Speech by Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Law, Mdm Rahayu Mahzam, at the Launch of Volume 8 of the Contemporary Issues in Mediation
24 Oct 2023 Posted in [Speeches]
Professor Joel Lee, Chairman of SIMI
Professor Leslie Chew, SC, Dean of SUSS Law
SIMI Board Members
Editors and authors of Volume 8 of the Contemporary Issues in Mediation
Ladies and gentlemen
1. Good evening.
2. It is such a pleasure to be here, to celebrate the launch of Volume 8 of the Contemporary Issues in Mediation, which is also known as CIIM (“chim”).
3. I think it is indeed very apt that this compilation of well-researched pieces on some rather complex issues in contemporary mediation, is referred to as “chim”. This is very intentional.
4. As most of the audience would be aware, we use “chim” to refer to complex issues.
5. I cannot think of a better Singlish term that can encapsulate the deep thought that went into the chapters that make up this book.
6. At the same time, the goal of mediation is to break down “chim” problems into bite-sized ones, so it is easier to resolve the disputes. So very aptly named, right?
7. Thank you for inviting me, to be part of this evening’s book launch.
8. It reminded me of how long I have been in politics, because I also remembered attending this event as one of my first few events as a Member of Parliament. It has been over 6, 7 years since I was at the launch of the very first volume of CIIM in August 2016.
9. This book is premised on a vision that wisdom is not necessarily a function of age or experience. Students, regardless of their age and experience, can contribute to the development of mediation.
10. I am heartened to see that this vision remains and CIIM is at its eighth volume today.
Importance of Mediation
11. The prominence of mediation as a dispute resolution mechanism has definitely increased over the years.
12. As you would have learnt in classes offered at university, or through work as a mediator, mediation has many advantages:
(a) It allows parties to have greater control over the outcome of their disputes.
(b) It is cheaper compared to other modes of dispute resolution.
(c) It is a flexible mechanism to resolve disputes, as it allows for non-legal solutions that can leave all parties satisfied, or have “win-win” resolutions, as we like to say.
13. It has been used vastly in many different contexts, in Singapore especially, ranging from communtity disputes involving neighbours, family members, co-workers, landlords or tenants to commercial disputes between parties to a business deal, and even investor-state or state-to-state disputes.
14. To fully reap the benefits of mediation, everyone needs to do their part:
(a) The Singapore government will continue our work in developing the mediation sector, by ensuring that our regime and environment support mediation, and promoting Singapore mediation services locally and internationally through events like the Singapore Convention Week, which many of you were a part of.
(b) Mediation institutions also play an important role in upholding the standards of mediation offered in Singapore.
(c) Experienced mediators can help to nurture and develop the next generation of mediators.
(d) For the students, you can contribute by bringing your fresh perspectives on mediation, like how you did in this CIIM publication.
15. All of us can play a role and personally for me, it is really wonderful to see the evolution of mediation over time.
16. I had to say yes to this invitation because Joel was my lecturer in school who taught me mediation. I think it’s amazing how at that time as a student I was very amazed at the functions of mediation and how I continued to take courses with you even after I graduated. And now to be able to see the effort that is being put in by the government and legal institutions to build this mechanism and offer it as a part of our slew of dispute resolution services in Singapore heartens me.
17. There is definitely growth, and I am very happy to see many people in this ecosystem. I am excited to see this continue to develop more, and I am looking forward to the contributions from different parties to this.
Recognition of Authors and Editors
18. I want to take this opportunity to really recognise the efforts of the authors and editors of this.
19. I heard that there were 25 entries for this year’s SIMI Annual Mediation Essay Competition. 9 of these entries have made it into the latest edition of CIIM.
20. They cover important topics ranging from the Singapore Convention on Mediation, mediation in the context of family disputes and even mediator burnout. So you can see the breadth of how this ecosystem has evolved.
21. My heartiest congratulations to the winners of the competition, Valerie Lim and Elyssa Tan, and all of the other students who can now proudly call yourselves co-authors of a published book. I very much look forward to reading your pieces.
22. I would also like to congratulate and recognise the editors for their great effort in making the vision of providing students an opportunity to showcase their work a reality: Professor Joel Lee, Mr Marcus Lim, Mr Melvin Loh, and our Student Editor for this Volume, Mr Izzat Rashad.
23. To our authors, I hope this book is not an end, but rather your beginning, of your journeys as legal professionals, whether it be as mediators, mediation advocates or members of academia.
24. And as I have mentioned, there is so much to look forward to in this ecosystem. As mediation continues to gain traction, I look forward to more exchanges on it, and more volumes of CIIM in years to come. No pressure!
25. Thank you, and I hope everyone enjoys the rest of this evening’s book launch!
Last updated on 24 October 2023