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Course Guide Course Assignment Guide Topic 1 xi - xxi xxv – xxix 1 2 4 4 5 7 7 11 11 13 16 17 18 18 20 21 24 24 26 27 29 30 33 33 34 35 36 41 45 45 45 Law of Contract (Proposal and Acceptance) 1.1 Definition of Contract and Elements of a Valid Contract 1.2 Proposal or Offer 1.2.1 To Whom Can the Proposal be Made? 1.2.2 The Difference between a Proposal and an Invitation to Treat 1.2.3 Proposal must be Clear and Communicated 1.2.4 Revocation of Proposal 1.3 Acceptance 1.3.1 Acceptance must be Absolute and Unqualified 1.3.2 Acceptance must be Communicated 1.3.3 Revocation of Acceptance Summary Key Terms References Law of Contract (Consideration) 2.1 Executory, Executed and Past Consideration 2.2 Exceptions to the Rule of Consideration 2.2.1 Agreement Made on Account of Natural Love and Affection 2.2.2 Agreement to Compensate a Past Voluntary Act 2.2.3 Agreement to Pay a Statute-Barred Debt 2.3 Must Consideration Move From the Promisee? 2.4 Adequacy of Consideration Summary Key Terms References Law of Contract (Intention to Create Legal Relations) 3.1 Domestic, Family and Social Agreements 3.2 Business or Commercial Agreements Summary Key Terms References

Topic 2

Topic 3

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Topic 4

Law of Contract (Capacity to Contract) 4.1 Minors 4.1.1 Valid Contracts (Exceptions to Minors) 4.2 Person of Sound Mind Summary Key Terms References Law of Contract (Free Consent to Contract) 5.1 Coercion 5.1.1 Effect of Coercion 5.2 Undue Influence 5.2.1 Real or Apparent Authority 5.2.2 A Fiduciary Relation 5.2.3 Mental Capacity is Temporarily or Permanently Affected by Reason of Age, Illness, or Mental; or Bodily Distress 5.2.4 Burden of Proof 5.2.5 Effect of Undue Influence 5.3 Fraud 5.3.1 Effect of Fraud 5.4 Misrepresentation 5.4.1 Effect of Misrepresentation 5.5 Mistakes 5.5.1 Mistake of Fact 5.5.2 Mistake of Law 5.5.3 Mistake as To Document 5.5.4 Effect of Mistake Summary Key Terms References Law of Contract (Void and Illegal Contract) 6.1 Contracts Forbidden by Law and If Permitted, Defeat the Law 6.2 Fraudulent Contracts 6.3 Contracts Injurious to Person or Property of Another 6.4 Contracts Immoral or Against Public Policy 6.5 Other Void Contracts 6.5.1 Contracts in Restraint of Trade 6.5.2 Contracts in Restraint of Legal Proceedings 6.5.3 Effect of Contracts under Section 28 And 29 6.6 Consequences of Illegality

47 48 49 54 57 57 58 59 60 61 62 62 63 64

Topic 5

64 66 68 70 71 72 74 74 76 76 77 80 82 82 83 84 86 86 87 89 90 91 92 92

Topic 6

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Summary Key Terms References Topic 7 Law of Contract (Discharge of Contract And Remedies) 7.1 Discharge by Consent or Agreement Between Parties 7.1.1 Novation, Rescission and Alteration 7.1.2 Remission of Performance 7.2 Discharge by Performance 7.2.1 Time and Place of Performance 7.2.2 Performance of Reciprocal Promise 7.2.3 Performance by Third Party 7.3 Discharge by Impossibility 7.3.1 Effect of Frustration 7.4 Discharge by Breach 7.5 Remedies 7.5.1 Rescission of Contract 7.5.2 Damages 7.5.3 Specific Performance 7.5.4 Injunction 7.5.5 Quantum Meruit Summary Key Terms References Law of Agency (Part 1) 8.1 Capacity 8.2 Formation of Agency 8.2.1 Agency by Express Appointment 8.2.2 Agency by Implied Appointment 8.2.3 Agency by Ratification 8.2.4 Agency by Necessity 8.2.5 Agency by Estoppel or Holding Out 8.3 Authority of an Agent 8.3.1 Actual Authority 8.3.2 Apparent or Ostensible Authority Summary Key Terms References

96 96 96 98 99 99 100 101 102 105 105 106 108 109 111 111 112 114 117 118 118 120 121 123 124 124 125 125 127 129 130 131 131 132 135 135 135

