Legal Updates for June 2020

The National Economic Recovery Plan: Employment Reliefs and Incentives

In our previous Update on the Recovery Movement Control Order, previous update on the Recovery Movement Control Order, we have highlighted some of the initiatives implemented by the Government of Malaysia under the National Economic Recovery Plan ("PENJANA"). Further guidance on the initiatives relating to employment have since been released by the relevant regulatory bodies and government agencies.

In this Update, we discuss in further detail the initiatives introduced under PENJANA to assist employers and employees during this period of recovery of the country's economy.


International corruption has been estimated to cost a massive $3.6 trillion annually in the form of bribes and stolen money, amounting to over 5% of global GDP. It has been listed by the United Nations as one of the biggest impediments to achieving its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and governments worldwide have criminalised corruption in an effort to stem the losses.

Rajah & Tann Asia's member firms and regional desks hail from the jurisdictions of Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. This Publication brings together our lawyers from the above jurisdictions to answer the following questions on anti-corruption efforts:

  1. What is the principal anti-corruption legislation in your country?
  2. Who is the authority in charge?
  3. Does the principal legislation have extra-territorial effect?
  4. Is there a different threshold in bribery offences in the public and private sector?
  5. Is there a duty to report bribery offences?
  6. What are the key offences under the principal legislation?
  7. What are the penalties for the key offences?
  8. Are there defences to the key offences?
  9. If a body corporate commits an offence under the principal anti-corruption legislation, would the officers of the body corporate be liable?
  10. Are Deferred Prosecution Agreements an option in your country?
  11. Are there any other key anti-corruption initiatives in your country?
  12. What is the enforcement trend of anti-corruption laws in your country?
The Recovery Movement Control Order - Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within Infected Local Areas) (No. 7) Regulations 2020

On 7 June 2020, the Government of Malaysia announced that the Recovery Movement Control Order ("RMCO") will replace the Conditional Movement Control Order ("CMCO"). The Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (No. 7) Regulations 2020 ("Regulations No. 7") outline measures to control and prevent the spreading of COVID-19 during the RMCO. The RMCO is effective from 10 June 2020 to 31 August 2020.

Movement restrictions were initially introduced under a Movement Control Order, which lasted for 6.5 weeks from 18 March 2020 to 3 May 2020. These were succeeded by the CMCO that was effective from 4 May 2020 until the institution of the RMCO.

In this Update, we examine the changes that have been implemented by Regulations No. 7 and the various initiatives introduced by the Government to aid and relieve those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Corporate Liability is not Shelved – Adequate Procedures More Crucial Than Ever in the Face of COVID-19 Corruption and Fraud Risks

COVID-19 has forced businesses into survival mode, especially with restrictions on how businesses can operate during the Conditional Movement Control Order and, before this, the Movement Control Order (collectively, the "MCO") period. From shifting to new methods of transacting to partnering with new business associates, businesses have had to change the way they operate to stay in the black. Post-MCO, businesses will clamber to make up for lost time and revenue. It is tempting to assume compliance responsibilities can take a back seat during such trying times, but companies cannot fall victim to this fallacy

In light of Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 coming into effect on 1 June 2020, this Update highlights the risks of corruption exacerbated by COVID-19 which companies need to be aware of, and offers some suggestions of practical adequate procedures to implement.

Large Scale Solar Power Plants – Fourth Competitive Bidding Round (LSS@MEnTARI)

The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the Energy Commission had, on 28 and 29 May 2020 respectively, announced a fourth competitive bidding programme to call for bids to develop up to 1,000MWac of large-scale solar power plants in Malaysia (dubbed the LSS@MEnTARI). This Update highlights the key features of LSS@MEnTARI.

Personal Data Protection Commissioner Issues Advisory on the Collection, Processing and Storage of Personal Data During the Conditional Movement Control Order

Following the shift from the previous Movement Control Order to the Conditional Movement Control Order (“CMCO”) in Malaysia (which is currently scheduled to end on 9 June 2020), most industries and businesses have been allowed to resume operations, subject to compliance with standard operating procedures issued by the Malaysian Government. On 29 May 2020, the Personal Data Protection Commissioner issued an Advisory on the Procedure for the Handling of Activities relating to the Collection, Processing and Storage of Personal Data by Business Premises during the Conditional Movement Control Order (“Advisory”), which outlines the minimum requirements to be complied with by business premises operating during the CMCO period in order to comply with the seven Personal Data Protection Principles (“PDP Principles”) of the Personal Data Protection Act 2010.

In this Update, we analyse some of the minimum requirements against each of the PDP Principles as identified in the Advisory to be observed by businesses when collecting personal data for contact tracing purposes during the CMCO period.

COVID-19: Empolyers' Road to Reopening

The global economy has taken a staggering hit following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Country after country has announced full lockdowns or issued a multitude of orders intended to limit the movement of people.

As the pandemic shows signs of being brought under control in some countries, governments have begun looking to the future, cautiously seeking to restart their economies without triggering another outbreak. With ten member firms throughout Southeast Asia, Rajah & Tann Asia is uniquely positioned to address queries that employers and businesses with cross-border dealings within this region of high economic interconnectivity and interdependency may have, particularly with regard to the anticipated reopening of businesses.

Our member firms hail from the jurisdictions of Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. This COVID-19 Publication brings together our lawyers from all member firms to answer the following questions:

  1. Is your jurisdiction under some form of movement control restrictions, whether full or partial ("Restrictions")? If so, what Restrictions are in place?
  2. Are businesses open and functioning during these Restrictions?
  3. If businesses are not allowed to open, how long is this situation expected to last?
  4. What conditions need to be in place to allow businesses to open and continue to function, and what are employers’ legal obligations in this situation?
  5. What is the risk to employers who reopen their premises for business? What additional measures should employers take to manage their liabilities?