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CIPAA Conference 2015
18 Jun 2015

It has been an eventful fifteen months since the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 was enforced on 15th April 2014. With this Act finally in place, affected parties now have a concrete platform to resolve payment disputes under construction contracts for projects carried out in Malaysia.

As of all Acts in their infancy stages, significant developments and updates are constantly forthcoming. Consolidating these developments and ensuring relevant parties are on the ball when it comes to CIPAA 2012 were the main objectives that led to the theme of this year’s conference, ‘Aligning with CIPAA’. It was the first time the conference was held at KLRCA’s new premises, Bangunan Sulaiman. Response was highly encouraging as all available seats in the auditorium were snapped up three days prior to the event.

This conference was the fourth of its kind following the successful inaugural CIPAA Conference back in 24th October 2012 and its follow ups titled ‘Getting Paid: CIPAA Updates’ and ‘CIPAA in Practice’ held in the first half of 2014.

The CIPAA 2015 Conference was officially opened by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Yang Berhormat Puan Hajah Nancy Haji Shukri, and was followed by a comprehensive CIPAA 2012 Status Report by KLRCA’s Director Datuk Professor Sundra Rajoo. Four sessions covering pertinent CIPAA issues and updates made up the core of this year’s conference. Each session consisted of a strong panel line-up of experienced and learned moderators and speakers.

Proceedings for the morning got under way with Datuk Professor Sundra Rajoo taking stage to deliver his welcoming remarks. In expressing his delight of CIPAA 2012’s progress since the Act’s implementation, the director of KLRCA also touched on the importance of continuous improvement, by stating:

“It was an aduous journey form the conception of the CIPA Act, right onto getting it gazetted and eventually implemented. However, it does not stop there. It is an on-going process. As new scenarios appear, additions and amendments eventually follow suit to ensure the Act’s relevance and effectiveness in serving the industry’s best interests are preserved.”

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Hajah Nancy Shukri then took her place on the podium to deliver her keynote address. In echoing her support for the need of all parties to stay tuned with the Act’s latest developments, she said

“The construction industry is evolving rapidly. With significant projects taking off across the country as we step up efforts to realise 2020’s vision of becoming a High Income Advanced Nation, it is important that all stakeholders within the construction industry know their rights and responsibilities. These new projects are set to improve the lives of the Raykat and ensure the sustained growth of the industry itself. Keeping abreast with the latest developments of CIPAA 2012 will go a long way in preserving the timelines and structure of the construction industry.” 

As the Minister took her leave, KLRCA’s Director Datuk Professor Sundra resumed control of the podium as he presented a Status Report on ‘CIPAA 2012’. Amongst the statistics shared were; total number of cases registered, registered matters by states, claimant’s profile and type of adjudication disputes.

The total number of cases registered since CIPAA was implemented stood at 99 cases as of 12 June 2015. 29 cases were documented in 2014 and a further 70 cases in 2015. Of that total, Selangor had the highest number of cases, attributing to 46%. Sabah, Johor and Terengganu shared the second spot with 8% respectively.

The claimant’s profile consisted of four categories; Subcontractor (58%), Main Contractor (32%), Consultant (6%) and Supplier (4%). Rounding off that list was the type of adjudication disputes. ‘Interim Payment’ amounted to 43% of all cases while ‘Final Account Value’ accounted to 28%.

With the audience well briefed of the latest statistics, the first session of the conference titled,  “Section 18 CIPAA 2012, Fees, Expenses and Costs (Deterrent or Catalyst for Adjudication and Submission Suggestions)” soon commenced. The session was moderated by Dato’ Mah Weng Kwai. Joining Dato’ Mah on stage were speakers; Oon Chee Kheng, Lam Wai Loon, Mohanadass Kanagasabai and Sudharsanan Thillainathan. The informative session went on for an hour before culminating with an interactive question and answer session.

Next on the conference line up was session two entitled, “Strategy, Tactics & Management of Jurisdictional Challenges. The moderator for this panel was Ivan Loo. Presenting on the topic at hand were adjudication experts Rodney Martin, Choon Hon Leng and Chong Thaw Sing. Another absorbing question and answer session soon followed as the midway mark of the conference approached in the form of a networking luncheon.

The second half of the conference began with Rajendra Navaratnam moderating the day’s third session titled, “Management of Proceedings”. Joining him on stage were; Tan Swee Im, James Monteiro, Kuhendran Thanapalasingam and Ir. Harbans Singh. Twenty minutes of questions and answers soon followed before the fourth and final session of the day was introduced.

Titled, “Practical Lessons from the Trenches: Writing the Adjudication Decisions” – this session saw learned adjudicators Michael Heirhe, Celine Chelladurai and Foo Joon Liang join moderator, Wilfred Abraham on stage. The attendees were treated to an edifying hour of case sharing and procedural developments from around the globe.

As the conference inched closer towards its finishing mark, Conference Chairperson – Michael Heirhe presented his closing remarks. He reiterated the importance of keeping abreast with the latest updates of CIPAA 2012, as it will ensure the growth, structure and attractiveness of the construction landscape in this country are sustained and progress continues to take place.