Case Update: Shareholders’ Oppression Action Extends to Group of Companies

The Malaysian High Court in Tob Chee Hoong v Tob Chee Choong & Ors [2017] MLJU 1303 has confirmed that the shareholders’ oppression remedy (section 181 of the Companies Act 1965, and section 346 of the Companies Act 2016) would extend to both the holding company and the subsidiary company.

An aggrieved shareholder may be a member of only the holding company but the oppressive conduct may only be at the subsidiary level. In line with other jurisdictions, this High Court decision confirms that the aggrieved shareholder can still seek relief. Continue reading

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Auditors Face Greater Risk of Conflict under Companies Act 2016

Under the Companies Act 2016 (CA 2016), there has now been a change in the law which may cause auditors to be conflicted or disqualified from a wider range of audit jobs. In particular, this may affect the larger audit firms.

Where an audit firm is appointed as the auditor of the company, every audit partner and now, with change in the law, every audit partner’s spouse cannot be an officer of the company. The CA 2016 defines an officer as including any director, secretary or employee of the company. Hence, an audit firm would appear to be conflicted from acting for a company where the spouse of an audit partner is merely an employee of the company. Continue reading

SSM National Insolvency Conference 2017: Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency under the Companies Act 2015

On 3 October 2017, the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) is holding the SSM National Insolvency Conference 2017 entitled ‘Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency under Companies Act 2016: A Paradigm Change’. I have been involved in the organising of the sessions and it promises to be a very interesting conference. The registration fee is RM700.

I will be speaking and moderating Session 2 on ‘Corporate Rescue Mechanism: How It Will Work’. Joining me will be Mohamed Sufyan Mohamed Mokhtar from SSM and  Victor Saw of PwC.

Under the Companies Act 2016, the corporate rescue mechanism is made up of corporate voluntary arrangement and judicial management. Although the corporate rescue mechanism provisions have not been brought into force yet, it is anticipated that these provisions will come into effect by May 2018. In the meantime, the new draft Corporate Rescue Mechanism Rules are close to being finalised as well.

In our Session 2, the speakers will be fleshing out the application of the corporate voluntary arrangement and judicial management through factual scenarios. That should assist in seeing the practical implementation of these new mechanisms.

The other topics covered at the National Insolvency Conference are:

  • The World Bank’s Perspective on Debtors’ and Creditors’ Rights.
  • New Guidelines in Striking Off of Companies and Asset Management of Dissolved Companies.
  • Impact of the Companies Act 2016 on Winding Up.
  • What It Takes to Become an Insolvency Practitioner.

The full brochure and registration form can be found here.

 

MAICSA Annual Conference 2017: Three Questions Raised

On 12 September 2017, I was invited to be a speaker at the MAICSA Annual Conference 2017. This was on the Plenary Session 2 on Companies Act 2016 – Key Insights and Implications for Directors/Shareholders. It was moderated by my co-author and chartered secretary, Kenneth Foo.

Having delivered my presentation, there were interesting questions from the floor as well as through my interactions with the audience members. I thought it would be useful to highlight 3 of the questions I received. They are an indication of the issues still concerning practitioners and companies . Continue reading

Case Update: Malaysia’s Court of Appeal Confirms Power to Set Aside a Winding Up Order

In the Court of Appeal’s grounds of judgment dated 10 August 2017 of Gan Bee San v Malayan Banking Berhad, the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal and set aside a winding up order. The decision confirms the growing list of appellate authorities where the Court has the inherent jurisdiction to set aside a winding up order. The brief facts are below.

Continue reading

Audit Exemption Comes into Effect in Malaysia

On 4 August 2017, the Companies Commission of Malaysia, or SSM (its Malay acronym), has brought into force audit exemption for certain categories of private companies. SSM has issued Practice Directive No. 3/2017 to set out the qualifying criteria for private companies to be exempted from appointing an auditor for a financial year. SSM’s FAQ document has also been updated as at 4 August 2017 to address questions regarding audit exemption.

Credit: Nick Youngson – http://nyphotographic.com/

 

The following types of private companies can decide to opt for audit exemption:

  1. Dormant companies;
  2. Zero-revenue companies; and
  3. Threshold-qualified companies – annual revenue of RM100,000 or less, total assets of RM300,000 or less, and 5 employees or less.

I expand on this further below and also set out four observations. Continue reading

Upcoming Companies Act 2016 Talk on 8 August 2017

The Malaysian Lawyer has partnered up with Legal Logic Asia for another upcoming seminar. I will be speaking at this seminar titled ‘New Companies Act 2016: Impact and Compliance of New Laws & Regulations under the Companies Act 2016 in Malaysia’. It is a full-day seminar on 8 August 2017 at Concorde Hotel.

You can download the registration form here. The topics to be covered will include the following: