05 December 2015

Keynote Speech by YB Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Youth & Sports

Keynote Speech by YB Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Youth & Sports 
at RWY Sports Law Conference 2015

Opening Speech by the Minister of Youth and Sports
at the RWY Sports Law Conference 2015
3 December 2015

    1.   I would like to express my thanks to Messrs Richard Wee & Yip for inviting me to give this speech at their annual Sports Law Conference. I understand this is the third edition of this event. I recall in 2013, Messrs. Richard Wee & Yip did invite me to officiate the first ever RWY Sports Law Conference but I was unable to make it as I had a prior engagement. The Ministry was well represented by the Deputy Secretary-General, Dato’ Harun Bin Che Su. I was informed that the inaugural conference was very well received by members of industry.

    2.     I am happy to attend such a unique and timely conference. The conferences that I usually attend as Minister of Youth & Sports tend to general youth issues, or more rarely around the improvement of high-performance sports. I understand that the primary purpose of organising and hosting this Conference is to create awareness of the importance of Sports Law in the Sports industry, but that this conference in part isn’t restricted to that. With the range of matters that will be discussed today, I think that this Conference will go beyond that and try to come up with answers to some of the most pressing issues in sport, both in this country and beyond.

    3.     I understand that Sports Law isn’t restricted to the Sports Development Act, but I’ll start on that first, before moving on to touch on the policies that my Ministry have put in place for sports development and how sports law can play a role in this. The particular act that governs sports development in this country is the Sports Development Act 1997, as I’m sure all of you know. The aim of this Act is to promote and to facilitate the development and administration of sports in Malaysia. It spells out the roles of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, Sports Commissioner and the Sports Advisory Panel.  It also defines the role of the Minister, in deciding on international sports events, in the case of disputes, sports science, and a slew of other things. In 1997, the Sports Development Act was a fantastic piece of legislation in an attempt to streamline sports in Malaysia. Over the years, it has helped to put us on decent footing as we aimed to develop sports through agencies under the Ministry and sports associations through the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

    4.     However, there are parts of it that require amendments in keeping with issues we’ve identified, and how the nature of sport has changed over the years. For example, there are sports associations in this country that haven’t changed their constitution since Independence, despite being asked repeatedly to do so by the Sports Commissioner’s Office. There are associations that bid for international events, win it, and then come to the government asking for money. In many cases we are forced to help out for national interests and to ensure the country does not lose face. There are associations that can’t be investigated and enforced by us in the event of non-performance, internal problems or even corruption.

     5.     Some of the more specific issues follow. The Sports Development Act was established to take over the Registrar of Societies role on Registration and Governence of Sports Bodies in Malaysia. When sports bodies transfered their registration to the Sports Commissioner, within 6 months all Sports Bodies should have changed their old constitution to the new constitution based on the guideline issued by the Sports Commissioner. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Many sports bodies have archaic constitutions which lead to many disputes and governance issues. The Sports Development Act does not give power to the Sports Commissioner’s Office to order sports bodies to change their constitution.

    6.     The Sports Development Act does not give the Sports Commissioner’s Office the power to audit governance and financial statements of sports associations. If the office bearers of that association approve financial misconduct or malfeasance, there are no powers invested in the Commissioner to do anything about it. There have been several cases of that in just the last few years alone.

     7.     Too may sports associations are being created at the moment which hampers sports development because it stretches our limited resources with too many layers within the associations. Many associations have the National-State-District-Club-Individual structure, which in many cases infeasible because of the number of layers required. Many district associations are not active, and this hampers sports development thru associations. The Sports Development Act also currently caters for too wide a range of sports under the First Schedule of the Act; Martial Arts and ‘Recreational’ being an example.

     9.     Firstly, the Paralympic Association of Malaysia is not currently given recognition under the Act. Paralympics and the development of sports for the physically challenged is an area that we’ve really looked at the last few years. One of my first acts as Minister of Youth and Sports was to ensure that physically challenged athletes got the same incentive bonus for winning medals at international events as normal athletes. We’ve also set up the Inspire programme to find and train physically challenged athletes at the grassroots level. The ASEAN Para Games starts today in Singapore, and I’ll be there over the weekend. The Paralympic Association getting equal recognition under the Act is imperative to me in moving forward.

    10.  As you know, doping is currently a hot topic, not only in Malaysian sports but all around the world. In the last year alone, we’ve seen cases involving the world number 1 in badminton, the International Association of Athletics Federation, the Champions League, the Tour de France, just to name a few. This is a worldwide issue. We’re taking this very, very seriously. We have adopted a culture of zero tolerance in this. We’re acting in a few ways. Firstly, we want to strengthen the relevant agency, ADAMAS (Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia) to ensure that they’re able to test more athletes, when they’re training and just before they go to international competition. We will recognise ADAMAS officially as a body that is in charge of anti-doping through the Sports Development Act. We will also move towards ADAMAS having their own Parliamentary Act to strengthen it even further as an independent agency. Earlier this year, sports associations signed the Acceptance of ADAMAS Anti-Doping Rules and we want to ensure this is enforced.

    11.  It would also be amiss to not mention the Kuala Lumpur Centre for Regional Arbitration, with the Director Datuk Sundra Rajoo here. The KLRCA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Court of Arbitration for Sports in 2012. The Malaysian Sports Arbitration Tribunal is also to be formed, with it being an option if both parties in dispute decide to use it. We’re also in the midst of looking to form an internal tribunal for sports association disputes that will allow the Minister to send cases their way, in case the Tribunal under the KLRCA is prohibitively expensive. This tribunal will be chaired by an ex-judge, and will include two other people who are experts in their field. That proposal is currently with the Sports Advisory Panel, and we’re looking to put this in to the Sports Development Act amendments.

    12.  I also want to touch on other policies that we’re looking into, that will have further spillover effects on Sports Law. Last year, my Ministry launched a new campaign called FitMalaysia. We’ve done 15 events in that time. We've covered the length and breadth of Malaysia, and have seen hundreds of thousands of Malaysians come out to run, ride, practice martial arts, take part in our physical challenges, get nutrition advice, eat healthy food, or just dance. 
We've also seen the inaugural Hari Sukan Negara take place this year, that saw more than five million Malaysians take part in more than 17,000 activities all around the country. Malaysians of all stripes, from all walks of life. The aim of these campaigns are to create awareness for the need of a healthy lifestyle. We want Malaysians to keep fit and be active.

     13.  But there’s also a very important secondary effect to what we’re doing. More Malaysian involved in sports and physical activities means more Malaysians thinking about sports as a career. Professional sports itself is a huge industry around the world. Just look at the prices the best footballers in the world command when they’re bought. Manchester United is worth $3.5 billion. Michael Jordan is worth a billion dollars.

    14.  Our nascent sports industry is currently worth around RM5 billion, or around 0.5% of our GDP. But all you need to do is look at the number of sports shops there are around, and the number of rides and runs happening every week. I myself almost take part in some run or ride on a weekly basis. We’re seeing incredible growth here. Therefore, it is imperative that the sports industry is properly and accurately managed. This is where services such as sports marketing, auditing and a strong legal framework can be components to ensure the sports industry is transparent and accountable.

     15.  Sports Law is the term used to describe the application of law in the world of sports - a combination of corporate and contract law, tax and real estate planning, intellectual property law, insurance, labour law and alternative dispute resolution. In some occasions, the law of tort also comes into play. The ever-growing interaction between sports and the law gives rise to the need for a special and greater understanding of the sports industry and those related to it. Legal compliance with existing legislation and rules has also become more important in this day of technological advancement and commercialization in sports. Conferences like this play a role in making sure that these discussions come to the forefront. For that, I applaud Messrs Richard Wee & Yip.

     16.  I also understand that Messrs Richard Wee & Yip wish to launch a Malaysian Sports Law Association. I applaud their effort and I believe this is something the sports industry will receive warmly. With the formation of such an association, parties involved in sports and lawyers who practice sports law would have a platform to share views, collaborate and hopefully push Malaysia into becoming a sports law hub in this region. I believe we have the legal expertise to offer sports law services not only in Malaysia but also to the sporting community in ASEAN.

