Legal Updates for May 2021

Federal Court in Crystal Crown Hotel Case: Service Charges Cannot be Used to Pay Hotel Workers their Salaries to Meet the Employer's Statutory Obligation to Pay Minimum Wage

On 24 March 2021, the Federal Court in Crystal Crown Hotel & Resort Sdn Bhd (Crystal Crown Hotel Petaling Jaya) v Kesatuan Kebangsaan Pekerja-pekerja Hotel, Bar & Restoran Semenanjung Malaysia (Civil Appeal No. 02(f)-4-01 of 2018) ruled that the hoteliers cannot utilise the service charge imposed on bills to customers to meet the statutory minimum wage of their employees.

In this case, the hotelier had modified the wage rates of its employees by utilising the service charge element through the application of the service charge as part of the employees’ basic wage so as to meet its statutory obligation to pay the minimum wage.

The Federal Court’s decision therefore has a serious impact on the hotel industry, being one of the most significantly impacted industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Update seeks to provide a brief analysis of the grounds of decision by the Federal Court.

Guide on COVID-19 Vaccination: Regulatory Issues

COVID-19, the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV- 2), has spread across the globe causing severe economic and social disruption worldwide. While the world continues to see the detrimental effects of COVID-19, it also begins to welcome the unfolding global endeavour of vaccine development and deployment. The global pharmaceutical industry has announced its commitment towards developing vaccines for COVID-19, and several vaccines have since been authorised by various national regulatory authorities for public use, with vaccinations taking place in several countries across Southeast Asia.

This quick guide explores the various regulatory issues arising in different parts of Southeast Asia, briefly covering vaccine registration and administration, as well as each country's regulatory framework, as of 20 April 2021.

Does Delay in Issuing an Arbitral Award Result in Loss of Arbitrator's Jurisdictional Mandate?

Is the stipulated timeframe for a delivery of an arbitral award a procedural or jurisdictional rule? If a party to the arbitration fails to raise an objection once the deadline for delivery of the award has passed, does that result in a waiver of the right to seek a setting aside of the award?

 In Ken Grouting Sdn Bhd v RKT Nusantara Sdn Bhd and another appeal [2020] MLJU 1901, the Malaysian Court of Appeal dealt with the issue of an arbitrator's failure to deliver the arbitral award within the specified timeline, and whether this resulted in a loss of the arbitrator's jurisdictional mandate.