Topic 8

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Topic 9

Law of Agency (Part II) 9.1 Duties of Agent to Principal 9.2 Duties of Principal to Agent 9.3 Effects of Contracts Made by Agents 9.3.1 A Named Principal 9.3.2 An Undisclosed Principal 9.4 Termination of Agency 9.4.1 Termination by the Act of the Parties 9.4.2 Termination by Operation of Law Summary Key Terms References Law of Partnership (Part I) 10.1 Definition of Partnership and its Characteristics 10.2 Formation of Partnership 10.2.1 Partnership under the Law 10.2.2 Lawful Purpose 10.2.3 Capacity 10.2.4 Partnership Agreement 10.2.5 Registration of Partnership 10.3 Relationship of Partners and Outsiders (Third Parties) 10.3.1 Partner's Authority to Bind the Firm 10.3.2 Liability of Partners Summary Key Terms References Law of Partnership (Part II) 11.1 Relationship between Partners 11.1.1 Mutual Rights and Duties of Partners 11.1.2 Obligations of Partners to Act in Utmost Good Faith 11.2 Incoming and Outgoing (Retiring) Partners 11.3 Assignment of Share 11.4 Partnership Property 11.5 Dissolution of Partnership 11.6 Partnership Accounts Settlement Summary Key Terms References

137 137 146 153 153 153 154 154 156 157 158 158 159 160 165 165 165 166 166 166 168 168 170 177 178 178 180 181 184 186 186 187 189 192 193 194 195 196

Topic 10

Topic 11

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Topic 12

Law of Sale of Goods (Part I) 12.1 Definition of Goods 12.2 Contract of Sale 12.3 Terms of Contract 12.4 Implied Terms 12.4.1 Title 12.4.2 Sale of Goods by Description 12.4.3 Fitness for Purpose and Merchantable Quality 12.4.4 Sale by Sample 12.5 Transfer of Property in the Goods and Risk 12.5.1 Effects of the Contract Summary Key Terms References Law of Sale of Goods (Part II) 13.1 Transfer of Title by Seller Who is not the Owner and Its Exceptions 13.1.1 Estoppel 13.1.2 Sale by a Merchantile Agent 13.1.3 Sale by One of Joint Owners 13.1.4 Sale under a Voidable Contract 13.1.5 Sale by a Seller in Possession after Sale 13.1.6 Sale by a Buyer in Possession after Sale 13.2 Performance of Contract 13.3 Remedies for Breach 13.3.1 Breach by the Buyer 13.3.2 Rights of Unpaid Seller against the Goods (SellerÊs Remedies) 13.3.3 Breach by the Seller and the BuyerÊs Remedies Summary Key Terms References Law of Hire-Purchase 14.1 Definition of Hire-purchase 14.2 Meaning of Goods under the Hire-purchase Act 1967 14.3 Formation of the Hire-purchase Agreement 14.3.1 Pre-contractual Obligations 14.3.2 Construction of a Hire-purchase Agreement 14.3.3 Post-contractual Obligations 14.4 Rights and Protections of Hirers 14.4.1 Implied Conditions

197 198 198 199 200 201 201 202 205 208 209 212 213 213 215 216 217 218 218 219 219 219 220 223 223 224 228 231 232 232 233 234 234 236 236 237 238 239 239

Topic 13

Topic 14

6 Statutory Rights of the Hirer 14.2 Procedures during Repossession 14.7.3 Procedures after Repossession (Rights of The Hirer after Repossession) 14.7 Repossession of Goods by the Owner 14.2 Implied Warranties 14.1 Procedures Prior To Repossession 14.5 Liability of Owner and Dealer for Misrepresentation 14.7.7.4.8 Insurance Summary Key Terms References 240 240 240 242 243 244 245 246 249 249 250 .viii  TABLE OF CONTENTS 14.

Identify the rules of acceptance and the exceptions. Describe the importance of communication in a proposal and an acceptance. It is important to note that despite reference being made to English Law.Topic  1 Law of Contract (Proposal and Acceptance) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic. Decisions of the courts in India may also be referred to since some of the provisions of the Indian Contracts Act are in pari materia with the Malaysian Contracts Act. Explain the important elements that constitute a valid contract. 5. However. 4. However. Differentiate between a proposal and an invitation to treat. The Malaysian law of contract is governed by the Contracts Act 1950. 6. Thus. Define the meaning of contract. . the Act does not address all aspects of the law of contract. you should be able to: 1. 3.  INTRODUCTION This topic introduces the law which governs the formation of contracts in Malaysia. the relevant provisions of the statute. and Discuss the principles relating to revocation of a proposal and an acceptance. in particular the Contracts Act 1950 and relevant case-laws will be referred to in order to give us a clear understanding of the topic. this will be regarded as a source of reference only. in absence of any provision relating to issues arising under the contract. these can only be treated as guidelines or persuasive authority and will not bind the decisions of the courts in Malaysia. Throughout the discussion. 2. reference may be made to English law by virtue of Section 5 of the Civil Law Act 1956.

