Mediate to settle company disputes

TRADE and industry players are urged to choose mediation over other avenues of resolving contractual disputes.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (pic) said in embracing the new normal together with the new paradigm, issues should be mediated and not litigated whenever possible.

“There are many advantages of mediation as they are cost-effective, preserve relationships and goodwill, control outcomes and secure better privacy without the publicity of court proceedings.

“Compliance can still be achieved through properly drafted mediation agreements that are enforceable under Mediation Act 2012.

“I encourage business communities through their respective trade bodies or associations to set up their own in-house panel of mediators to help resolve disputes, ” he said during a livestream webinar hosted by Council of Justices of Peace (JP) recently.

Chow explained that the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic was unprecedented, creating social, legal and economic challenges to the community.

“To cushion the legal impact, Parliament has introduced Covid-19 Bill 2020 to provide temporary measures which include the amendment of certain Acts to ease parties who are unable to fulfil their contractual obligations.

“There is a clause for mediation in the Bill, which in Section 9, provides that any dispute arising therein may be settled through mediation, ” he said.

Other speakers who joined the webinar were JP Mediation Bureau chairman Datuk Ong Seng Huat, legal advisors Lim Hock Siang and T. Tharuma, who is also Penang Bar Committee past president, and the bureau’s committee member Ting Chek Choon.

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