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

Public Services

The Bill, tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan for first reading at the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Aug 13), is to support the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package, Prihatin SME Economic Stimulus Package and the Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan announced recently by the Prime Minister. The Bill, if approved, will modify 16 legislations.

  MODIFICATION PERIOD OF OPERATION
INABILITY TO PERFORM CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION Inability of any parties to perform any contractual obligation arising from the contracts below shall not give rise to the other parties exercising their rights under the contract.
The disputes can be settled by way of mediation.  

The affected contracts:
1. Construction work contract or construction consultancy contract and any other contract related to the supply of construction material, equipment or workers in connection with a construction contract
2. Performance bond or equivalent that is granted pursuant to a construction contract or supply contract
3. Professional services contract
4. Lease or tenancy of non-residential immovable property
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 participants, attendees, guests, patrons or spectators of such gathering or event
6. Contract by a tourism enterprise as defined under the Tourism Industry Act 1992 [Act 482] and a contract for the promotion of tourism in Malaysia
7. Religious pilgrimage-related contract  
Saving: 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 from 18/3/2020 until the date of publication of this Act shall deemed to be valid.
18/3/2020 to 31/12/2020 (subject to extension by the Minister for not later than 2 years from date of publication.)
THE LIMITATION ACT 1953 Any limitation period specified in Section 6 of the Limitation Act 1953 which expires during the period from 18/3/2020 to 31/8/2020 shall be extended to 31/12/2020. 18/3/2020 to 31/12/2020 (not subject to extension)
THE SABAH LIMITATION ORDINANCE Any limitation period specified in paragraphs 1 to 4, subparagraph 5(a), paragraph 8, paragraphs 10 to 33, paragraphs 35 to 79, paragraphs 83 to 88, paragraphs 90 to 95 and paragraphs 98, 100, 106, 107, 111 and 113 in the Schedule to the Sabah Limitation Ordinance which expires during the period from 18 March 2020 to 31 August 2020 shall be extended to 31 December 2020. 18/3/2020 to 31/12/2020 (not subject to extension)
THE SARAWAK LIMITATION ORDINANCE Any limitation period specified in paragraphs 1 to 4, subparagraph 5(a), paragraphs 8 to 29, paragraphs 31 and 32, paragraphs 34 to 78, paragraphs 82 to 94 and paragraphs 96, 98, 100, 106, 107, 111 and 113 in the Schedule to the Sarawak Limitation Ordinance which expires during the period from 18 March 2020 to 31 August 2020 shall be extended to 31 December 2020. 18/3/2020 to 31/12/2020 (not subject to extension)
THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES PROTECTION ACT 1948 The limitation period specified in paragraph 2(a) of the Public Authorities Protection Act 1948 which expires during the period from 18 March 2020 to 31 August 2020 shall be extended to 31 December 2020. 18/3/2020 to 31/12/2020 (not subject to extension)
THE INSOLVENCY ACT 1967 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 ringgits.  

Saving: 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.
Date of publication to 31/8/2021 (subject to extension)
THE HIRE-PURCHASE ACT 1967 No owner shall exercise his right to repossess the goods for any default of payment of instalment during the period from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020.

Saving: any owner who has exercised his power of taking possession of goods before the date of publication of this Act, shall be deemed to have validly exercised such power of taking possession of such goods
1/4/2020 to 31/12/2020 (subject to extension)
THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 1999 Upon receiving the notice from the credit facility provider, the purchaser may within twenty-one days elect to—
(a) pay the overdue instalments;
(b) make an early settlement of the credit sale agreement by paying the total amount payable; or
(c) terminate the credit sale agreement and surrender the purchased goods.  

Although the purchaser fails to make the election, the credit facility provider shall not commence any legal proceedings to recover the outstanding amount payable by the purchaser under the credit sale agreement.  

Saving: The modification relating to subsection 24v(4) of the Consumer Protection Act 1999 in subsection 26(1) shall not affect any legal proceedings of the credit sale agreement during the period from 18/3/2020 until the date of publication of this Act.  

