Sabah Law Society to offer mediation services for Covid-19 related contractual disputes

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Law Society (SLS) has been appointed by the government to provide mediation services under the newly formed Covid-19 Mediation Centre, effective immediately, says Roger Chin.

The SLS president said the initiative, provided through its trained and accredited mediators, is to help resolve disputes if certain contractual obligations cannot be met due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"SLS’ appointment is in line with the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (Covid-19) Act, which came into force on Oct, 23, 2020, and aims to benefit individuals and companies that are economically affected as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The mediation carried out is open to all, with the disputed sum limited to RM300,000 and below, whereby disputing parties can attempt to resolve matters without involving a court hearing," he said in a statement on Thursday (Nov 26).

Chin said for those who qualify, essentially the B40 and M40 groups, the government will subsidise the cost of the mediation.

"Disputes arising from the following contracts and open to be mediated upon, include construction work contracts or construction consulting contracts and any other contracts relating to the supply of materials, equipment or construction workers.

"It also covers performance bonds, or the equivalent issued pursuant to a construction contract or supply contract, and professional services contract," he elaborated.

Other disputes covered include lease or rental of non-residential immovable property and event contracts for the provision of any venue, accommodation, facilities, transportation, entertainment, catering or other goods or services (including any business meetings, incentive trips, conferences, exhibitions, sales events, concerts, shows, weddings, parties or other social gatherings or sporting events).

"The mediation services also cover contracts by a tourism enterprise; and contracts relating to religious pilgrimages," added Chin.

He said to meet the expected increase in demand for qualified mediators, SLS will be conducting further mediation training courses to bolster its ranks of qualified mediators.

"Public members can go to the official website for further information on the services provided," said Chin.

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