Issue 42 – Keeping our newsletters short is a struggle



Apa khabar? In the midst of figuring out our style, we learned (thanks to your feedback in our survey) that you prefer to have more news and sections – you little nerds! Like the complying bunch we are, we shall abide. 

We are still listening, so if you have something to say, the time is now. Click on the button below. 

Niresh Kaur, Shambavi Shankar

Fun stuff coming up!

What will be held in a bar (in KL) and involves a buzzer? That’s right! A whatsrightMY Legal Trivia

Date: 12th April, 2023
Venue: Rock Bottom Bangsar, KL
Follow our Instagram page for updates on this.

What’s the tea in Malaysia?

sipping tea
Source: Tenor / Morphin

Death penalty news: What’s the progress?

As stated before, the death penalty will not be entirely abolished but will now instead be an option – whereby the judge gets to decide based on his/her discretion (now don’t ask us why we said ‘his’ first). 
The judge:

Source: Tenor /John Wick

Here’s what’s proposed:There will be no lifelong sentence to replace the mandatory death penalty. Alternative: a jail term of 30-40 years and 12 strokes of rotan.
Lifelong imprisonment as punishment is to be abolished completely.
Mandatory death sentence to be abolished for non-fatal offences except for 3 offences namely Sections 212 and 121A of the Penal Code, as well as Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
Source: Tenor / iTzReece25

A review by the Federal Court of the existing lifelong imprisonment sentences will be done via a new Bill (RUU). 
Note: The first reading of Abolishment of Mandatory Death Penalty Bill 2023 and Review of Death Penalty and Lifelong Imprisonment (Federal Court Temporary Jurisdiction) 2023 will be carried out today, March 27. This will affect 476 individuals who are currently on death row.

Guess who’s back, back again?

The former director of the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC), Datuk N Sundra Rajoo (SR), is back again as director of the AIAC effective March 16, 2023, for a two-year term (2023-2025).

Eh, actually what happened?: 2010: SR was appointed as director of the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA), now known as (AIAC).
2018: Rajoo was arrested and charged with bribery and misuse of funds leading to the end of his tenure.

2019: He was charged with 3 counts of alleged criminal breach of trust (CBT) amounting to RM1.1 million of AIAC funds 
2020: The CBT charges were struck out by Sessions Court, citing High Court decision on his immunity for acts done in official capacity.
2021: Federal Court granted SR’s appeal and declared him immune from prosecution for acts done within his official capacity.
In short, SR was covered by the legal immunity from prosecution for his actions under the International Organizations (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1992 and it covered criminal proceedings as well (although the respondents in this case argued otherwise).

Immunity for acts done in official capacity means that if you mess up while doing your job as a public official, you might be off the hook – it’s like a “get out of jail free” card, but only for work-related blunders.

sipping tea
Source: Tenor / Morphin

SVB saga: What even happened?

Bear with us as we try to keep this as brief as possible. During the pandemic, there was a sudden influx of deposits in the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), all thanks to tech companies that were prospering during this period. Following this, the SVB opted to invest billions in long-dated U.S. government bonds, including mortgage-backed securities, which was a favourable decision at the time. 

Source: Tenor / riccardo06

So what went wrong? The combination of the following two things:
1. Tech companies struggling after two years of growth (remember the big layoffs?) led to them withdrawing their deposits.
2. In 2022, the Federal Reserve (Bank Negara Malaysia equivalent in the US) hiked its interest rates to slow down inflation which in turn had a negative effect on the bonds and securities that the SVB invested in. 

Not being able to handle the amount of withdrawal, the SVB (after recognising loss upon the sale of its bonds) announced to investors to raise capital – and this caused panic resulting in bank runs (everyone rushing to the bank to withdraw their monies) and voila! The failure of SVB in brief. 

Source: Tenor

Biden stepped in. The Biden administration has promised all depositors their money back, including those uninsured.

Now, here’s some homework for you – what is the Malaysian Deposit Insurance Corporation Act (PIDM)?*

Other highlights of the week:

1. Two companies to lose their monopoly status:
-Puspakom will no longer be the sole provider of vehicle inspection services. 
-Touch n’ Go will no longer be the sole provider of payment systems at toll booths and public transportation.

2. Nurhidayah (Muhyidin’s daughter) seems to be very involved in the business. Just see this for yourselves because we cannot explain. 

Source: Tenor / Ddjpacmansd

Legal Lingo of the Week – Voir Dire

Voir Dire is a legal term in Malaysia for a “trial within a trial” where a judge determines the admissibility of evidence’s relevance and reliability. The prosecution and defence then battle it out, and the judge makes a ruling. 

Source: Tenor

Its purpose is to ensure only legally admissible evidence is presented in criminal trials. Recently, it has also been applied in civil proceedings involving legally privileged communications between solicitors and their clients as evidence in the case of Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad & Anor v Tan Sri Dato’ Tajudin bin Ramli & Ors [2020] MLJU 823 (HC).

Question of the week*

You would have heard the term PIDM a lot, especially when signing forms related to your bank and insurance. Bu what exactly is the Malaysian Deposit Insurance Corporation Act (PIDM)?

Stay tuned for the answer next week. 
Got questions? Email us at apakhabar @ whatsrightmy(dot)com 

Subscript: We aspire to respond to our emails like we respond to our WhatsApp texts – 2 days later. 

Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe here to get more bite-sized legal updates like this.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.