eOasis is Rajah & Tann Asia’s legal publications portal, where you can view updates on the latest key legal and regulatory developments in Asia, prepared from a practitioner's viewpoint.

What's New on eOASIS

Singapore Court Grants Rare Instance of Super Priority Rescue Financing
Under section 211E of Singapore's Companies Act, the Court is empowered to grant super priority status for rescue financing. Since the introduction of these provisions in 2017, the Singapore courts have only granted super priority on one previous occasion. On 7 February 2020, the Singapore High Court granted its second successful application for super priority rescue financing in Re Swee Hong Limited (unreported). It is also the first instance where super priority was granted over assets not otherwise subject to a security interest in respect of rescue financing to be obtained, as well as separately granted super priority over all preferential and unsecured debt in respect of rescue financing that had already been provided to the applicant company. Patrick Ang, Sheila Ng, Priscilla Soh and Celine Kee of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP represented the applicant company.
27 Mar 2020 | Singapore
Singapore Court Decides on Jurisdiction in SFA-Related Dispute
In CA Investment (Brazil) S.A. v Joesley Mendonca Batista and others (unreported), the Singapore apex court and High Court issued a series of decisions relating to service out of Singapore and the jurisdiction of the court in the context of an unusual dispute relating to claims under the Singapore Securities and Futures Act ("SFA"), whereby the proposed bond issuance alleged to be in breach of the SFA had already been abandoned. The Defendants successfully set aside the service out of jurisdiction, with the court ruling that it did not have jurisdiction over the dispute. The 3rd to 8th Defendants in this matter were represented by Gregory Vijayendran SC, Leow Jiamin, Devathas Satianathan and Mark Teo of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
26 Mar 2020 | Singapore
Another Setback for Secured Creditors: A New Supreme Court Decree on Bankruptcy/PKPU

Following the disappointing 2019 decision by the Constitutional Court declaring certain articles in Law No. 42 of 1999 on Fiduciary Security ("Fiducia Law") on creditor's power to enforce security to be conditionally unconstitutional, secured creditors suffer another setback as a result of a decree issued by the Chairman of the Supreme Court. The decree provides a detailed guideline and procedure for bankruptcy and suspension of debt payment (Penundaan Kewajiban Pembayaran Utang or "PKPU") proceedings, starting from the registration of petition, to the process post-issuance of the court decision.

While this decree is neither a law nor a regulation, it still serves as an instruction and guidance for all judges and registrars in Indonesia's commercial courts. Further, as it is not a part of the regulatory hierarchy in Indonesia, it should not introduce any new norms and contains only implementing or technical provisions for existing laws and regulations. But while it refers to, and generally does not deviate from, the procedures stipulated under the Bankruptcy Law (Law No. 37 of 2004), this decree introduces new norms that are not in the Bankruptcy Law, specifically on limitation of secured creditors' right to file a PKPU petition.

26 Mar 2020 | Indonesia
Movement Control Order - Construction Industry: Update on "Critical Works"

On 23 March 2020, the Malaysian Ministry of Works (“KKR”) issued an update to its list of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ2”) in efforts to provide clarity and clear communication to address the queries affecting the construction industry arising from the implementation of the Malaysian Movement Control Order. A key highlight of the FAQ2 is that, in acknowledgment of the importance of ensuring the safety and cleanliness at the construction site during Restriction Period, KKR has revised the examples of “critical works” previously listed in its Frequently Asked Questions issued on 18 March 2020 (FAQ1).

24 Mar 2020 | Malaysia
Holding AGMs Amid COVID-19: Guidance from SGX RegCo
On 19 March 2020, the Singapore Exchange Regulation ("SGX RegCo") provided guidance on the holding of general meetings amid the COVID-19 situation, in furtherance of the latest advisories from the Ministry of Health. The SGX RegCo's guidance was developed in consultation with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

This guidance is a welcome complement to SGX RegCo's previous announcement providing issuers listed on the SGX-ST Mainboard and Catalist which meet certain criteria two more months to hold their annual general meetings ("AGMs") to approve their 31 December 2019 financial results.

This Update sets out further guidance by SGX RegCo on the holding of AGMs/general meetings amid the challenges posed by the COVID-19 situation.
23 Mar 2020 | Singapore
Movement Control Order – Update on Employment Issues

Since the issuance of the Movement Control Order by the Government of Malaysia (“MCO”), business has slowed substantially for essential services providers and come to a standstill for others. The prospect of the MCO being extended beyond the initial restriction period, i.e. 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020, is weighing heavily on the minds of business owners. The need to minimise expenses and conserve cash at a time when revenue has fallen substantially has given rise to questions of what employers can do to secure their business and at the same time support their employees.