These contracts are normally drafted and prepared in a written form. containing the details of the terms and conditions agreed by the parties therein. .1: A sample of a contract Most contracts take the form of simple contracts whereby there are no specific formalities involved in the contract formation. In order to form an agreement enforceable by law. Capacity to contract. not all agreements are contracts. for example. selling and buying goods at the grocery shop or the market. In other words.2) must exist: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) Proposal or Offer.1). and jointventure contracts. However. It can be a contract to sell and purchase land. for example. a contract is an agreement that binds the parties who enter into it and it can be enforced against one another (Refer to Figure 1. an insurance contract. Intention to create legal relations. Figure 1.1 DEFINITION OF CONTRACT AND ELEMENTS OF A VALID CONTRACT Section 2(h) of the Contracts Act defines contract as an agreement enforceable by law. a contract of leasing. (This is also known as a „domestic agreement‰). like contracts entered into by companies doing the business of selling houses and lands. The contracts are made orally or through implied actions of the parties. Consideration. there are contracts which are considered as complex in nature. etc. the following elements (Refer to Figure 1. Acceptance. However. and Free consent. a social agreement or agreements between family members. These agreements are not considered contracts because they are not intended to bind the parties in law.2  TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE) 1.

Every party to a contract must have the capacity to enter into a contract. the contract must not be secured through fraud. Every party must enter into a contract with free consent. A person who accepts the offer. When you agree to accept the offer or proposal made by the other party who makes the proposal. A value to be paid for a promise made. misrepresentation or mistake.1: Explanation on the Elements of a Contract Elements of contract Proposal or Offer Acceptance Proposer/Offeror Acceptor Consideration Intention to create legal relations Capacity to contract Free Consent Explanation When you signify your willingness to be bound by a contract with the other party. A person who makes the offer. Every party to a contract must have the intention to create a legal relation. undue influence. coercion.TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE)  3 Figure 1. .2: Elements of a valid contract Table 1.

A proposes B to sell his Perdana car at RM100. 1.1. the acceptance can be made by any person who knows about the proposal and performs the obligations required by the proposer. a proposal is said to exist Âwhen one person signifies to another. a proposal is the readiness of the person who makes the offer to create a legal relation and to be bound by the law. the term offer is used while under the Malaysian Contracts Act.1 1. with a view to obtain the assent of that other person to the act or the abstinenceÊ. 2. A proposal can also be made to the public. The example of a proposal made to the public is illustrated in the case of: . the word proposal is used.2. How do you distinguish between a social agreement and a contract? What are the important elements to form a valid contract? What are the advantages of having a contract in written form? Give two examples of standard forms of contract that are available in Malaysia. whenever the terms of the proposal are agreed upon by the acceptor. his willingness to do or to abstain from doing anything. as explained in Table 1. 1.2 PROPOSAL OR OFFER What is a proposal or an offer? According to Section 2(a) of the Contracts Act 1950.4  TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE) SELF-CHECK 1.000. In other words. 3.1 To Whom can a Proposal be Made? A proposal can be made to a specific or particular person and the proposal can be accepted by that person only. 4. Under the English law. For example. There is a difference in the use of word under the Malaysian law and the English law though the meaning is similar. In such situation. AÊs proposal can only be accepted by B and not by other persons.

a lady. The proposal is made by the buyers when the buyers take the goods from the shelves and bring it to the counter for payment. and was attacked by influenza during the course of treatment. Held: The Court rejected the argument and held that the advertisement was an offer to the whole world. The display of goods on the shelves in shops is also an invitation to treat and not a proposal by the shopkeeper. They inserted advertisements in various newspapers in which they offered to pay £100 to any person who contracted influenza after using the ball three times a day for two weeks. the contract was formed at the payment counter. The defendants tried to avoid liability by saying that there was no offer made because the offer was too vague and not sure to whom it was made. used the ball as advertised. There are many examples of invitation to treat. A relevant case to explain the above principle is the case of: . The acceptance takes place when the seller accepts the payment from the buyer. it was possible to make an offer of this kind and there was a binding contract made between Mrs Carlill and the defendants. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co Ltd (1893) 1 QB 256.2 The Difference between a Proposal and an Invitation to Treat Usually. Thus. before a proposal is made.000 at the Alliance Bank. auctions and display of goods on the shelves in shops.TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE)  5 Carlill v. In short. 1. The defendants were proprietors of a medical preparation called „The Carbolic Smoke Ball‰.2. The negotiation is an invitation to call for a proposal. the parties will hold some negotiations. for instance. They added that they had deposited £1. It was not an attempt to contract with the whole world but with the portion of the public who came forward and performed the condition in the advertisement. Regent Street „to show our sincerity in the matter‰. She then sued for £100 as promised in the advertisements. The claimant.

