NEWS

 

TITLE: Guideline On Temporary Measures For Reducing The Impact Of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Act 2020

DATE: 02/11/2020

GUIDELINE ON TEMPORARY MEASURES FOR REDUCING THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19) ACT 2020

PURPOSE

This Guideline shall serve as a guide to MIA Members on the related provisions of Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Act 2020 (“Act”) which affects the MIA Members.

SCOPE OF THE ACT

This Act is to provide temporary measures to reduce the impact of Covid-19 including to modify the relevant provisions in the:

  • Limitation Act 1953;
  • Sabah Limitation Ordinance;
  • Sarawak Limitation Ordinance;
  • Public Authorities Protection Act 1948;
  • Insolvency Act 1967;
  • Hire-Purchase Act 1967;
  • Consumer Protection Act 1999;
  • Distress Act 1951;
  • Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966;
  • Industrial Relations Act 1967;
  • Private Employment Agencies Act 1981;
  • Land Public Transport Act 2010,
  • Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987;
  • Courts of Judicature Act 1964;
  • Subordinate Courts Act 1948; and
  • Subordinate Courts Rules Act 1955.

SALIENT PROVISIONS

  1. Clause 3 – provides that the Act shall prevail over any other written law in the event of any conflict or inconsistency.
    “In the event of any conflict or inconsistency between the provisions of this Act and any other written law, the provisions of this Act shall prevail and the conflicting or inconsistent provisions of such other written law shall be deemed to be superseded to the extent of the conflict or inconsistency.”
  2. Clause 7 – provides that the inability of any party or parties to perform any contractual obligation arising from any of the categories of contracts specified in the Schedule to this Part shall not give rise to the other party or parties exercising his or their rights under the contract.
    “The inability of any party or parties to perform any contractual obligation arising from any of the categories of contracts specified in the Schedule to this Part due to the measures prescribed, made or taken under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 [Act 342] to control or prevent the spread of COVID-19 shall not give rise to the other party or parties exercising his or their rights under the contract.”
  3. Clause 9 – provides that any dispute arising out of any inability of any party to perform any contractual obligation arising out of any of the categories of contract specified in the Schedule to this Part may be settled by way of mediation.
    “(1) Any dispute in respect of any inability of any party or parties to perform any contractual obligation arising from any of the categories of contracts specified in the Schedule to this Part due to the measures prescribed, made or taken under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 to control or prevent the spread of COVID-19 may be settled by way of mediation.

    (2) The Minister may determine the mediation process which includes the appointment of a mediator, role of a mediator, conduct of mediation and conclusion of mediation.

    (3) Upon the conclusion of a mediation and the reaching of an agreement by the parties regarding a dispute, the parties shall enter into a settlement agreement which shall be in writing and signed by the parties.

    (4) The mediator shall authenticate the settlement agreement and furnish a copy of the agreement to the parties.

    (5) The settlement agreement shall be binding on the parties.”
  4. Clause 10 – provides saving provision.
    “Notwithstanding section 7, any contract terminated, any deposit or performance bond forfeited, any damages received, any legal proceedings, arbitration or mediation commenced, any judgment or award granted and any execution carried out for the period from 18 March 2020 until the date of publication of this Act shall be deemed to have been validly terminated, forfeited, received, commenced, granted or carried out.”
  5. Schedule – consists a list of categories of contracts under which the inability of one party to perform any contractual obligation shall not give rise to the other party to exercise his rights under the contract, which include:
    “3. Professional services contract;

    5. Event contract for the provision of any venue, accommodation, amenity, transport, entertainment, catering or other goods or services including, for any business meeting, incentive travel, conference, exhibition, sales event, concert, show, wedding, party or other social gathering or sporting event, for the
  6. Part VII – MODIFICATIONS TO THE INSOLVENCY ACT 1967
    -Clause 19 - provides for the commencement of this Part and to enable the Minister to extend the operation of this Part which shall not exceed the period of operation of the proposed Act.
    “(1) This Part comes into operation on the date of publication of this Act and shall continue to remain in operation until 31 August 2021.

    (2) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, extend the operation of this Part, the extension of which shall not exceed the period of operation of this Act provided in subsection 1(2) or any extended period under subsection 1(3), as the case may be.

    (3) An order under subsection (2)—
    1. shall not be made after the expiry period of the operation or the extended operation of this Part, as the case may be; and
    2. may be made more than once.
    (4) An order made under subsection (2) shall be laid before the Dewan Rakyat as soon as practicable after its publication in the Gazette.”
    -Clause 20 – modify amount of indebtedness in section 5 of the Insolvency Act 1967 with regard to the filing of bankruptcy petition, from fifty thousand ringgit to one hundred thousand ringgit.
    “During the period of operation of this Part, a creditor or creditors shall not be entitled to present a bankruptcy petition against a debtor under section 2o or 5 of the Insolvency Act 1967, unless the debt owing by the debtor to the petitioning creditor, or if two or more creditors join in the petition the aggregate amount of debts owing to the several petitioning creditors, amounts to one hundred thousand ringgit.”
    -Clause 21 - provides for saving provision
    “Any proceedings, actions or other matters required to be done under the Insolvency Act 1967 which are still pending immediately before the date of publication of this Act shall be dealt with under the Insolvency Act 1967 as if the Insolvency Act 1967 had not been modified by this Act.”
  7. PART XIII - MODIFICATION TO THE PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES ACT 1981

    - Clause 41 – provide for the commencement of this Part
    “This Part is deemed to have come into operation on 18 March 2020.”
    - Clause 42 – exclude the period from 18 March 2020 to 9 June 2020 from the calculation for the period for an application to renew a licence under subsection 11(1) of the Private Employment Agencies Act 1981.
    “The period from 18 March 2020 to 9 June 2020 shall be excluded from the calculation of the period for an application to renew a licence under subsection 11(1) of the Private Employment Agencies Act 1981.”
  8. Clause 58 – empower the Minister charged with the responsibility for any Act to extend the time for the relevant authority to perform any of its statutory duties or obligations.
    “(1) The Minister charged with the responsibility for any Act may, if the Minister is of the opinion that any statutory duty or obligation is not possible to be performed within the time stipulated in such Act by any authority during the period from 18 March 2020 to 9 June 2020 due to the measures prescribed, made or taken under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 to control or prevent the spread of COVID-19, by order published in the Gazette, extend the time for the authority to perform its statutory duties or obligations.

    (2) Any order made under subsection (1) may be made to operate retrospectively to any date which is not earlier than 18 March 2020.

    (3) No authority shall be liable to any damages in respect of any failure to perform any statutory duty or obligation within the time stipulated in such Act.”
  9. Clause 59 – empower the Minister charged with the responsibility for any Act to provide for alternative arrangements for any statutory meeting.
    “(1) The Minister charged with the responsibility for any Act may, if the Minister is of the opinion that any statutory meeting is not possible to be convened, held or conducted in the manner provided in such Act during the period from 18 March 2020 to 9 June 2020 due to the measures prescribed, made or taken under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 to control or prevent the spread of COVID-19, by order published in the Gazette, provide for alternative arrangements for such meeting.

(2) Any statutory meeting convened, held or conducted not in the manner provided for in any Act regulating such statutory meeting on and after 18 March 2020 and before the making of the order under subsection (1) shall be deemed to have been validly con