     17.  In 2017, Malaysia will host the SEA Games 2017 with Malaysia celebrating her 60th year of independence. The SEA Games will be a good way to unite our people in our chase for glory. I also hope that our hosting of the SEA Games is used as an opportunity to develop sports law. Hopefully, when 2017 comes around, we will be champions of the SEA Games, and leaders in sports law in South East Asia.

      18.  I wish to congratulate Messrs Richard Wee & Yip again for successfully hosting the 3rd Sports Law Conference. I wish all of you a good conference ahead.

Thank you.
Khairy Jamaluddin
Minister of Youth & Sports
3rd Dec 2015

03 December 2015

Opening Speech of RWY Sports Law Conference 2015, by Richard Wee

1) Yang Berhormat Tuan Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Youth & Sports
2) Y.A.M Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tunku Ja’afar, President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia
3) Datuk Dr Sundra Rajoo, Director of Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre of Arbitration

We wish to welcome each and every one of you to the third annual RWY Sports Law Conference. The main objective of this conference is to create awareness of Sports Law and to generate discussions and exchange views in this area of law. We aspire to promote, develop and expand sports law in Malaysia and  South East Asia. We are of the view that for Sports to be successful, not only efforts to improve the stakeholders of sports are relevant, but service providers such as Legal services for sports must raise their game too.

For a long time now, since we have been involved in sports law, Messrs RWY have noticed the lack of understanding about sports law. For many people, any lawyer helping a sports based company or person, is a sports lawyer. That is not accurate. A Sports Lawyer would understand the unique interpretation of for example, football rules and doping issues. A Sports Lawyer will also know that the standard of proof for sports is not “beyond reasonable doubt” (like in criminal cases) or “balance of probabilities” in civil cases. In fact, the standard of proof for sports disputes is “comfortable satisfaction”. These are just some peculiarities of the jurisprudence of sports law. It is apparent that there is much for us to understand and comprehend in sports law in order to best serve the Sports Industry.  

With that in mind, RWY decided to initiate this series of sports law conferences, in 2013. Today, we have the largest conference since. There are more speakers sharing their views in this Conference that the 2 earlier editions  and definitely a lot more delegates have registered. While Everton Football Club had made the journey to KL last year to speak in the Keynote Address about football financial fair play; this year we are extremely honoured to have with us, our Minister of Youth and Sports and the President of Olympic Counsel of Malaysia (OCM). Their presence inspires us to continue with our effort in promoting this area.

Ladies and gentleman,
In Malaysia, the Sports Development Act 1997 is a statute of parliament governing the area of sports law particularly the administration of sports. Unfortunately, this act of parliament is due for an overhaul. For example, where there is an internal dispute, Section 23 of the SDA states that the matter shall be resolved in a manner prescribed by the committee’s regulations. However, if they are unable to do so, Section 24 allows the aggrieved party to refer the matter to the Minister for further resolution. Effectively the Minister becomes an Arbitrator. Regarding this issue of dispute resolution, we are of the view that the SDA should reflect the worldwide trend of institutionalized dispute resolution agencies for sports. It is time for Malaysia to have a national sports tribunal to resolve any sports dispute.

In 2012, KLRCA executed a memorandum of understanding with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). Effectively the MOU appoints KLRCA as one of CAS’s arbitration centres. These are exciting times for sports law practitioners, particularly in Malaysia, where within our neighbourhood we now have an international court for sports. With CAS here in Kuala Lumpur, the need for a national sports tribunal becomes ever more important. I understand that there are plans to have such a tribunal and we at RWY look forward to that formation.

Ladies and gentleman,
It is our view that Malaysia and even South East Asia should have a specific platform for those interested in sports law to congregate. We are made to understand that KLRCA wish to form a sports law association. We share that sentiment and would support that idea. In fact for the last few months, Messrs RWY have actually planned to form such an association too. We have drafted a constitution for this suggested platform and even created a proposed Logo. We would suggest, that if such an association is formed, it may be called the “Malaysian Sports Law Association” (MSLA). But we will heed the leadership of KLRCA and we are willing to work together with KLRCA to form this association.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
We want fellow Malaysian and South East Asian lawyers to understand this area of law, equip yourself and give high quality service to the Sports Industry. Why cant we represent major athletes like David Beckham or Tiger Woods? Why cant we export Malaysian lawyers to attend Sports Tribunal in other countries? We have the quality, capacity and capability to do so. It is this ambition, that led us to host and organise this annual Sports Law Conferences. We believe that Malaysia can, and one day will, become the Sports Law hub in this region.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
We at Richard Wee and Yip are honoured that all of you have made time to be here where we can share our passion about sports law with you. At this juncture we with to record our thanks to :-
1) YB Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Youth & Sports
2) Y.A.M Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tunku Ja’afar
3) All our speakers from Malaysia and overseas.
IJM Construction Sdn Bhd , Mr Liew Hau Seng
6) Volunteers from Brickfields Asia College for granting us access to their students and sending a team of volunteers to assist in this conference.
7) And last but not least, each and every one of you who made it here today.