In the case of Coelho v. the High Court ruled that the newspaper advertisement was an invitation for qualified persons to apply and the applications were treated as offers. who had the authority to prevent customers from taking goods out of the shop if he thought fit. advertisement for jobs in the newspapers. Boots Cash Chemist (Southern) Ltd (1953) 1 QB 401. Every sale of the drugs on the Poison List was supervised at the cash desk by a qualified pharmacist. Hence. the defendants (shop owners) had not made an unlawful sale. In an auction. In this case. An advertisement is also an invitation to treat by the advertiser. . However. if the advertisement shows the willingness of the advertiser to do or to abstain from doing something. For example. Held: The Court held that the display of goods did not constitute an offer but only an invitation to treat. the auctioneer will accept the highest bid or proposal from the bidders. the question arises whether a sale had occurred in the self-service shop when the customer selected articles which he desired to purchase and placed them in the wire basket. A proposal to buy was made when the customer placed the articles in the basket. The Public Services Commission [1964] MLJ 12. anyone who comes to perform the terms as required in the advertisement is said to have accepted the proposal. the auctioneer makes an invitation to bidders who come to the public auction to make a proposal.6  TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE) Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v. The proposal to bid at a certain price will come from the bidders and the auctioneer will accept or reject the proposal. You may refer to the above case of Carlill which affirms the rule that the advertisement was an offer to the whole world and the company had the intention to contract with the section of the public who came forward and performed the condition in the advertisement. Usually. The defendants were charged under the Pharmacy and Poison Act 1933 (UK) which provided that it was unlawful to sell certain poison unless such sale was supervised by a registered pharmacist. the contract of sale would be made at the cash desk when the cashier accepted the customerÊs offer to buy what the latter had chosen. By that principle. such advertisement is not an invitation to treat but a proposal by the advertiser. In this case.

TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE)  7 1. Section 4(1) provides that „the communication of a proposal is complete when the proposal comes to the knowledge of the person to whom it is made‰. either orally or in written or through the implied action of the party. Under Section 5(1) of the Contracts Act 1950. As she believed that she was going to die and to ease her conscience. the Court held that she was entitled to the reward because she had seen the handbill and had given information. 1. it must be clear and communicated. Logically. The relevant case to explain this principle is the case of: Williams v. A proposal must also be communicated to the acceptor.4 Revocation of Proposal The proposer may revoke his proposal at any time before acceptance.3 Proposal Must be Clear and Communicated In the Contracts Act 1950. she gave information leading to the conviction of Williams for the murder. In the case of Ahmad Meah & Anor v. a person who gives any information cannot claim for a reward if he does not know about the reward being offered. The claimant in this case lived with Williams and was severely beaten by him. Thus. A proposal which is vague and uncertain may not lead to a binding contract. In an action to recover the reward. In order to make the proposal effective. the jury found that the claimant was not induced to give the information by the reward offered. The defendant published a handbill with the promise that he would pay the sum of £20 to any person who would provide information leading to the discovery of the murderer of Walter Carwardine. Nacodah Merican (1890) 4 Ky 583. However. „a proposal may be revoked at any time . but by motives of revenge. Carwardine (1883) 5C&P 566.2. a person cannot accept a proposal which he does not know exist. an agreement to build „a suitable house‰ was held by the court as vague to constitute a binding contract. It can be communicated in any form.2.

by a letter. but not afterwards‰. if the acceptance is made by post or telegram. the acceptance is said to be communicated once it comes to the knowledge of the person to whom it is made. If the revocation of proposal is made by post. sent by post. One relevant case to illustrate the principle is the case of: . fax or oral. the revocation of the proposal must be made by the proposer before the letter of acceptance is posted by the acceptor. to sell his house to B. the revocation is only effective when it comes to the knowledge of the acceptor and not at the time when the letter of revocation is posted. A may revoke his proposal at any time before or at the moment when B posts his letter of acceptance. The question is: When is the communication of acceptance complete as against the proposer? If the acceptance is made through instantaneous mode of communication such as telephone. Next. Section 6 provides that a proposal is revoked: (a) When the proposer communicated the revocation of the proposal to the other party before its acceptance. the acceptance is complete as against the proposer at the time when the letter of acceptance is posted. B accepts the proposal by a letter sent by post. But. in such situation. telex.8  TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE) before the communication of its acceptance is complete as against the proposer. but not afterwards. For example: A proposes. Thus.

