The Limitation (Amendment) Bill 2018 and the Sports Development (Amendment) Bill 2018 were passed by the Dewan Negara. NSTP pic.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Negara today passed the Limitation (Amendment) Bill 2018 to give fair opportunity to plaintiffs who wished to pursue legal action on latent damages incurred in construction cases.

Its president Tan Sri S. A. Vigneswaran announced that the bill was passed with a majority voice vote after six senators spoke during the debate on the bill.

Earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said when tabling the bill said the amendment was timely due to design damages and poor work quality that were often related to latent damages not known during the time of its occurrence.

“The existing bill was unfair as it did not provide plaintiffs with ample time to take action on latent construction damages incurred. Under the Limitation Act 1953 (Act 254), it provisions a time limit for action and arbitration.

“The government had initiated a review of the proposed amendment of Act 254 with consideration on legal provisions of other countries such as England and Singapore," she said.

Previously, in the winding-up debate of the bill at the Dewan Rakyat, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Razali Ibrahim said the proposed amendments aimed to protect the interests of today’s consumers, which also included ownership of homes and other buildings.

Azalina said, among others, the bill would offer protection to those involved in the construction industry such as engineers and architects when the final liability period of 15 years was set.

Apart from the bill, the Dewan Negara also passed the Sports Development (Amendment) Bill 2018 as an initiative to provide legal support in developing national sports, in line with the 2009 National Sports Policy.

Youth and Sports Deputy Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan when winding up the bill said the bill also aimed to ensure overall national sports development and resolve issues in sports bodies.

He said the amendment did not affect nor restrict the authority of sports bodies, but further strengthened their role in shouldering the responsibility of developing the country’s sports arena.

The amendment also provisioned the Malaysia Paralympic Council to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring Malaysia’s participation in paralympics, ASEAN Para Games and other international sports events.

Apart from that, the amendment also enables members of sports bodies or sports bodies themselves to forward dispute cases that could be resolved internally to the Sports Dispute Committee, and not the minister.

The bill was passed by a majority voice vote after eight senators spoke during the debate on it.

The Dewan Negara sitting continues tomorrow. -- BERNAMA

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