We hope you will enjoy this conference as much we have enjoyed organizing and hosting this event. Have a good conference. Thank you.

Richard Wee
3rd Dec 2015

01 December 2015

RWYSLC 2015 || Speakers Profile : HRH Tunku Imran

Keynote Speaker : HRH TUNKU IMRAN

Being a former sportsman himself and having always had sports close to his heart, HRH Tunku Imran has a long history of involvement in the administration of sports. To name a few, it ranges from taekwando, cricket, squash, the Commonwealth Games Federation, the Southeast Asian Games Federation and the International Council of Arbitration for Sport.

HRH Tunku Imran is presently the President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, a Board Member of the National Sports Council of Malaysia, an Executive Council Member of the Association of National Olympic Committees and a Member of the Advisory Board of the Olympic Council of Asia and the International Olympic Committee.

30 November 2015

RWYSLC 2015 || Guest of Honour : Minister of Youth & Sports, YB Khairy Jamaluddin

Guest of Honour : Minister of Youth & Sports, YB Khairy Jamaluddin

Khairy Jamaluddin is Minister of Youth and Sports and a Member of Parliament representing the Rembau constituency in Negeri Sembilan. He is also Leader of UMNO Youth and the Chairman of Barisan Nasional Youth.

Prior to entering politics, he worked as a journalist, policy aide and investment banker. Khairy was educated at the Universities of Oxford and London. The World Economic Forum in Davos selected him as a Young Global Leader in 2005 and he was made an Asia 21 Fellow by the Asia Society in 2006. Khairy was also elected as Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in 2002. In 2012, he was appointed as Chairman of the National Entrepreneurs Development Corporation.

Currently, he serves as an airborne paratrooper and Commander of the 508 Regiment in the Malaysian Territorial Army. He is married to Nori Abdullah and they have three sons, Jibreil "Cougar" Ali, Timor "Puma" Abdullah and Raif “Leo” Averroes. 

29 November 2015

RWY Sports Law Conference 2015 || FAQ

Some FAQ and relevant information about the RWY Sports Law Conference 2015:-

1. When is the Conference?
3rd Dec 2015 (Thursday).

2. What time should I be there? 
Registration starts at 8.30am. Opening Ceremony starts at 9.00am.

3. Where is the Conference?
Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre of Arbitration (KLRCA) at Bangunan Sulaiman Kuala Lumpur, opposite Majestic Hotel and beside the old KTM Station.

4. Dress Code?
Office Attire or Formal wear.

5. Parking available at KLRCA?
There is ample parking spaces at KLRCA. However, in the unlikely event that the car park is full; kindly park at Majestic Hotel, opposite KLRCA (subject to Hotel's charges).

6. Contact Person?
For any enquiry, do contact Lesley Lim at 012 6971147.

7. Wifi at KLRCA?
Yes, there is wifi. Password will be shared at the Conference.

27 November 2015

Conference Programme || RWY Sports Law Conference 2015

The RWY Sports Conference 2015, Conference Programme. This year, featuring a special address by the Minister of Youth & Sports, YB Khairy Jamaluddin and the Keynote Address by HRH Tunku Imran, President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia. 

14 November 2015

RWY goes back to College

RWY's Richard Wee and Lesley Lim will be at Brickfields Asia College at Petaling Jaya on the 17th November 2015 to deliver a talk on Sports Law. See you there. 

