Society calls for special law to address disputes during MCO


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 09 Apr 2020

KOTA KINABALU: There should be a law to address legal issues that are likely to arise from breach of contract during the current movement control order (MCO), says Sabah Law Society (SLS).

“Although litigation is ordinarily commonplace in any healthy economy, the SLS is of the view that at this critical juncture, the time and resources spent in resolving such disputes would be better invested in rebuilding the nation’s economy rather than potential protracted litigation,” said society president Roger Chin.

The law body is suggesting that a Covid Measures Act (CMA) be tabled either in Parliament or state assemblies. SLS foresees a sharp increase in litigation concerning issues surrounding the MCO and the failure of parties to fulfil their obligations.

“Every single breach of obligation related to Covid-19 or the MCO which cannot be resolved amicably is potentially a lawsuit that can take years and thousands of ringgit to resolve.“This is not only detrimental to the individuals involved, but will also increase the uncertainty in the economy as parties will not know for sure where they stand until the litigation is finally resolved,” he said.

Among the provisions the SLS suggested were for extension time of obligations under contract during the MCO period as well as the formation of a panel that has exclusive jurisdiction to expeditiously decide on all issues.

The decision of the CMA panel shall be final and binding on the parties and not subject to appeal or judicial review, in the absence of corruption, fraud or similar events, Chin suggested.

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