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Gopal Sundaram

Work +603 2035 6883 ext 2303
Abdullah Chan & Co

Work Department

Banking & Finance; Regulatory & Compliance


Partner. Fields of expertise: Legislative drafting, Islamic finance, Central banking law, Regulatory and Compliance, especially banking and insurance and Islamic banking and takaful. Gopal has extensive experience in Legislative Drafting [Financial Services Act 2013, Islamic Financial Services Act 2013, International Islamic Liquidity Mgmt Corporation Act 2011, Credit Reporting Agencies Act 2010, Data Protection Act 2010, Central Bank of Malaysia Act 2009, Cooperatives Commission of Malaysia Act 2007, Malaysia Deposit Insurance Corporation Act 2005, Payment Systems Act 2003, Development Financial Institutions Act 2002, Islamic Financial Services Board Act 2002, Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001], Resolution of Ailing Financial Institutions including capital reduction and mergers of financial institutions, International Technical Assistance in law reform and establishment of central bank legal departments, Domestic and International Institution Building and Financial Crises Management


Gopal began his highly distinguished career in Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) the Central Bank of Malaysia, in 1982, pursuant to graduating from University of Malaya on a BNM scholarship. He was appointed as Assistant Governor in 2006. As Assistant Governor he was responsible for the Legal Department, Finance Department and the IT Services (Computer) Department as well the Money Museum and the Art Gallery. During his tenure, he was a member of various committees chaired by the Governor, interalia, the Management Committee, the Monetary Policy Committee, the Financial Stability Committee, the Budget Committee, the Risk Management/ Committee and in attendance at the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre Executive Committee (MIFC), a multi-agency committee appointed by the Prime Minister. Upon his retirement in 2011, he was appointed as Project Adviser to BNM to advise and supervise the drafting of an omnibus legislation for banking, insurance, payments systems and exchange control as well as an omnibus Islamic legislation for Islamic banking, takaful, payment systems and exchange control which have been passed by the Malaysian Parliament in 2012. These legislations, namely the Financial Services Act 2013 and the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 came into force on 30 June 2013. Gopal is the only member of the International Monetary Law Committee of the International Law Association (MOCOMILA) from Malaysia. He is also in the Executive Committee of the Malaysian Chapter of ASIL (Asian Society for International Law). Gopal sits on the Board of Directors of Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) Berhad, the Board of Management of Methodist College Kuala Lumpur, the Council of Education, Methodist Church in Malaysia and is the President of the Judicial Council, Methodist Church in Malaysia. He is a leading adviser on the new Financial Services Act 2013 and Islamic Financial Services Act 2013.


English, Malay and Tamil


Banking and finance

Within: Banking and finance

Well known for its comprehensive coverage of aviation finance, thanks to Shelina Razaly Wahi, Abdullah Chan & Co's 'very responsive, helpful' practice is also highly experienced in banking and finance regulatory and compliance work, a sub-practice group headed by Gopal Sundaram. Structured finance, including asset-backed securities and power financing, is another area of expertise. Clients include Airpay Malaysia, Qatar Islamic Bank, Financial Assets Bahrain and RUSD Investment Bank. Muthanna Abdullah is now a consultant.

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Islamic finance

Within: Islamic finance

With transactional and regulatory experience provided by Vincent Chan and Gopal Sundaram respectively, Abdullah Chan & Co's 'very responsive' department is especially strong in aircraft financing, where Shelina Razaly Wahi is a noted expert. Sundaram advised Airpay Malaysia on its submission of an application to Bank Negara Malaysia to become a non-bank e-money issuer.

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Legal Developments by:
Abdullah Chan & Co

Legal Developments in Malaysia

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Call for AML Regulation for Cryptocurrencies

    Ever since the creation of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies have been applauded and welcomed for constituting an innovative method of payment without any recourse to financial institutions and their entailing bureaucracy.  While honest individuals rejoiced at cryptocurrencies’ legitimate benefits; ranging from an increased degree of privacy and confidentiality to less transactional costs, cybercriminals saluted the decentralised networks and perceived anonymity behind cryptocurrencies for presenting them with the perfect crypto cleansing opportunity to launder money in an unprecedented and largely unregulated sector in the financial industry.
  • Office for Competition Issues its First Commitments Decision

    The Office for Competition has adopted what appears to be its first commitments decision, in a case where it raised concerns about exclusivity agreements lasting for five years or more.
  • The Financial Services Act 2012

    (Part 1 of 4) By Gopal Sundaram
  • The Islamic Financial Services Bill 2012

    (Part 1 of 4) By Gopal Sundaram Jan 2013
  • Amendments to the Employment Act 1955

    The Employment (Amendment) Act 2012 received royal assent and became law on 30th January 2012. It has now come into operation since 1st April 2012.
  • Malaysian Corporations Making Headway in the Global M&A Scene

    Malaysian companies continue to make waves internationally by acquiring large companies abroad. Leveraging on the European debt crisis and the weak dollar, these companies have boldly made their mark on a global scale with impressive deals. Cross-border acquisitions are increasing trend in the Asian economic hot spots, with companies in China and India spearheading it. The consistently strong uptrend in foreign acquisitions and the increasing success of the same by China and India for the past few years has spurred growing interests of Southeast Asian companies to extend their reach to other continents.
  • Adjudication in Malaysia ‚Äď the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012

    The Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act of Malaysia received royal assent and became law on 18th June 2012.

    PRESUMPTION OF GUILT ‚Äď REMEDY OR JEOPARDY? Netizens in Malaysia now share a common fear and feeling of uneasiness following the swift passing of the Evidence (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2012 in May 2012, which amends the Evidence Act 1950.
  • FGVH's IPO - Second Largest in the World after Facebook

    Malaysia‚Äôs Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (‚ÄúFGVH‚ÄĚ) is a global agricultural and agri-commodities company, with operations in ten countries across the globe. According to Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Sdn Bhd, FGVH is the third largest oil palm plantation operator in the world based on planted hectarage in 2011. FGVH currently operates 343,521 hectares of oil palm plantation estates in Malaysia that produced 5.2 million metric tonne of fresh oil palm fruit bunches in 2011.
  • Competition...Friend or Foe?

    The announcement of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS)-AirAsia collaboration on 9 August 2011 was questioned by many quarters.