13 November 2015

UPDATES : RWY Sports Law Conference 2015

RWY is pleased to announce that the Minister of Youth & Sports, YB Khairy Jamaluddin will be present at the RWY Sports Law Conference 2015 and deliver a speech. Tunku Imran, President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia will deliver a Keynote address on Sports Law. 

09 November 2015

RWY ranked by Legal 500 : 2016

RWY is pleased to announce that Legal500 continue to rank RWY as a 'Other Recommended Law firm" in Malaysia, for dispute resolutions. 

We wish to thank Legal500 for this continued acknowledgement. This is the 3rd consecutive year RWY is ranked by Legal500. RWY remain committed to provide value for our service. 

03 November 2015

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for Sports in Thailand

This is an article taken from Messrs Chavalit of Bangkok. Their partner, Mr Vira Kammee shared a podium with our Richard Wee when they both spoke at the This Arbitration Centre, back in September 2015.

Taken from :-

Our Partner, Mr. Vira Kammee, was invited to deliver a talk on the topic Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for Sports in Thailand. Vira Kammee, who has extensive knowledge and experience in arbitration within the area of sports, shared his vast experience with the attendees. Vira Kammee now sits on the Appeals Committee of the Thai Premier League (TPL); therefore he was able to share his valuable experience in the seminar.

Vira Kammee focused particularly on the importance of arbitration and the role it plays in dispute resolution; not only on saving time but also the minimisation of cost. With the current backlog of cases in the Thai courts, Alternative Dispute Respolution (ADR) - especially mediation and arbitration - are the preferred method to find solutions for problems, and it is a much faster process. Having worked extensively in this field for such a long time, Vira Kammee’s experience and knowledge was of great benefit to many of the attendees at the seminar. Vira Kammee gave the audience a good overview of the processes and practices in Thailand.

The seminar also included an open floor discussion, which lead to a good Q&A session with the audience. This session was moderated by Mr. Pasit Asawawattanaporn, THAC Managing Director; Ms. Athita Komindr, Executive Manager; and Mr. Richard Wee, Partner of Richard Wee & Yip.

This was a great way to showcase our professional expertise and our firm to the public. The seminar as a whole was a great success, and we are proud to have had our partner there representing our firm.

02 November 2015

Updates : RWY Sports Law Conference 2015 || Raise The Game

The Annual RWY Sports Law Conference is a month away. Some updates about the Conference :-

His Royal Highness, Tunku Imran, President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) will deliver a keynote address. 

Thus far,  the following Speakers/Moderators have confirmed their attendance :- 

1. Ms Athita Komindr  (Thai Arbitration Centre - THAC)
2. Nishel Kumar (Malaysian Anti Doping Agency - ADAMAS)
3. Vinayak Pradhan (Messrs Skrine)
4. Bill Davidson (Messrs Azman Davidson) 
5. Brian Song (Messrs Song & Partners)
6. Ben Olbourne (39 Essex)
7. Kenny Goh (Badminton Association of Malaysia)
8. Benoit Pasquier (Asian Football Confederation) 
9. Lazarus Xavier (Football Association of Malaysia)
10. Izham Ismail ( Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia)
11. R. Sasikumar (Red Card Sports, Singapore)
12. Abdul Salim (United Legal Alliance LLP Singapore)
13. Ben Ibrahim (Coach Educator, TV presenter Fox Sports Asia)   
14. Representative from Repucom  

Topics to be discussed includes :-

a. Sports & Doping
b. Athletes Rights and Expectations
c. Sports Arbitration
d. Commercialisation of Sports 
e. Integrity in Sports

28 October 2015

KLIAW : Welcoming Remarks by Richard Wee at the Sports Arbitration Conference by KLRCA (May 2015)

Back in May 2015, we had the opportunity to Chair the Organising Committee of the KLRCA's International Arbitration Week. This is Richard's Welcoming Speech as Chairman. 

01 October 2015

RWY Sports Law Conference 2015 - Raise The Game

We at RWY wish to share with you a short video about our upcoming RWY Sports Law Conference 2015.

Our thoughts about the past Conferences, our plans for the 2015 Conference & our ambitions on Sports Law in Malaysia, all captured in this short film.

We are excited to host and organise this conference again, and invite all of you to attend. The Guest of Honour is Tunku Imran, President of OCM, who will present a keynote address.  

