UK’s Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill: Possible Reforms for Malaysia’s Restructuring Laws

In response to COVID-19, the UK has fast-tracked its Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill (the PDF copy of the Bill is here and with helpful Explanatory Notes). The overarching objective of this Bill is to provide businesses with the breathing space they need to continue trading during this difficult time and to avoid insolvency. I set out seven of the key measures that UK is introducing and the possible reforms that Malaysia can adopt.

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Companies Winding Up Protection Takes Effect (Updated)

In my earlier post, arising from COVID-19, I had written about the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) providing seven reliefs for companies. One of them is a temporary winding up protection for six months and the increase to the debt threshold to above RM50,000 in the statutory demand.

First, the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (being the relevant Minister under the Companies Act 2016) has now exercised his powers under section 615 of the CA 2016 and gazetted the Companies (Exemption) (No. 2) Order 2020, which I will refer to as Exemption Order No. 2. This provides for the six-month period to respond to a statutory demand.

Second, the Minister has also issued the direction under section 466(1)(a) of the CA 2016 to prescribe the threshold amount to above RM50,000.

Please note that Exemption Order No. 2 has revoked the earlier Companies (Exemption) Order 2020, which I will refer to as the Exemption Order No. 1.
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COVID-19: Companies Commission Provides Seven Reliefs to Companies

On 10 April 2020, the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) announced that seven reliefs will be provided to companies in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO). These initiatives are very much welcomed. They range from temporary protection from winding up of companies, extension of time to lodge statutory documents, and an extension of time for the annual general meeting.

I will cover each of these seven reliefs and with some brief comments.

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Webinar: COVID-19 – Restructuring Options and Risks for Businesses

As part of the ongoing CLJ Law webinar series, I will be speaking on Monday 13 April 2020 at 3pm. I will highlight the key restructuring and rescue options for businesses (both companies and for individuals), and also the potential risks for directors as the companies take on more debt during this COVID-19 period.

[Edit: The session filled up its 100 spots within an hour of registration opening. I am now discussing with CLJ Law whether a second session can be held. ]

This is a free webinar but requires prior registration and limited to only 100 pax. You can click to register here.

Coronavirus: Restructuring and Insolvency for Businesses

The coronavirus pandemic gives rise to the major risk of companies and small businesses going insolvent. In this article, I set out the restructuring and corporate rescue options for businesses in Malaysia. For example, companies can pursue the corporate rescue mechanisms under the Companies Act 2016. For small businesses who are sole proprietors, they may face bankruptcy. These individuals consider the voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act 1967.

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Company Law Case Update: Tiger Synergy and the Statutory Right to Hold Shareholder Meetings

The High Court issued its grounds of judgment in Safari Alliance Sdn Bhd v Tiger Synergy Berhad (Grounds of Judgment dated 1 March 2020).

The case dealt with the statutory right of a shareholder under section 310(b) of the Companies Act 2016 (CA 2016) to hold a general meeting of the company. This right is especially significant here since the general meeting was to replace the directors of the public-listed company, Tiger Synergy Berhad.

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