KUALA LUMPUR: The country is in need for an all-encompassing force majeure exemption bill or a COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill to lawfully protect players of all industries, said Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association (Rehda) Malaysia.
Force majeure is a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liabilities or obligations due to an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties.
Rehda president Datuk Ir Soam Heng Choon said this is to ensure that every party is safeguarded against any form of penalisation that would be imposed under normal circumstances.
Citing the property sector as an example, he said buyers are now unable to fulfil their obligations with regards to various processes.
This includes being unable to complete documentation and progress payments which must be made within 21 days due to the financial institutions’ scaled down operations in adherence to the Movement Control Order (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," Soam said in a statement today.
The enactment of such bill will not only benefit purchasers, developers, financiers and other property industry players, but also those in other industries that form Malaysia’s economic ecosystem, he said.
Soam also said the bill will go a long way to protect all parties from being deemed to be in breach of the contracts due to their inability to perform any contractual obligations.
"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," Soam added.
Meanwhile, Rehda expressed its appreciation to the government for the many moves and measures taken to protect the rakyat who are facing difficulties in meeting their financial obligations during these trying times. - Bernama
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