
This suggests or shows to RES and the public that a double standard is in play, and a different and very lenient treatment is accorded to Kiegan who flagrantly breach regulations by misusing CEA’s official logo to back his unlawful Cashback Scheme.
We trust that CEA, as our governing body, will take swift action in this matter in order to maintain its integrity and mandate as our regulator. How can one be expected to be governed by, and also respect an authority which appears to be exercising double standards in dealing with breaches of the law? Any suspicion that CEA approved the Cashback Scheme must also be arrested and nipped at the bud.
We are petitioning for the Council to:
- consider and take into account all facts and evidence made available to CEA, and make a decision on whether to prosecute DH and Kiegan in the event of breaches by them of laws and regulations;
- issue a public statement to address DH’s and Kiegan’s false claims that before PC 04-18 was issued on 12 July 2018, the Cashback Scheme is legal and regular after reviews and constant engagement with relevant authorities.
- issue a public statement to address DH’s and Kiegan’s repeated claims that before PC 04-18 was issued on 12 July 2018, there was never any question on the Cashback Scheme’s validity and lawfulness.
- issue a public statement on what action and when such action was taken against DH and Kiegan for the misuse of the Council’s official logo.
Click here to view the actual letter that has been sent to CEA on DH's offences.
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