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JOB APPLICATION AS CIVIL ENGINEER

Engineers play an integral role in the development of the nation as the outputs producedby them interest the
members of society at large. These products are apparently notlimited to building and physical infrastructure like
bridges, highways and airports, butalso other engineering-related products in the areas of automotive, oil and gas,
etc.Therefore, an engineer, as a professional, has a responsibility to their client or employer,to their profession, and
to the general public, to perform their duties in as conscientious amanner as possible in sustaining the society as
well as the environment. Obtaining flyingcolours engineering degree is meaningless without upholding the
practices of ethics andmorale in the profession as an engineer as professional ethics is one of the most important
concerns in today’s world. An eng
ineer must entail far more than just acting within thebounds of law. An ethical engineer is one who avoids conflicts
of interest, does notattempt to misrepresent their knowledge so as to accept jobs outside their area of expertise, acts
in the best interests of society and the environment, fulfills the terms of their contracts or agreements in a thorough
and professional manner, and promotes theeducation of young engineers within their field.Nevertheless,
handsome amount of money incurred while dealing with the procurementof engineering

related products which exposes the engineers with the possibility of bribery and unethical practices. Failures in
engineering ethics lead to many legalconsequences despite the failure in the engineering products alone. In
Malaysia, there arevarious cases related to the unethical engineering practices for example the collapse of Highland
Towers in 1993, MRR2 flyover cracks in 2002, fungi hit Sultan Ismail

Specialist

Hospital

in 2004 and Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin

Stadium roof collapse in2009. These failures lead to bad perceptions by the members of the public that
theengineers are less honest, less trustworthy, and more materialistic thus become prone tobribery. Therefore, it is
important for an engineer to halt this impression from persistingby undertaking the following action:a)

adhere to the current rules and ordersIt is an expectation by the profession that every engineer should comprehend
thecurrently available rules and order related to their engineering professional forinstance the Registration of
Engineers Act 1967 (Act 138). Section 15 of this actspecifies that if an engineer offers or accepts any commission
while carrying outhis/her responsibility as an engineer, he/she will be issued with a written warning orreprimand,
fined not exceeding RM50,000, suspended from the registration of aProfessional Engineer for a period not
exceeding 2 years or cancelled from beingregistered as a Professional Engineer. Therefore, it is crucial for an
engineer to avoidany unethical conduct and uphold the integrity of the profession.On the other hand, there are other
acts related to the code of conducts of an engineerwhich include the Occupational Safety and Health Act, as well
as Factories andMachinery Act 1967 (Act 139) which can be used as the pillars in ensuring that theengineers
perform their work ethically by adhering the current laws and orders.b)

Performing responsibilities and accountability based on procedures

An engineer should perform their works based on a correct set of work procedures forexamples as outlined in the
Standing Order Procedure (SOP) or Work Flow Chart thatcan be used as the guidance in performing works.
These practices encourage theengineer to perform their work ethically without involving themselves in the
practiceof bribery.c)
JOB APPLICATION AS CIVIL ENGINEER

Transparent and fair evaluationTransparency is important in an engineer profession. An engineer who involves in
theprocurement of a product as a technical expert should precisely understand the tenderdocument and its
specification needed throughout the procurement process. Inaddition, fair evaluation should be done on every
tendered product and if any heshould propose the most suitable product that benefits the end-user the most as
anengineer is capable of making and acting on an informed decision in situations thatthe general public cannot,
because they have not received the relevant training like anengineer has. On the other hand, the client or the end-
user places trust in theprofessional of engineer that the product or service provided will be of benefit tothem thus it
is unfair to them if the engineer uses his authority and power to exploitthem. Thus it is important for an engineer to
maintain the public’s or client’s trust inthe profession when they will continue to seek for an
engineer’s service.
Throughthese transparency and fair evaluation, the engineer can prevent the activity of gifts,hospitality, bribes or
inducement which goes against the professional code of ethics inapproving a tender.d)

Avoid conflict of interestAn engineer should avoid the conflict of interest such as favoritism based on
personalbiases as well as influencing others decision that will yield personal gain. For instance,as a head of a
technical group, an engineer should not mislead or using his power asthe head in influencing other members in
selecting a particular product for hispersonal gain except approved by the BEM or the client.e) Carry out spot
check An engineer can carry out a spot check at premises where a project is operated toknow the exact condition
and progress of the project. Spot check can be done on thematerials used, work procedures and tools available and
used in the project inensuring the quality of the end-product which is within the expectation of the client orend-
user.f) Check and balanceAn engineer should allow his works being audited by a third party who is also
andengineer who has the same expertise as the assessee. Any comment received from theassessor should be
accepted in an open heart by the engineer in improving hisprofession development.g) Decision made on
engineering problems via expert committee

An engineer, if possible, should make a decision on a project via an appointed expertcommittee so that the decision
made is not influenced by favoritism and personalbiases due to conflict of interest.h) Ensure that sub-standard
materials are not usedIn ensuring the authenticity of materials used in a project, an engineer should keep asample
of material from the supplier for testing in avoiding sub-standard material.i)
Practise “Zero Tolerance” principles against bribery
An engineer should report unethical practices of accepting gifts, hospitality, bribes orinducement to the
appropriate funding or regulatory bodies for instance MalaysianAnti Corruption Commission (SPRM) or to the
public if any sign of unethicalpractice is found in the project or the engineering process. j) Be more
competentAn engineer can improve their competency by actively participating in engineering-related
organization like Institute of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) and involving theactivities conducted like seminar,
visit/trip, discussion, dialogue and meeting. Byengaging themselves in these activities, an engineer is exposed to
information,knowledge, experience and idea sharing which make an engineer more competent inavoiding the
unethical practices.k) Reinforce a company share valueBy creating a ownership sentiment via a company share
value, an engineer willperceive that this company value is established to only trying to solve the currentethical
value that occurred within the company/organization but also trying to outlinea clear guideline on how they should
do and response when such matters happenedlike solving the problem from the root and not from the surface only.
On the otherhand, an engineer feels that they are not being forced by the code to act as describedby the code yet
has more freedom and flexibility in practicing the professionalism.Otherwise, as the engineer feels that he is
always being monitored and forced tofollow the rules, he will not volunteer to do so and consequently has not
initiative inpreventing the unethical practices within the company.An engineer plays an important role in
improving the socio-economy of a nation.Therefore, an engineer should possess a highly ethical behaviour so that
JOB APPLICATION AS CIVIL ENGINEER

unethicalpractice of accepting gifts, hospitality, bribes or inducement can be tackled inimproving


the professionalism as an engineer and ultimately developing the nationtowards the Vision 2020.