Malaysia plans to play a major role as an arbitration centre under the Belt Road initiative

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia plans to play a major role as an arbitration centre under the recently launched One Belt, One Road initiative by China.

Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) director Datuk Prof Sundra Rajoo said he briefed the highest law and policy making body in China on the KLRCA rules.

“They are now looking into the proposals that we have made before making a decision. There may be some changes but we will have to wait and see.

“We used the United Nations arbitration and trade rules as guidelines. This is because laws of some countries are based on civil laws whilst others on common law.

“The UN rules seem to meet the requirements of both sides and are widely accepted,” he said.

Sundra said Malaysia wants to be in the forefront of the One Belt, One Road initiative because it will be a big game changer for the region.

He pointed out that the initiative is a development plan but disputes may arise between different parties and Malaysia must be ready to help sole the problems.
Giving an example of a dispute between Vietnamese and Chinese contractors, he said they can turn to us for arbitration.

“KLRCA has been redefining alternative dispute resolution and we have dealt with 850 cases since Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 (CIPAA) came into force.

“This year we expect to deal with about 600 cases and most people prefer using our service because their dispute is resolved within 100 days,” Sundra told reporters after the launch of the Kuala Lumpur International Arbitration week 2007 and KLRCA 2017 Arbitration.

Also present at the launch was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, who in her speech said the government was planning to revamp the KLRCA.

“We plan to rename KLRCA as the Asian International Arbitration Centre (Malaysia) and a pro-tem committee will be set up to lead this initiative,” she said.

She said part of this will require amendments to the Arbitration Act 2005 to include more current and international changes to make Malaysia an international hub.