Relevant information for you :-

Date : 3rd December 2015
Day : Thursday 
Time : 9am till 5pm
Location : Main Auditorium of the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre of Arbitration, Bangunan Sulaiman, KL

24 September 2015

Meditation Training

Our HW Yip recently assisted the Bar, conducting training on Mediation at the Judicial & Legal Training Institute of Malaysia (ILKAP) at Bangi.

Mediation is a form of Dispute Resolution and HW Yip is a qualified Mediator of the Malaysian Bar's Malaysian Mediation Centre (MMC) and Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC). Mediation is known to be quick and cost-effective to help disputing parties to resolve issues. It is usually a pre-trial process and is popular in Australia, Singapore & New Zealand. 

23 September 2015

Dispute Resolution in Sports @THAC

Our Richard Wee was recently invited to speak at the Thai Arbitration Centre (THAC) at their inaugural Sports Law Seminar on Dispute resolutions in Sports. About 39 Delegates signed up to attend and the bi-lingual Seminar was well received. 

Mr Vira Kommee, an experience Attorney based in Bangkok, and advisor to the Thai Football Association, was a fellow speaker at the Seminar. 

We look forward to a long relationship with THAC as we assist THAC to develop Sports Dispute Resolution. 

16 September 2015

RWY Sports Law Conference 2014 : Flashback

The RWY Sports Law Conference grew from a half day event in 2013 to a full day Conference in 2014. With Everton Football Club of UK sending their Head of Legal to speak and a few other international and Malaysian speakers, the 2014 Conference was a cosmopolitan edition of the conference. Here's a flashback of the 2014 edition. 

11 September 2015

RWY Sports Law Conference 2015 || RAISE THE GAME

RWY will be hosting our 3rd edition of the RWY Sports Law Conference 2015. Amongst the invited speakers are leaders from the Olympic Council of Malaysia, Sports arbitrators and Legal Directors of international Sports Associations. 

Relevant information :-

Date : 3rd December 2015
Time : 830am to 5pm
Location : Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre of Arbitration @Bangunan Sulaiman, Kuala Lumpur (opposite Majestic Hotel/KTM Headquarters)

We invite all of you to attend, but do register to reserve your seats. In 2013, over 75 delegates registered and in 2014, more than 120 delegates attended the 2nd edition of the Conference. As places are limited, we invite you to register as early as you can. 

Do contact Ms Lesley Lim at lesley@rwy.com.my or call us at 03-77273800. 

More information will be released from time to time. 

See you in December!

14 May 2015

Welcoming Speech || KLIAW Sports Arbitration Conference 2015

By Chairperson of Organising Committee
Mr. Richard Wee

            Good morning Y.A.M TUNKU TAN SRI IMRAN IBNI ALMARHUM TUANKU JA’AFAR, honourable guests, Director of Kuala Lumpur Regional Center for Arbitration (KLRCA) Datuk Professor Sundra Rajoo, distinguished speakers, delegates, ladies and gentlemen. Selamat Datang to the Sports Arbitration Conference held to you by KLRCA in conjunction with the Kuala Lumpur International Arbitration Week 2015.

            Allow me to introduce myself. I am Richard Wee, the chairperson of the organising committee for today’s Sports Arbitration Conference held in conjunction with the Kuala Lumpur International Arbitration Week 2015. It is with great pleasure and honour to have been given the opportunity and responsibility to chair the organising committee to organise today’s sports arbitration conference for all parties interested not just in the field of arbitration but also in the world of sports. I am particularly thankful to Datuk Sundra Rajoo who has given me the trust and faith to chair the organising committee of this event on behalf of KLRCA.

            Today’s sports arbitration conference aims to provide useful information and insights from individuals who have been involved in sports arbitration, either from legal perspectives or perspectives from sports federations as well as the athletes themselves. Today, we are extremely honoured to have His Highness Tunku Imran who will deliver the Keynote Address on Sports Arbitration. Tunku is not merely the leader of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) where he is now the President where it is himself a passionate sportsperson. He is in fact the First National Squash Champion in 1973. We look forward to hear his Keynote Address.  

