Dewan Rakyat Passes Limitation, Arbitration Bills

Pocket News
April 4, 2018
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KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 3 – The Dewan Rakyat today passed the Limitation (Amendment) Bill 2018, which among others, gives extension to the time limit of up to three years to house buyers to lodge a complaint over latent defects at their homes.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Razali Ibrahim said the amendments to the Limitation Act 1953 (Act 254) was proposed to look at the interests of today’s consumers.

“It is unfair that at present day, when constructing the building, particularly during the piling work phase, unscrupulous contractors may use low quality materials and it will cause defects.

“The time limit given under the amendments is beneficial to the consumers, and the study that we carried out also found that it also implemented in other countries,” he said when winding up debate on the bill in the Dewan Rakyat, today.

Earlier, Razali, when tabling the bill for a second reading, said under the amendments, once the date of the accrued action exceeded 15 years, no party would be allowed to initiate court action.

“This provision takes into account negligence cases involving latent defects in construction, when the damages cannot be found through general inspection and those who are responsible cannot reasonably or be expected to know about the defects,” he said.

He also said the amendments would encompass ownership of homes and other buildings as well. In his reply to a question from Ng Wei Aik (DAP-Tanjong) who wanted to know the difference between the amendments and the 12 months defect liability stated in the sale and purchase (S&P) agreement, Razali said they were different.

“When it comes to the S & P, it is part of scheduled agreement stated under the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act 1966. This amendment refers to the time limit to initiate action, while the S & P is an agreement between the two parties … with set conditions,” he said.

Apart from the bill, the Dewan Rakyat also passed the Arbitration (Amendment) (No.2) Bill (2018) aimed at enhancing Malaysia’s profile in the international and regional arena as a safe place and an arbitrary-friendly jurisdiction.

The proposed amendment was based on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) (amended in 2006). The Dewan Rakyat sitting continues tomorrow. — Bernama

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