The period of limitation specified in subsection 99(2) of the Consumer Protection Act 1999 which expires during the period from 18 March 2020 to 15 June 2020 shall be extended until 31 December 2020.
18/3/2020 to 31/12/2020  
THE DISTRESS ACT 1951 For the purposes of the recovery of rent due or payable to the landlord by a tenant of any premises, a warrant of distress issued under subsection 5(1) of the Distress Act 1951, shall not include the distrain for the arrears of rent for the period from 18/3/2020 to 31/8/2020.  

Saving: Any execution of the warrant of distress that has been issued before the date of publication of this Act shall not be affected.
18/3/2020 to 31/12/2020 (not subject to extension)
THE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT (CONTROL AND LICENSING) ACT 1966 Exclude late payment charges for failure to pay any instalment for the period from 18/3/2020 to 31 August 2020. (subject to extension for not later than 31/12/2020 if the purchaser applies to the Minister)  

Exclude the period from 18/3/2020 to 31/8/2020 from the calculation of time or the delivery of vacant possession and the liquidated damages for the failure of the developer to deliver vacant possession. (subject to extension of not later than 31/12/0220 if the developer applies to the Minister)  

If the purchaser is unable to enter into possession of occupation of a housing accommodation from the date of service of a notice to take vacant possession from the developer during the period from 18/3/2020 to 31/8/2020, the purchaser shall not be deemed to have taken such vacant possession.  

The period from 18/3/2020 to 31/8/2020 shall be excluded from the calculation of the defect liability period and the time for the developer to carry out works to repair the housing accommodation. (subject to extension of not later than 31/12/2020 if the purchaser applies to the Minister)  

If the limitation period for the home-buyer to file a claim has expired during the period from 18/3/2020 to 9/6/2020, the home-buyer is entitled to file the claim from 4/5/2020 to 31/12/2020.  

Saving: The modifications shall not affect any legal proceedings during the period of 18/3/2020 to the date of publication of the Act.
18/3/2020 to 31/8/2020  
THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT 1967 The period from 18/3/2020 to 9/6/2020 shall be excluded from the calculation of the period for according recognition, making a report and filing of representation. 18/3/2020 to 9/6/2020 (not subject to extension)
THE PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES ACT 1981 The period from 18/3/2020 to 9/6/2020 shall be excluded from the calculation of the period for an application to renew a licence. 18/3/2020 to 9/6/2020 (not subject to extension)
THE LAND PUBLIC TRANSPORT ACT 2010 Enable the Director General of Land Public Transport to authorise any licensed operator of any public service vehicle or tourism vehicle or goods vehicle to temporarily use the vehicle as vehicle of any other class for a period of not more than 12 months. 1/8/2020 to 31/12/2021 (subject to extension)
THE COMMERCIAL VEHICLES LICENSING BOARD ACT 1987 Enable the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board to authorise a holder of a public service vehicle or holder of a carrier’s licence ‘C’ vehicle or ‘A’ vehicle licence of a particular class for a period of not more than 12 months. 1/8/2020 to 31/12/2021 (subject to extension)
THE COURTS OF JUDICATURE ACT 1964 Insert new section 16A to give the Chief Justice power to issue directions relating to the business of the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court whenever the Chief Justice is of the opinion that it is necessary in the interest of the dispensation of justice, public health, etc.  

Enable the Chief Justice to make any alternative arrangements for any meeting required to be convened, held or conducted under the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.  

Enable the Chief Justice to modify any provisions of the rules of court or to suspend the application of such rules as is necessary for doing complete justice.   Exclude the mandatory requirement to convene the Council of Judges for at least one meeting in each year.
18/3/2020 to two years from date of publication (not subject to extension)
THE SUBORDINATE COURTS ACT 1948 Insert new section 3A to give the Chief Justice power to issue directions relating to the business of the Subordinate Courts whenever the Chief Justice is of the opinion that it is necessary in the interest of the dispensation of justice, public health, etc. 18/3/2020 to two years from date of publication (not subject to extension)
THE SUBORDINATE COURTS RULES ACT 1955 Enable the Chief Justice to modify any provisions of the rules of court or to suspend the application of such rules as is necessary for doing complete justice. 18/3/2020 to two years from date of publication (not subject to extension)

Ting Bee Ren
University of Leeds

Ting Bee Ren
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