Insights / Updates

Stay up to date with legal developments in Malaysia.

What's New

Update on the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2020

The Industrial Relations Act 1967 (“IRA”) is a piece of social legislation aimed to promote and maintain industrial harmony and regulate the relations between employers and workmen and their trade unions.

In this Update, we highlight the amendments to the IRA which came into force on 1 January 2021 and the potential impact of these changes on the employers and their workmen.

Signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement by 15 Asia-Pacific Countries

On 15 November 2020, the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ("ASEAN") – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam – in conjunction with Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand, signed the world's largest free trade agreement to date, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership ("RCEP") Agreement.

Representing the culmination of eight years of negotiations, the RCEP builds on existing bilateral FTAs among the 15 RCEP Participating Countries ("RPCs"). Together, the RPCs account for about 30% of global gross domestic product and close to a third of the world's population. It signals the RPCs' strong commitment to maintaining open and connected supply chains; broadens individual RPCs' economic linkages and connectivity with the region; and gives them preferential access to the region's growing markets.

We provide an overview of the features of the RCEP below, which improves on the existing ASEAN Plus One agreement in four key areas:

1. comprehensive trade facilitation measures;

2. improved market access for Trade in Services;

3. enhanced investment rules and disciplines; and

4. expanded scope and commitments.

Conduct of Virtual General Meetings during the CMCO

With the recent announcement of the Conditional Movement Control Order (“CMCO”) for Sabah, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya effective from 13 October 2020 until 27 October 2020, the Companies Commission of Malaysia (“CCM”) has granted a further extension of time (“EOT”) of 90 days for a company to hold its annual general meeting (“AGM”), and to circulate and lodge financial statements with CCM.

Following this, the Securities Commission Malaysia (“SC”) also revised the Guidance and FAQs on the Conduct of General Meetings for Listed Issuers (“Guidance Note”) to dovetail the regulation and conduct of general meetings for listed issuers during the CMCO with the latest initiative of CCM.

In April 2020, we issued an Update on COVID-19 AGM Matters & the Move to Virtual General Meetings which highlighted certain measures introduced by CCM and SC in light of the pandemic and the CMCO. This Update highlights the key features of the latest revisions by the two regulators.