The revocation of proposal need not be communicated by the proposer. there was no binding contract between the parties. 15 October: Plaintiff sent letter of acceptance. Tienhoven (1880) 5 C. to keep the offer open. 9am. On Friday morning. On Thursday evening.D. Further. This was a good communication of DoddsÊs revocation of offer. . Berry (acting as the claimantÊs agent) handed the defendant a duplicate letter of acceptance. 11 October: Plaintiff received the letter of offer posted on October 1 and sent acceptance by telegram the same day. For example. The court held that there was a contract between the parties because the revocation of the offer posted on 8 October was only effective on 20 October (when the plaintiff received it).P. at 7am. BerryÊs communication indicated that Dodds (defendant) was no longer interested to sell the property to the claimant. The court held that the defendant was free to revoke his offer at any time because there was no consideration given by the claimant for the promise. 8 October: Defendant posted a letter revoking the offer made on October 1. the claimant left a letter of acceptance at the defendantÊs house but the letter was not delivered to the defendant. Therefore. in the case of: Dickinson v Dodds (1876) 2 Ch D 468 The defendant offered to sell houses by letter stating: „This offer to be left over until Friday.‰ On Thursday afternoon. the defendant had entered into a contract to sell the property to Allan. The plaintiff had accepted the offer on 11 October (when he sent the telegram accepting the offer). Mr Berry informed the claimant that the defendant had been negotiating a sale of the property with Allan. 20 October: Plaintiff received defendantÊs letter of revocation. on Thursday. It can be communicated by a third party who is acting on behalf of the proposer as an agent. 344 1 October: Defendant posted a letter of offer from Cardiff to the plaintiff in New York. However.TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE)  9 Byrne v.

When does the revocation of proposal become effective in cases of revocation made by post? 6.10  TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE) (b) By the lapse of time prescribed in the proposal for its acceptance. For example.2 1. If no time is prescribed. The defendant refused to take up the shares. Montefiore (1866) L. If the acceptance is made without knowledge of the death or mental disorder of the proposer. when it alloted shares to the defendant. The period between June and November was not reasonable. By the death or mental disorder of the proposer. If the applicant fails the test. (c) Where the acceptor fails to fulfil a condition precedent to acceptance. v. Can the proposer revoke his proposal? 5. Must the acceptor know about the proposal before he can accept it? 4. then it is a good acceptance. The company did not reply until 23 November 1864. An example of case to illustrate the principle is: Ramsgate Victoria Hotel Co. How do you distinguish between a proposal and an invitation to treat? 3.Ch. then the proposal is revoked. 109 The defendant offered to take shares in the company by a letter dated 8 June 1864. by the lapse of a reasonable time. Held: The defendantÊs refusal was justified because the offer had lapsed due to the companyÊs delay in accepting the offer within a reasonable time.R. Can a proposal be made to the public at large? 2. What are the grounds for revocation of a proposal? . an employer offers to employ an applicant on the condition that he passes certain tests. 1 Ex. It is important that the acceptor knows about the fact of the death or mental disorder of the proposer. (d) SELF-CHECK 1.

3 ACCEPTANCE What is an acceptance? According to Section 2(b) of the Contracts Act 1950.‰ This means. With that acceptance. Browny refused to pay. It is important that there is a positive act of acceptance made by the acceptor. a friend of Browny. the acceptance must be made on the same terms as provided in the proposal and there must not be any variation or modification. 1.‰ This means. If the party varies or modifies the terms made in the proposal. If the acceptor keeps silence or fails to respond or totally disregards the proposal.000 in Looking Times to anyone who returned his Persian cat.1 Acceptance must be Absolute and Unqualified Section 7(a) of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that „an acceptance must be absolute and unqualified. When Tony returned the Persian cat to Browny. Tony. 1. a proposal is said to be accepted: a proposal. Browny was so excited that he forgot all about the offer he had made.1 Discuss the following problem by applying the principle of law on proposal: Browny made an offer of RM1. The case to illustrate the rule is the case of: . an acceptance is an agreement by the acceptor to the terms contained in the proposal made by the proposer. The next day. „when the person to whom the proposal is made signifies his assent thereto. an acceptance does not exist but that act will amount to a counter-proposal. Advise Tony. becomes a promise. Tony came across the advertisement in Looking Times but when he went to see Browny to claim the reward.3. found the Persian cat which he knew belonged to Browny. when accepted. the important rules on acceptance will be discussed below. To determine whether an acceptance exists. then there is no acceptance because there is no positive act made by the acceptor.TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE)  11 ACTIVITY 1. a binding contract is said to exist.