It is also such a privilege to welcome and to have with us today, our second Keynote Speaker, from as far as Liverpool City (my favourite city), Mr. Chris Anderson, the Head of Legal Services of my long-time favourite football club, the Everton Football Club who will be presenting the English Premier League’s view on Sports Arbitration. Everton is a football institution, 137 years old. They are the longest standing club in the Top Division spending only 4 seasons outside the Top Division. They bring with them great experience in this area.

We have lined up2 exciting sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. In the morning session, we will hear Mr. Paul Hayes speaking about the Mechanics of Sports Arbitration. The second speaker is supposed to be Encik Isa Aziz Ibrahim. Unfortunately, he had to travel to Jakarta for an urgent matter and I have the honour to read out his Power Point presentation later.

Mr. Paul Hayes commenced practice as a Barrister at the Sydney Bar in 1990 before relocating to the Melbourne Bar in 1997. He was appointed as a Senior Fellow of the University of Melbourne at the Faculty of Law in 2010 and lectures in the subject of ‘Sports Dispute Resolution’. In 2013, Paul received the Dennis Callinan Award for community service in Sports Law from the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association and was also appointed by KLRCA as Honorary Counsel for Sports Arbitration. So, I am sure that he will give us beneficial and fruitful insights on his experience and wide knowledge on Sports Arbitration today.  

Isa Aziz, on the other hand, is the very few Malaysian lawyers who has actually appeared in a CAS Arbitration in Lausanne, Switzerland. His Power Point presentation will reflect his experience.

In the afternoon, with title ‘Future of Sports Arbitration’, we will see KLRCA’s Director, Datuk Sundra Rajoo offering his vision on how he intends to take KLRCA forward with the Court of Arbitration for Sports. Sharing the platform with him are Mr. Benoit Pasquier of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Mr. Izham bin Ismail of Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia. Mr. Benoit is the Head of Legal of AFC with extensive knowledge of Sports Arbitration. Mr. Izham, on the other hand, is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PFAM and he had been championing the rights of local football players in Malaysia. Both Mr. Benoit and Mr. Izham will be speaking as consumers of Sports Arbitration in Malaysia and in this region in general.

Ladies and gentlemen,

            In 1983, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to create the Court of Arbitration for Sports or commonly known as CAS. CAS functions as the Supreme Court for Sports by which parties in disputes may, upon mutual agreement, bring an action before CAS. This effort has been proven to be well-accepted when, as of 2013, CAS has heard over 3,000 cases in Lausanne, Switzerland as well as its two branches, New York and Sydney. However, over the years CAS has faced challenges through its way in keeping its status as the Supreme Court for Sports since its decisions were tend to be overturned by national courts like in the case of Claudia Pechstein. Nevertheless, this has not abstained CAS from being recognised as the Supreme Court for Sports.

Ladies and gentlemen,

            It is my pleasure to say that in 2012, KLRCA executed a Memorandum of Understanding with CAS, effectively making KLRCA as one of CAS’s arbitration centres. This has definitely put Malaysia in the world map of arbitration. 

            This will not be possible without the vision and effort made by the Director of KLRCA, Datuk Sundra Rajoo. It is with his leadership and passion in bringing KLRCA to a higher level which made it possible for KLRCA to leave its marks in the world of arbitration. The most apparent evidence of this effort is this very own building we are in right now. This world class facility symbolises the growth and rise of KLRCA over the years. I am confident to say that with this, KLRCA will be able to attract more international parties to bring their cases to this country. 
Members of the delegates,

            Before I end my speech, I hope that at the end of this conference, you will take home fresh ideas, new knowledge and novel points for you to chew on and prepare yourself for the arrival of CAS in Malaysia!

I would like to once again thank KLRCA for giving me this opportunity to bring this wonderful event to life. I would also like to thank the speakers for being able to spare some of their time to share their experience and knowledge on sports arbitration. I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce the team behind this conference, my back bone, Mr. Peter-Douglas Ling, Mr. Farez Jinnah, Ms. Ann Quah, Mr. Faris Shehabi, Mr. Danaindran Rajendran, Mr. Yip Xiaoheng, Ms. Marlysa Razak and my right-hand, the Deputy Chairperson Ms. Lesley Lim. Last but not least, I would like to thank all delegates who are present today and wish everyone a good conference and a good day.

            Thank you.