BANK­RUPTCY (AMEND­MENT) BILL 2016 PASSED IN DEWAN RAKYAT

Govt aims to mod­ernise le­gal frame­work in line with in­ter­na­tional laws, says min­is­ter

New Straits Times - - Front Page - NIK IM­RAN AB­DUL­LAH AND MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

THE Bank­ruptcy (Amend­ment) Bill 2016, which seeks to ease the process to dis­charge some­one from bank­ruptcy, was passed in the Dewan Rakyat yes­ter­day.

The bill was tabled for sec­ond read­ing in the morn­ing by Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s De­part­ment Datuk Seri Aza­lina Oth­man Said, and was passed af­ter the third read­ing in the af­ter­noon.

The gov­ern­ment con­sid­ered eight pol­icy changes in the amend­ment to the Bank­ruptcy Act 1967, in­clud­ing in­creas­ing the min­i­mum debt level to be de­clared bank­rupt to RM50,000 from the present RM30,000, grant­ing im­mu­nity to guar­an­tors and im­ple­ment­ing a mech­a­nism that will al­low debtors to ne­go­ti­ate an ar­range­ment with their cred­i­tors be­fore le­gal pro­ceed­ings can be taken against them.

“The gov­ern­ment views with con­cern bank­ruptcy is­sues, es­pe­cially con­cern­ing those who are de­clared bank­rupt for be­ing guar­an­tors to bor­row­ers who failed to re­pay their loans.

“They should not be held re­spon­si­ble with­out ac­tion be­ing taken against the prin­ci­pal bor­rower to set­tle the loan,” Aza­lina told the Dewan Rakyat.

“The gov­ern­ment has un­der­taken sev­eral ini­tia­tives and drafted strate­gies to trans­form the old le­gal frame­work to a mod­ern one, in line with in­ter­na­tional laws and in mov­ing with the times.

“The In­sol­vency De­part­ment has car­ried out a thor­ough study in line with a com­pre­hen­sive con­sul­ta­tion process to bring about a pol­icy change to the bank­ruptcy le­gal frame­work, get rid of out­dated pro­ce­dures and make present pro­ce­dures eas­ier.”

She said as of last month, In­sol­vency De­part­ment sta­tis­tics showed 292,086 ac­tive bank­ruptcy cases, of which Se­lan­gor recorded the high­est at 70,817 cases.

She said 58.57 per cent of bank­ruptcy cases in­volved those aged be­tween 25 and 44, which she noted was wor­ry­ing.

Datuk Seri Aza­lina Oth­man Said

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