‰ This means. Finally. through a series of telegrams and letters. there is no question of an agreement. if the parties are still in the process of negotiation. Ltd. Next. The court ruled that the counter-offer made by the plaintiff at the price of £950 constituted a rejection to the original proposal (which cannot be revived). the parties do not intend to conclude their bargain until they executed a formal contract. Another situation where a contract is not yet concluded is when there is a conditional acceptance. Therefore. The plaintiff then wrote again to the defendant.12  TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE) Hyde v. but the defendant refused to sell. The example of a case is: . no acceptance had occurred and the defendant had the right not to sell the estate to the plaintiff. China Pacific Navigation Co. the defendants withdrew from the negotiations. It happens when the acceptance is qualified by the term „subject to a contract‰ or „subject to a formal contract being drawn up by the solicitors. The issue was whether there was a binding contract between the parties? The court held that the parties were still in a state of negotiations and the defendants had the right to withdraw from it. agreeing to accept the original proposal. In reply. An example is the case of: Lau Brothers & Co v. [1965] 1 MLJ 1 The parties in this case conducted negotiations for the delivery of logs.000. Wrench (1840) 3 Beav. the plaintiff made a counter-proposal to purchase at £950 but the defendant refused to accept this proposal. 334 The defendant offered to sell his estate to the plaintiff for £1.

.3. then the acceptance must be communicated and made in a usual and reasonable manner. The court decided that: there was no binding contract because the option to purchase was conditional and subject to „a formal contract to be drawn up and agreed upon‰ by the parties.TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE)  13 Low Kar Yit & Ors v. within a reasonable time after the acceptance is communicated to him.2 Acceptance must be Communicated In order to form a binding contract between the parties. The proposer must act within reasonable time after the acceptance is communicated. If the proposal prescribes a manner in which it is to be accepted. the acceptance of the proposal must be communicated to the proposer. Thus. 1. but if he fails to do so. unless the proposal prescribes a manner in which it is to be accepted. the exercise of the option has no legal effect and it was an agreement to enter into an agreement. insist that his proposal shall be accepted in the prescribed manner. who stays next door to A. and the acceptance is not made in such manner. For instance. Section 7(b). (a) Act of acceptance In communicating the acceptance. if no method of acceptance is specified by the proposer. then the proposer is said to have accepted the acceptance. he accepts the acceptance. But if the proposal specifies a particular mode of acceptance and the acceptor does not follow it. If B wants to send a letter to accept AÊs offer. the proposer may. The plaintiff then brought a legal action for breach of contract. if A offers to sell his bicycle to B.‰ The principle provided in Section 7(b) means. provides that „the acceptance may be expressed in some usual and reasonable manner. Contracts Act 1950. If not. then the proposer can insist on the mode of acceptance. and not otherwise. then the reasonable manner to accept the offer is by B going to AÊs house to give his acceptance. it is not sufficient that the acceptor intends to accept the proposal without doing some positive act that relates to the proposal. The plaintiffsÊ agent exercised the option but the defendant failed to sign the sale agreement. the manner may be usual but it is unreasonable since they are staying next door. Mohd Isa & Anor [1963] MLJ 165 The defendants gave an option to the plaintiffsÊ agent to purchase a parcel of land subject to a formal contract being drawn up and agreed upon by the parties.

