May 23, 2014
KLRCA & OCM Seminar – Sports Arbitration in Malaysia : Moving Forward
22 May 2014 – In efforts to bolster the fledgling Sports Arbitration scene in Malaysia, KLRCA collaborated with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) to organize an informative and enlightening seminar titled, ‘Sports Arbitration in Malaysia: The Way Forward’. Encouraging signs were seen from the start as the function hall gradually filled to its fullest capacity to witness a handful of Malaysia’s biggest sports dignitaries comprising of YAM Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tunku Ja’afar (President of Olympic Council Malaysia), Ahmad Shapawi Ismail (Sports Commissioner of Malaysia, Ministry of Youth and Sports) and Dato’ Low Beng Choo (Vice President of Olympic Council Malaysia) amongst a few; take stage to share and express their views on the promising progress of sports arbitration in the country as well as ways to further capitalize on its mammoth potential in this region.
Professor Datuk Sundra Rajoo, Director of KLRCA was on hand to deliver the welcoming address to the participants of this seminar, some hailing as far as ‘Middle Earth’ – New Zealand. The guest of honour for this seminar, YAM Tunku Tan Sri Imran soon followed suit by gracing the stage to present his welcoming remarks. Tunku Imran in his usual renowned polished manner, provided the attendees with a brief introduction into the world of sports arbitration by mentioning pivotal points regarding The Court of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS). He then spoke about the rapid growing sporting landscape in Malaysia and the essential necessity for the local sports arbitration platform to take off in tandem with it.
This seminar encompassed three sub topics; ‘An Overview: Dispute Resolution in Sports’, ‘Resolution of Disputes under the Sports Development Act’ and ‘Sports Arbitration – A fair and progressive Platform for the Resolution of Dispute’. Dato’ Low Beng Choo began proceedings by taking charge of the first topic. Dato’ Low presented on the functions of ICAS through the Malaysian Context. She then elucidated the current scenario faced in Malaysia before reiterating the importance of having the respective commitment from the government and all stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of sports arbitration in this country.
Encik Shapawi Ismail the Sports Commissioner of Malaysia, Ministry of Youth and Sports then took stage to present on ‘Resolution of Disputes under the Sports Development Act’. He began with a fleeting introduction on the 1997 Sports Development Act and its functions. Attendees were soon taken through the duties of the Sports Commissioner’s office as well as the statistics of multiple levels of disputes that were lodged throughout 2012 and 2013. Encik Shapawi concluded his presentation with a case study that expounded several sections of interest from the 1997 Act to fortify the crowd’s understanding on the existing dispute sporting laws in practice.
The seminar resumed after a fifteen minute networking break with Mr Faris Shehabi, Deputy Head of Legal, KLRCA taking charge of the podium to deliver his presentation on ‘ A fair and progressive Platform for the Resolution of Sporting Disputes’. The exuberant Australian began with a brief overview of arbitration in sporting disputes before proceeding to explain the two kinds of sporting disputes and the specific scopes they cover; Sporting Disputes and Sports Business Disputes. Mr Faris concluded his presentation by emphasizing on the importance of Kuala Lumpur being appointed as an alternate hearing centre for the Switzerland based International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) and the sheer significance it brings to this region.
Proceedings for the morning soon drew to a close with all three speakers joining YAM Tunku Imran and Datuk Sundra Rajoo on a specially assembled panel to address a series of inquisitive questions from the floor.