June 05, 2014
CIPAA In Practice – The Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 (CIPAA) Conference 2014
5 June 2014, Kuala Lumpur – In concomitance with the landmark enforcement of The Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 (CIPAA) on 15th April 2014, Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA) organized a mammoth conference titled ‘CIPAA in Practice’ to empower all parties related to the construction industry with knowledge and tools to comprehend the effective operation of this Act. The conference that was held in Renaissance Kuala Lumpur, saw more than 1000 delegates brave the morning’s torrential downpour to take seat at the commodious grand ballroom to witness leading field experts present fortifying inputs on the Act’s implementation.
This conference was the third of its kind following the successful inaugural CIPAA Conference back in 24th October 2012 and its follow up titled ‘Getting Paid: CIPAA Updates’ held earlier this year in February.
The conference was officially opened by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Yang Berhormat Puan Hajah Nancy Haji Shukri, and was followed by presentations by renowned figures in the practice and law of adjudication such as Lam Wai Loon, Ir Harbans Singh and Kuhendran Thanalapasingam. An informative panel discussion moderated by KLRCA’s Director Professor Datuk Sundra Rajoo concluded the conference with a host of additional eminent speakers joining in.
Proceedings for the morning got under way with Professor Datuk Sundra Rajoo taking stage to deliver his keynote address. In expressing his delight of CIPAA 2012 being enforced, the director of KLRCA said
“The coming into effect of CIPAA is very much welcomed and it is hoped that it will herald a new beginning for the construction industry. Most jurisdictions who have introduced statutory adjudication have reported nothing but success in revolutionising the way disputes are resolved in the construction industry.”
Attendees of the conference were then given a brief and comprehensive chronology on how CIPAA 2012 came about when special distinguished guest, Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon; Past Co-Chair of Pemudah was invited on stage to share a few words. Tan Sri Yong who has been ever present through his perseverance and tenacity in advocating the act since it was mooted in 2003, spoke about the struggles and adversity that had to be overcome in ensuring the Act saw daylight.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Hajah Nancy Shukri then proceeded to officiate the opening of the conference. In echoing her support for the Act’s implementation, she said
““I hope with the CIPAA 2012 Act having come into effect, it will lay the foundation for a new exciting era for the construction and legal industries to build on.”
The first topic of the day was handled by the industrious Lam Wai Loon, a partner at Skrine. He presented on “Understanding CIPAA Regulations & KLRCA Adjudication Rules”. Attendees of the conference were taken through the exemption orders, important circulars and a detailed 10 point step by step guide on submitting a payment claim under CIPAA 2012.
After the networking break, the conference resumed with a session on “CIPAA: Issues in Implementation” by IR. Harbans Singh, a prominent Arbitrator, Adjudicator and Mediator. The animated Harbans captured the audience right from start through a series of light hearted comparisons on how CIPAA started to how it evolved into what it is today. Harbans then went on to explain the categories of exemption and the jurisdictional problems that could arise through the Act’s implementation. This second session was brought to a close with salient points being put forward on how such issues could be addressed effectively.
The enigmatic Kuhendran Thanalapasingham, an esteemed legal practitioner and partner from Zul Rafique & Partners took charge of the final topic of the day by presenting on “Enforcing and Staying Adjudication Decisions”. Several intriguing points were shared with the attendees, amongst them being CIPAA’s ‘relationship with other ADR processes’, ‘suspension or reduction of rate of progress of performance’, ‘direct payment from principal’ and ‘concurrent recourse’.
The apotheosis of this conference saw a dedicated panel of eminent speakers take stage to answer a series of technical and critical questions surrounding the CIPAA 2012 Act’s implementation. KLRCA’s Director, Professor Datuk Sundra Rajoo who moderated the discussion panel was joined by the three speakers from the day’s earlier sessions; Lam Wai Loon, Ir Harbans Singh and Kuhendran Thanalapasingham. Four other leading practitioners; Gananathan Pathmanathan, Chong Thaw Sing, Danial Tan Chun Hao and Tan Swee Im also took their seats on stage to weigh in with their professional and extensive views. Professor Datuk Sundra soon drew the session to a close just below the hour mark by reiterating the importance of the CIPAA 2012 Act to the construction industry in Malaysia and its respective stakeholders. He also assured the attendees that the only way to make sense of this change, is to embrace this revolutionary new mechanism as it brings with it a new positive beginning for the construction industry.