Silence is no acceptance. I consider the horse is mine at that price. so as to be out of the power of the acceptor. A case to illustrate this principle is: .‰ Paragraph (a) means. when the acceptor posts his letter of acceptance. then the acceptance is complete or effective as soon as the acceptor posted his letter of acceptance.75p and added as follows: „If I hear no more about him. even though the proposer does not know about the acceptance (for instance.14  TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE) Thus. Contracts Act 1950 provides that: „The communication of an acceptance is complete: (a) as against the proposer. when it is put in a course of transmission to him. As what happened in the case of: Felthouse v. if the acceptor remains silence after being proposed. Bindley (1862) 11 CB (NS) 869 The plaintiff wrote to the defendant. Section 4(2) (a). and (b) as against the acceptor. when it comes to the knowledge of the proposer.‰ The defendant did not reply. there are certain exceptions to the general rule. offering to buy a horse for £30. the proposer is bound to perform his obligation. even though it never reaches the proposer. the letter does not reach the proposer or delay in transit). then the act of silence cannot constitute an acceptance. The court held that there was no contract between the plaintiff and the defendant because the defendant had never communicated his acceptance to the plaintiff. However. (b) Exceptions It is clear that the general rule requires the communication of acceptance and this means the acceptance must be brought to the notice of the proposer. as follows:  Acceptance through post (Postal Rule) If the parties have agreed to use the post as a means of communication.

In a unilateral contract (i. Bell (1913) 2 FMSLR 115 P a r a g r a p h The parties in this case agreed to use the post as a means of communication. For example. the acceptor need not communicate his acceptance to the proposer because when the proposer performs the conditions provided in the proposal. A case example is: . even though the defendant did not know about the acceptance.TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE)  15 Ignatius v. Thus. The defendant made a proposal to sell his piece of land to the plaintiff and the option to purchase must be exercised on or before the 20 August 1912. For instance. a proposal to the public at large). It also means that in the meantime. the acceptor may still withdraw his acceptance.. If the proposer wishes to exclude the postal rule. when the acceptor posts his letter of acceptance. The court applying Section 4. it will be unreasonable for every person who wants to accept the proposal to inform the proposer of his intention to accept.e. it becomes an acceptance. A is bound at the time when B posts his letter of acceptance. the acceptance need not be communicated to the proposer. he may provide protection for himself. held that: Communication of acceptance was complete when the notice of acceptance was posted on 16 August 1912. if A proposes to sell his car to B (by letter) and B accepts the proposal (also by letter). he is not bound to perform his obligation until his letter of acceptance is received by the proposer. the proposer may clearly state in his proposal that any acceptance is deemed completed only upon receipt. The plaintiff sent his acceptance by registered post on 16 August 1912 but it was not delivered to the defendant till 25 August 1912. In some cases.  Acceptance through performance of an act stated in the proposal. performance is sufficient to constitute an acceptance if that is the intention of the proposer. but B himself is not bound until A receives the letter of acceptance. Section 8 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that „performance of the conditions of a proposal is an acceptance of the proposal‰. The situation is that where a proposer advertises to the public at large that a reward is being offered. Paragraph (b) means.

[1893] 1 QB 256 The Court held that the performance was sufficient to constitute acceptance if that was the intention of the proposer.‰ For example: A proposes (by a letter sent by post). 6. to sell his house to B. when the acceptor posts his letter of acceptance. This means the acceptor may still withdraw his acceptance.3 1. 5. According to Section 5(2). B may revoke his acceptance at any time (before or at the time when) his letter of acceptance reaches A SELF-CHECK 1. (Explanation: Mr Carlill need not inform the company that he accepted its offer. 2. Contracts Act 1950.16  TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE) Carlill v. What is the importance of an acceptance in a contract and what is the effect of a counter-proposal? How can the acceptor communicate his acceptance to the proposer? In an acceptance made by post. when is the communication of acceptance deemed completed as against the proposer? Can the performance of an act stipulated in the proposal amount to an acceptance? When can the acceptor withdraw his acceptance? What do you understand by the „postal rule‰ principle? . „an acceptance may be revoked at any time before the communication of the acceptance is complete as against the acceptor. but not afterwards. B accepts the proposal (by letter sent by post). he is said to have accepted the offer).3 Revocation of Acceptance As explained earlier. 4. 1. By using the product as advertised and meeting all the terms of the offer. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.3. 3. he is not bound to perform his obligation until his letter of acceptance is received by the proposer.

