Minister says mooted changes to Insolvency Act will shorten period, help elderly bankrupts

KUALA LUMPUR – The Insolvency Act 1967 will be amended, including to release bankrupt persons within a shorter period, said law minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. The amendments will also take into account current economic pressures and the new minimum wage, with the threshold for small bankruptcies to be streamlined accordingly.

“The government is cognizant of the challenges bankrupt individuals face and the stigma from society. The administration of bankruptcies will be further improved,” Azalina said in a statement today

Other amendments will cover measures to ease the lifting of bankruptcy status from affected individuals, as well as to increase the use of information technology and communications to facilitate the management of such cases.

There will also be more categories under which a case can qualify for discharge, to help especially those aged 70 and above and those who are certified as mental health patients under the Mental Health Act 2001, said the minister.

Other amendments include setting a deadline for creditors to file proof of debt so that a bankrupt seeking a discharge will not be delayed. Azalina said in 2022, there were an average of 16 bankruptcy cases registered a day. However, an average of 27 cases were also discharged per day.

In 2022, there were 5,695 bankruptcy cases reported, and for the period between 2018 to 2022, a total of 49,133 cases. Those discharged in the five years numbered 87,427 cases.

Engagement sessions will be held to discuss the amendments, after which they will be tabled to the cabinet in the near future.

– The Vibes, February 3, 2023

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