Case Update: Board Meeting Notice Need Not Contain Full Details of the Business of the Meeting

Joyce Lim writes an update on a High Court decision on how the notice of a Board meeting need not contain the particulars of the business to be transacted at that meeting

The High Court in the recent case of Rozilawati binti Haji Basir v Nationwide Express Holdings Berhad & Ors [2020] MLJU 1198 (see the grounds of judgment dated 18 August 2020) dealt with two issues relating to the Board meeting requirements for companies.

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Company Law Case Update: Oppression Remedy in Quasi-Partnerships

Joyce Lim writes on a recent High Court decision on the oppression remedy in quasi-partnerships. Further, the decision confirms that oppression can arise from breaches of a shareholders’ agreement.

The High Court in the recent case of ISM Sendirian Berhad v Queensway Nominees (Asing) Sdn Bhd & Ors and other suits [2020] MLJU 388 dealt with an oppression claim by a minority shareholder in quasi-partnerships (also known as Ebrahimi-type companies).

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What I learnt after leaving legal practice to pursue an MBA

Guest writer Janice Tan Ying has been on quite a journey since she first wrote for us in October 2017 (“5 things I learned from pupillage that law school didn’t teach me“). In this article, she shares some of the many things she learnt from her recently-concluded two-year MBA.

Two years ago, I left legal practice at one of the largest law firms in Malaysia to pursue a full-time MBA at the Asia School of Business (ASB) — a partnership collaboration between Bank Negara Malaysia and MIT Sloan School of Management. This was a decision that felt incredibly daunting at the outset. 20 months (and an MBA degree in hand!) later, I dare say it was one of the best decisions that I have made.

Here are some of my reflections from my business school journey:

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5 lessons I learnt from pupillage

This is a guest post by Isabelle Siaw, and is one of the 3 articles selected to be published on TML following our open call for submissions. We would like to thank everyone who sent in their articles, and hope to see more quality legal writing published, which will hopefully lead to vibrant discussions and thought leadership in the Malaysian legal industry.

Pupillage can be a testing period for law graduates. Most lawyers would agree that the transition from law student to fully-qualified lawyer during that pupillage period can be challenging and stressful. As I approach the end of my own pupillage, here are five lessons that I have learnt.

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Online Civil Trials in Malaysia: The Positives and Negatives

This is a guest post by Joshua Wu. It is one of the 3 articles selected to be published on TML following our open call for submissions. We would like to thank everyone who sent in their articles. We hope to see more quality legal writing published, which will hopefully lead to vibrant discussions and thought leadership in the Malaysian legal industry.

Malaysia’s Judiciary has proposed amendments to the civil procedure rules for online civil trials by remote communication technology. As detailed below, online civil trials can have positive effects but with possible weaknesses as well.

On 23 April 2020, the Malaysian Judiciary made history as it live streamed a Court of Appeal hearing. The live stream was opened to the public and was done so on the Judiciary’s website and YouTube channel.

The anticipated next step is the introduction of online civil trials. This is not a unique phenomenon as courts in other jurisdictions, such as China and the United Kingdom, have experimented with online trials. Indonesia has also recently announced that it will be embracing online trials.

The move towards holding online civil trials in Malaysia is already in motion. The Judiciary has proposed amendments to, among others, the Rules of Court 2012. Some of the key amendments will allow for:

  1. proceedings through remote communication technology;
  2. a person or witness to give evidence through remote communication technology; and
  3. the examination, cross-examination, and re-examination of a person or witness through remote communication technology.

Some of the positives and negatives associated with holding online civil trials in the Malaysian context will be briefly examined. Continue reading

The Companies Exemption Order on Winding Up – Ingenious or Illegal?

This is a guest post by Gerard Tang and Tan Hei Zel. It is one of the 3 articles selected to be published on TML following our open call for submissions. We would like to thank everyone who sent in their articles. We hope to see more quality legal writing published, which will hopefully lead to vibrant discussions and thought leadership in the Malaysian legal industry.

The Companies (Exemption) (No. 2) Order 2020 (“Order”) has provided temporary reprieve from winding-up proceedings. The Order, issued by the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (“Minister”), has extended the time frame to respond to a statutory demand up to six months. However, this article explains how the Order is potentially ultra vires and flawed.

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The Order exempts all companies from section 466(1)(a) of the Companies Act 2016 (“Act”). Section 466(1)(a) provides for a statutory presumption of insolvency of a company where:

(a) the company is indebted in a sum exceeding the amount prescribed by the Minister;

(b) a notice of demand for the debt is served on the company; and

(c) the company fails to pay the debt within 21 days after service of the notice.

The exemption is applicable to notices served between 23 April 2020 and 31 December 2020. This exemption is subject to the condition that a company shall pay its debt within 6 months after service of the notice (“Condition”). This is a timely measure to tide businesses over during the economic downturn and a creative use of the exemption provision in the Act. However, we argue that the Order is potentially ultra vires and flawed. Continue reading