KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — The Temporary Measures for Reducing The Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Bill 2020 supports government’s initiatives to restore the country’s economy via the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) and the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the bill provided temporary relief from contractual obligations or legislative compliance for a specified period for the survival of the people.
“Whether this bill (is) ‘too little too late’ or ‘better late than never’ is not an issue because the effects of Covid-19 had been addressed by the government via the economic stimulus package, in fact it was resolved by utilising existing legislation,” he said when tabling the bill for the second reading at Dewan Rakyat, today.
Takiyuddin said the bill did not provide for punishments or penalties for non-compliance, in line with the government’s intention that the bill should not be punitive in nature.
“This virus does not discriminate between the rich and the poor, employers and workers, traders and buyers, city folks and villagers. The effects of Covid-19 are felt by everyone. When one party is affected, it means that the entire economic chain will also be affected,” he said.
In this regard, he said the bill provides a mediation platform to disputants to amicably resolve their differences without involving court proceedings.
It also shows the government’s concern in ensuring that both parties are given equal opportunities and the settlements agreed upon must be signed and considered final and binding, he added.
Meanwhile, Takiyuddin said the drafting of the bill underwent a complex process involving all parties and that the issues included in the bill were obtained through comprehensive engagement sessions with stakeholders such as ministries, departments, federal agencies including Sabah and Sarawak, industry players, community organisations and non-governmental organisations.
The Temporary Measures for Reducing The Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Bill 2020 seeks to modify 16 legislations namely the Limitation Act 1953; the Sabah Limitation Ordinance; the Sarawak Limitation Ordinance; the Public Authorities Protection Act 1948; the Insolvency Act 1967; the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 and the Consumer Protection Act 1999;
Other acts are the Distress Act 1951; the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966; the Industrial Relations Act 1967; the Private Employment Agencies Act 1981; the Land Public Transport Act 2010; the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board Act 1987; the Courts of Judicature Act 1964; the Subordinate Courts Act 1948; and the Subordinate Courts Rules Act 1955). — Bernama