Sundra Rajoo back as AIAC chief after defeating charges

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — Datuk N Sundra Rajoo, the former director of the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC), has been reappointed to the role after being cleared of any wrongdoing from an arrest in 2018.

His reappointment comes after he earlier this month withdrew his suit against former attorney general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas and 12 other parties alleging wrongful arrest and prosecution in relation to the AIAC breach of trust case.

According to a statement posted on the AIAC website, Sundra Rajoo’s appointment is effective March 16 this year for a two-year term (2023-2025).

“The appointment was made by the government of Malaysia, following its consultation with the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO), in line with the AIAC as an independent international institution under AALCO.

“With the conducive legal infrastructure and environment under the Malaysia MADANI government, the AIAC is expected to emerge as a prominent centre for arbitration in the Asia-Pacific region, providing alternative means to dispute resolution,” it said.

AIAC said Sundra Rajoo’s reappointment brought a wealth of experience and expertise in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution to the AIAC, and that he would be pivotal in promoting the country as a major arbitration hub.

“He has extensive experience and is widely recognised as a leading authority in the ADR community, locally and internationally,” it added.

Sundra Rajoo was first appointed as director of the centre, then known as the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration or KLRCA, in 2010.

His tenure ended in 2018 after he was arrested and charged with paying bribes to renew his role at the arbitration centre and misusing AIAC funds to distribute a book he had written.

He was charged in March 2019, with three counts of alleged criminal breach of trust (CBT) amounting to RM1.1 million of AIAC funds during his tenure as director.

In January 2020, the Sessions Court struck out the CBT charges against Sundra Rajoo and ruled it was bounded by a High Court decision’s that he was entitled to immunity from prosecution for acts done in his official capacity.

In April 2021, a seven-member Federal Court bench led by Justice Tengku Maimun also allowed Sundra Rajoo’s judicial review appeal and granted him a declaration that he was immune from prosecution for acts done within his official capacity.

In October the same year, Sundra Rajoo filed a suit claiming the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had wrongfully detained him in violation of Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution.

He claimed this caused him to be removed from his role at the AIAC and suffer from ridicule and loss of reputation.