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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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

8 Tips: Strategic Approach to Civil Litigation and Writing Impactful Legal Submissions

Guest writer Chua Yi Xin shares 8 key takeaways from the recent webinar by the former Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum.

Amidst the chaos of a global pandemic, having access to a mountain of free webinars from experts online is a welcome change. It seems that every other day my inbox is swarmed with links to virtual talks as lawyers move their practice online. However, one stood out among the crowd.

Last Saturday, I attended the Strategic Approach on Civil Litigation and Writing Impactful Submissions Webinar, hosted by the Sabah Law Society with guest speaker Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum. The 2 ½ hours webinar was well worth the time as he presented in an honest and direct manner, giving us a rare look of the expectations from the Bench.

Here are 8 key takeaways for effective civil litigation and writing legal submissions.
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Malaysia’s New Attorney General (Idrus Harun): His Top 3 Cases as a Federal Court Judge

[This is a guest post by Kwan Will Sen. He is a litigation partner focusing on commercial litigation and arbitration, and fraud and asset recovery.]

Idrus Harun was a Judge of the apex Court of Malaysia, the Federal Court. He has been appointed as the Attorney General (AG) effective 6 March 2020, replacing Tommy Thomas.

I discuss three significant decisions by Idrus Harun FCJ (as he then was). He wrote the Federal Court’s grounds of judgment for the first two cases (Ireka/ Jack-In Pile and Nautical Supreme), and was part of the minority for the third case (JRI Resources). Continue reading

IRB Tax Dawn Raid – How to Deal With It

Guest authors, Siong Sie and Desmond Liew, set out tips on what to do if there is a surprise visit or a dawn raid carried out by the Inland Revenue Board.

The news recently featured the new Tax Investigation Framework 2020 of the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRB).

The Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRB) actively conducts tax investigations or “raids” on taxpayers. The main purpose of these raids is to deter tax evasion and/or aggressive tax planning with the ultimate aim of enhancing tax compliance. It is not uncommon for the IRB to have obtained a reasonable amount of information – either through its own global intelligence or through informers – prior to conducting a dawn raid on a taxpayer.

Siong Sie and Desmond, set out some tips on what to do if there is such a surprise visit or a dawn raid carried out by IRB. Continue reading

Five Legal Issues on GST at 0%

Khong Siong Sie and Kailash Kalaiarasu highlight the legal nuances behind the “abolishment of GST”.

On 16 May 2018, the government announced that the Goods and Services Tax (“GST”) is to be set at 0%, effective 1 June 2018 (see Goods and Services Tax (Rate of Tax) (Amendment) Order 2018 dated 16 May 2018)

Pic: www.beritadaily.com

This announcement was followed by a swift execution of the necessary revocation and amendment orders to remove, among others, the now redundant zero-rated supply and relief orders since no GST will be levied.

At first glance, the rakyat may be quick to describe this as the abolishment of GST. From a strictly legal perspective, however, there are greater nuances at play. Whilst economists and political analysts may have their respective takes on this measure, here are 5 points about GST at 0% viewed through a legal lens. Continue reading