BANKRUPTCY (AMENDMENT) BILL 2016 PASSED IN DEWAN RAKYAT
Govt aims to modernise legal framework in line with international laws, says minister
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with a comprehensive consultation process to bring about a policy change to the bankruptcy legal framework, get rid of outdated procedures and make present procedures easier.”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