Companies Act 2016: Corporate Rescue Mechanism is in force on 1 March 2018

By the gazetting of the notice P.U. (B) 106/2018 dated 27 February 2018, the corporate rescue mechanism under Division 8 Part III of the Companies Act 2016 has come into force on 1 March 2018. The corporate rescue mechanism allows for financially distressed companies to consider two options: (1) corporate voluntary arrangement and (2) judicial management.

I set out only some brief key features of these two mechanisms. Along with the coming into force of the corporate rescue mechanism provisions, the new Companies (Corporate Rescue Mechanism) Rules 2018 have also come into force on 1 March 2018. Continue reading

Case Update: Federal Court decides whether punishable misconduct in employment law is distinguishable from criminal conduct

Case Updates - red

In this Case Update series, I share summaries of recent Malaysian court decisions to explore the current approach taken by the courts when deciding on employment-related issues. You can find all the posts in the series by clicking here, including case updates on other legal areas by TheMalaysianLawyer co-founder Lee Shih.

Misconduct is one of the reasons which would qualify as “just cause” for an employer to dismiss an employee.

However, it’s not straightforward to pin down an exact definition of what constitutes “misconduct”. Even in instances where actions can be broadly categorised as misconduct, there is often confusion as to whether —

  • a misconduct is serious enough to justify dismissal instead of a lighter sanction; and
  • the standards to be applied to misconduct in the context of employment law are the same as those in respect of criminal wrongdoing.

This potential for confusion was illustrated in a recent case dealing with an employee dismissal for misconduct which went from the Industrial Court (“IC”) through to the High Court (“HC”), Court of Appeal (“COA”), and was ultimately decided by the Federal Court (“FC”). The issues were fully considered in the recent grounds of judgment of the FC dated 8 January 2018 in Akira Sales & Services (M) Sdn Bhd v Nadiah Zee binti Abdullah and Another Appeal (Federal Court Civil Appeal Nos. 01-15-05/2016 and 01-16-05/2016).

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Companies Act 2016: Absence of the Security for Costs Provision

The Companies Act 1965 (CA 1965) contained section 351 which allowed for an application for security for costs. The rationale for that section 351 was as follows.

When a company litigates against a party, and if that action were to fail, the defending party could find itself prejudiced if the company did not have enough money to pay the legal costs to that party. Hence, section 351 of the CA 1965 stated that if it appears by credible testimony that there is reason to believe that the company cannot pay the costs of the defendant, then the court can order that the company pay security for those costs.

Unfortunately, section 351 of the CA 1965 was not carried forward under the Companies Act 2016 (CA 2016). It was a useful provision to safeguard the interests of the defendant. Nonetheless, there are still other possible reliefs that a defendant can take to possibly apply for security for costs against a company. Continue reading