Rehda asks govt to enact exemption bill to protect business contractual obligations

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 7): The Real Estate & Housing Developers' Association Malaysia (Rehda) is calling for the government to enact a force majeure exemption bill or a “Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill” to lawfully protect players of all industries during the movement control order (MCO) period.

In a statement today, Rehda president Datuk Soam Heng Choon said the enforcement of the MCO has impacted the livelihood of the rakyat in all industries across the board, with many parties being unable to perform their contractual obligations.

The bill therefore is to ensure that every party is safeguarded against any form of penalisation that would be imposed under normal circumstances, he said.

“For instance, in the property sector, buyers are now unable to fulfil their obligations with regards to various processes like completing documentation and progress payment, which must be made within 21 days, due to the financial institutions’ scaled down operations in adherence to the MCO.

“Developers are also likely not able to meet their completion deadlines as a result of the MCO, which has affected the whole supply chain, thus it will take longer to achieve optimum output from construction activities on-site,” he said.

Soam said Rehda is of the opinion that the enactment of such a bill will be beneficial not only to purchasers, developers, financiers and other property industry players, but also those in other industries that form Malaysia’s economic ecosystem.

“It will go a long way to protect all parties to any contract from being deemed to be in breach of the contract due to the inability to perform any obligation of the contracts.

“This unprecedented pandemic outbreak is expected to have long-term effects in all imaginable aspects. As such, we call upon the government to give due consideration to the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill to ensure that all Malaysians will not be further burdened unnecessarily,” he said.

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