Malaysia has passed amendments to its Arbitration Act 2005, which has been in force since 15 March 2006.

A number of amendments will be of interest to users of international arbitration in the region. In particular, Section 8 of the Arbitration Act now contains a provision which limits court intervention to situations specifically covered by the Arbitration Act and discourages the use of inherent powers.

Section 11 has also been amended to clarify that to secure the amount in a dispute, the court may order the arrest of property, bail or other security before or during arbitral proceedings. In particular, Section 11(3) now empowers the court to make orders for any interim measures even if the seat of arbitration is outside Malaysia. This will be of particular interest to parties involved in disputes relating to Malaysian assets that are being arbitrated in other jurisdictions, such as Singapore.

The goal of the legislature in making the amendments is to better facilitate arbitral proceedings and make Malaysia a more arbitration-friendly destination.