Malaysia’s COVID-19 Act: Contractual Reliefs Extended to 30 June 2021

Malaysia’s Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  Act 2020 (the COVID-19 Act) (I have written more about the COVID-19 Act here) will see an extension of its key relief on the inability to perform contractual obligations. The relief has been extended to 30 June 2021.
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Malaysia’s COVID-19 Act: Contractual Reliefs Extended to 31 March 2021

Malaysia’s Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  Act 2020 (the COVID-19 Act) (I have written more about this here) will see an extension of its key relief on the inability to perform contractual obligations in terms of time period as well as two additional types of contracts.

Under the original COVID-19 Act, Part II provided for relief against the inability to perform contractual obligations for the seven types of contracts listed in its Schedule. Continue reading

5 Weaknesses in Malaysia’s Covid-19 Bill for Contract Obligations

[Update: On 23 October 2020, Malaysia brought into force its COVID-19 Act, with the full name Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Act 2020.]

Malaysia’s Covid-19 Bill (the full name being the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Bill) was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat (the lower house) of Parliament on 12 August 2020. I had written about the Covid-19 Bill here. One important measure is to provide relief for inability to perform contractual obligations for the seven categories of contracts. This applies from 18 March 2020 to 31 December 2020. On this aspect, I set out five weaknesses or ambiguities in the Covid-19 Bill.

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5 Key Reliefs in Malaysia’s Covid-19 Bill: Better Late than Never?

[Update: On 23 October 2020, Malaysia brought into force its COVID-19 Act, with the full name Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Act 2020.]

Malaysia has tabled its Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Bill (Covid-19 Bill) in Parliament. The Bill states that it will have retrospective effect from 18 March 2020. This Covid-19 Bill and the eventual Act may alleviate some of the contractual and other issues that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic and Malaysia’s movement control restrictions.

However, with this Bill only being passed sometime in August 2020, is this a case of too little, too late?  We will have to see whether Malaysia’s Covid-19 Bill can help businesses and companies.

I touch on five key areas in the Covid-19 Bill.

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Talk – Reliefs and Risks for Companies and Directors: COVID-19 Temporary Measures

I have been invited to speak at the Malaysian Institute of Accountants‘ webinar on Wednesday 17 June 2020. It is titled Reliefs and Risks for Companies and Directors: COVID-19 Temporary Measures. My co-speaker is Kenneth Foo, both of us being the authors of Companies Act 2016: The New Dynamics of Company Law in Malaysia. Here is the registration form for the two-hour webinar. Fees are RM150 for MIA members and RM195 for non-members.

This seminar will cover all the common practical issues for companies arising from the movement control restriction. With the heightened risk of solvency-related issues, directors must also be aware of their responsibilities and the risks of personal liability.

 

Lessons from Lockdown: How COVID-19 and remote working have changed the way we work

2020 has been the year of COVID-19. The pandemic has affected every aspect of life in almost every corner of the globe. Apart from the devastating impact on health and lives, and the effect on economies everywhere which may take years to recover from, COVID-19 has changed the way we work. Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (“MCO”) meant that from 18 March, most businesses had to cease on-site operations. Many other countries also enforced similar restrictions.

As a result of restrictions, people the world over have had to get used to working from home. While the concept of remote working isn’t new (it may come as a surprise to many that Tim Ferriss’ classic “The 4-Hour Workweek” was published 13 years ago), before these restrictions most industries had resisted the shift to working away from the office. The COVID-19 restrictions have forced even the staunchest luddites to adopt remote working.

We sought the views of the following four individuals with links to the legal industry across Asia-Pacific to hear about their work-from-home experiences:

  1. Crystal Wong, a partner in the Energy, Infrastructure & Projects and International Arbitration Practice Group at LHAG.
  2. Gaythri Raman, the Managing Director, Southeast Asia at LexisNexis.
  3. Jeannette Tam, a Senior Managing Associate at Bird & Bird Hong Kong.
  4. Zamir Hamdy Hamdan, the Asst Vice President for Stakeholder Management in Astro Malaysia‘s Human Capital Division.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy reading their insights.

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