Malaysia’s Movement Control Order and the Closure of Courts
Further to our client alerts dated on 31st March 2020, 3rd April 2020 and 16th April 2020, the Malaysian Government has decided to extend the Movement Control Order (“MCO”) by two weeks until 12th May 2020.
Pursuant to the extension of the MCO until 12th May 2020, the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court has issued a directive to the effect that the previous directions given will remain in force until the end of the extended MCO. Further, some unchallenged interlocutory applications before the High Court of Malaya can be heard online starting from 4th May 2020.
Further, the Chief Justice of Malaysia has issued a press statement where, in essence, stated that it is unrealistic and impossible for the Courts to operate in the usual way during the Covid-19 pandemic. Doing so will run the risk of jeopardising not only the health and safety of judges and lawyers but also that of litigants, court staff including officers, clerks and other support staff.
Nonetheless, in order to ensure continuous access to justice in the current circumstances, the Courts continue to operate, albeit with a more limited scope. For civil cases, various High Courts and Subordinate Courts have continued to hear urgent cases and to carry out case managements via email or e-Review and conduct online hearings.
In a historic move, the Court of Appeal successfully heard appeals via teleconference in respect of actions involving a bus crash on 22nd April 2020 and the proceedings were live-streamed on its official website. The three appeals heard were Zhao Fangliang v Syarikat Pengangkutan Satu Hati Sdn Bhd, Jin Haifang v Syarikat Pengangkutan Satu Hati Sdn Bhd and Zhu Cunhua v Syarikat Pengangkutan Satu Hati Sdn Bhd.
We will continue to attend to clients’ matters and instructions a promptly as we could in the circumstances. As part of our Firm’s Business Continuity Plan (BCP), all our partners and lawyers are working from home and may be contacted at their respective email addresses and mobile phones.
Please feel free to contact us should you need clarification or our assistance.
Managing Partner and Head, IP
H/P No.: +6012-3032728
H/P No.: +6012-9146558
H/P No.: +6017-8920420
* This Alert is intended for general information of the clients of our Firm. It should not be regarded as legal professional advice. If you need advice based on specific facts, please feel free to contact us.