Amendments to Insolvency Act passed unanimously

KUALA LUMPUR: Amendments to the Insolvency Act have been unanimously passed via a voice vote by the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (May 24).

With the Bill passed, the government is expected to provide more effective administration of bankrupts' estates in Malaysia and to speedier process to discharge bankruptcy statuses.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said there was urgent intervention needed by the government as many were declared bankrupt from 2019 until this year.

"The Insolvency Department reported that those from the age of 35 to 44 are the most affected, with 13,073 individuals declared bankrupt.

"I would like to emphasise the element of gender – there were more men declared bankrupt compared to women over the same period at 25,104 men as opposed to 8,912 women," she told the Dewan Rakyat during her winding up speech for the Bill on Wednesday (May 24).

Among the amendments is for two new categories for the discharge of bankruptcy status with the confirmation of the Insolvency director-general and without creditors' objection.

This includes bankrupts who are unable to manage themselves due to mental illness (with verification by a psychiatrist at a government hospital) and those over 70, who according to the judgment of the Insolvency director-general, no longer have the ability to cooperate and contribute to the administration of bankruptcy.

During the debate session, lawmakers agreed more awareness on financial literacy among the youth is needed to prevent bankruptcy cases as well as urgent assistance for those facing financial crisis.

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