In this Update, we examine various laws and pronouncements and explain their effects on the employer-employee relationship. We analyse in particular the two FAQs issued by the Ministry of Human Resources on 19 March 2020 and 20 March 2020.

23 Mar 2020 | Malaysia
Indonesian Government Begins Easing Rules in Light of COVID-19

In light of the spread of  the Covid-19 outbreak, on 18 March 2020, the OJK, Indonesia's Financial Services Authority, relaxed the rules on submission of reports and holding of general meeting of shareholders for public companies. Under OJK Letter No. S-92/D.04/2020 ("Letter"), OJK not only extends the deadline for the submission of several reports, including annual reports and financial statements, but also extends the holding of a general meeting of shareholders ("GMS") .

20 Mar 2020 | Indonesia
Indonesian Government Begins Easing Rules in Light of COVID-19

In light of the spread of  the Covid-19 outbreak, on 18 March 2020, the OJK, Indonesia's Financial Services Authority, relaxed the rules on submission of reports and holding of general meeting of shareholders for public companies. Under OJK Letter No. S-92/D.04/2020 ("Letter"), OJK not only extends the deadline for the submission of several reports, including annual reports and financial statements, but also touches upon the holding of a general meeting of shareholders ("GMS") via an e-proxy.

20 Mar 2020 | Indonesia
Movement Control Order – How Does It Affect the Construction Sector?

Since 16 March 2020, Malaysia has been abuzz following the announcement by the Prime Minister of the implementation of a Movement Control Order ("MCO"). The MCO restricts the movement of anyone to, fro and within an infected area. Following the announcement, the Government of Malaysia has gazetted the Prevention and Control (Measures Within the Infected Areas) Regulations 2020 ("Regulations") which shall take effect from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020 ("Restriction Period"). Under the Regulations, the whole of Malaysia has been defined as an infected area.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, the different sectors of the construction industry have sought clarification and guidance as to whether the type of construction, operation and/or maintenance work that they perform are classified or may be construed within the purview of Essential Services and/or be considered as critical works. To provide clarity, the Ministry of Works has made a further announcement that all construction work shall be subject to the MCO. Accordingly, all construction and maintenance work must stop. Only critical works are allowed to continue.

This FAQ strives to provide answers to the pertinent questions, addressing the perspective from both the public and private sectors, of the construction industry in general and a brief commentary on specific industry(ies) consequent upon the MCO, its impact and what steps need to be taken by these sectors during the Restriction Period.

20 Mar 2020 | Malaysia
Movement Control Order - How Does It Affect the Manufacturing Sector?

Manufacturing was not explicitly named as one of the essential services under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020. However, the essential services list does provide for "any services or works determined by the Minister as essential or critical to public health or safety" to continue to operate during the Movement Control Order period between 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020 ("Restriction Period"). On 18 March 2020, the National Security Council and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry issued corresponding press statement and circular to allow certain manufacturing companies to operate during the Restriction Period if such companies are producing critical products.

20 Mar 2020 | Malaysia
The Prevention and Control (Measures Within the Infected Areas) Regulations 2020 – Containing the COVID-19 Outbreak in Malaysia

Following a sharp increase in the number of persons infected by the COVID-19 virus, the Malaysian Government has gazetted the Prevention and Control (Measures Within the Infected Areas) Regulations 2020 (“Regulations”). The Regulations are to have effect from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020. This followed the announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office on 16 March 2020 of a Movement Control Order, which according to the announcement, will be enforced under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967. The Regulations were issued subsequent to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Declaration of Infected Local Areas) Order 2020 which declared all states and federal territories of Malaysia as infected local areas.

19 Mar 2020 | Malaysia
Latest - Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment in View of COVID-19
In view of COVID-19, the Ministry of Manpower, the National Trade Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation issued an update to their Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible Retrenchment ("Advisory") on 11 March 2020. The Advisory sets out possible measures to manage excess manpower and is intended to help employees continue to retain a job amidst a likely prolonged difficult period even as employers work towards keeping their businesses and employees' jobs viable. We highlight some of these updates below.
17 Mar 2020 | Singapore