HannaÊs telex reached Adam and was read by him immediately at 8. Having received no reply from S. accepting the proposal. An acceptance must be communicated to the proposer and made in usual and reasonable manner. Advise T. The letter reached Hanna at 1. The telex was received by Adam at 4pm. Adam sought after your advice.45am on 8 September. A proposal can be made to an individual person or to the public at large. . Advise Adam. Hanna sent a telex to Adam withdrawing her proposal. S wrote back offering to buy the speed-boat for RM3. the acceptance is effective upon the posting of the letter by the acceptor.30pm on Monday. 8 September. Hanna sent a telex to Adam offering to buy his piano at RM3. Adam posted a letter in the last post on Friday. Meanwhile.000. Since the telex operator had gone home for the weekend. (b)          Every contract is an agreement but not all agreements are contracts. A proposal may be revoked at any time before acceptance. even if the letter of acceptance never reaches the proposer. Revocation of proposal made by post is only effective when the acceptor receives the letter of revocation of a proposal. An acceptance must be made on the same terms as provided in the proposal without any variation or modification. In postal rule. A proposal must come to the knowledge of the acceptor before he can accept it.500. T advertised his speed-boat in a newspaper for RM4.30am on 8 September.500.2 Discuss the following cases by applying the principle of law on acceptance: (a) On Friday 5 September.TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE)  17 ACTIVITY 1. An invitation to treat is not yet a proposal or an offer. T replied by return of post stating that he would accept RM3.000. at 8. T wrote again saying he would accept his offer at RM3.750. It is an offer to make an offer.

D. Wrench (1840) 3 Beav. Carbolic Smoke Ball Co. Cases:           Ahmad Meah & Anor. Bhd. Nacodah Merican (1890) 4 KY 583. 344. Rahman. D. China Pacific Navigation Co. Acceptance Communication Counter-proposal Invitation to treat Performance Proposal Postal Rule Revocation Text Books: Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. Lau Brothers & Co. The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. . performance of the act stated in the proposal constitutes an acceptance of the proposal. Ltd. Wu. (2006). B. Dickinson v. 334. & Vohrah. Low Kar Yit & Ors. Bell (1913) 2 FMSLR 115.). [1965] 1 MLJ 1.18  TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE)   In unilateral contract. (1893) 1 QB 256. M. Coelho v. Ltd. Ignatius v. Byrne v. The Public Services Commission [1964] MLJ 12. The acceptor may revoke his acceptance before his letter of acceptance reaches the proposer. Felthouse v. Isa & Anor [1963] MLJ 165. v.). Smith and KeenanÊs Law for Business (13th ed. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia. v. Dodds (1876) 2 Ch 468. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn. (2000). Keenan. UK: Pearson and Longman. v. Tienhoven (1880) 5C. (2007). Mohd. Hyde v.P. Carlill v. Selangor: Pearson and Longman. A. Bindley (1862) 11 CB (NS) 869.

Carwardine (1883) 5C&P 566.TOPIC 1 LAW OF CONTRACT (PROPOSAL AND ACCEPTANCE)  19    Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v. Ramsgate Victoria Hotel Co. Boots Cash Chemist (Southern) Ltd. Montefiore (1866) L. 1 Ex.Ch. v. (1953) 1 QB 401. . Williams v.R. 109.

‰ It means. Section 26 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that „an agreement made without consideration is void‰. and Compare the difference in principle of consideration under the Malaysian law and the English law. or does or abstains from doing. 3. if the promisee (i. List the exceptions available to the rule of consideration. Explain the importance of consideration in contracts. or Promises to do or to abstain from doing.Topic  2 Law of Contract (Consideration) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic. or Does or abstains from doing. According to Section 2(d) of the Contracts Act 1950. „when. 2. such act or abstinence or promise is called a consideration of the promise. you should be able to: 1. the person accepting the proposal):    Has done or abstained from doing.e. Discuss the principle relating to the adequacy of consideration.  INTRODUCTION Consideration is another important element of a contract and any agreement made without consideration is a void agreement. the promisee or any other person has done or abstained from doing.. at the desire of the promisor. . something. 4. or promises to do or to abstain from doing.

1 EXECUTORY. consideration may be executed when one promise is made in return for the performance of an act. In such case. Here. Next. BÊs promise to pay RM2.000. Take an example where you lose your mobile phone while travelling on a train and you offered a RM100 reward to anyone who found and returned the mobile phone to you. The case of Osman bin Abdul Ghani & Ors v. the act of returning the mobile phone to you is the consideration for the promise. . you (refer to Figure 2. where the court held that forbearance to sue could amount to a valid consideration. consideration is a price that you pay to buy a promise or an act of the other person. Thus. Therefore. that act or abstinence or promise is called „consideration‰. Later. you advertise a reward of RM100 to anyone who finds and returns your lost watch. and every promise and sets of promises forming the consideration for each other is an agreement.000 is the consideration for your promise to sell the fax machine and your promise to sell the fax machine is the consideration for BÊs promise to pay RM2.TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION)  21 some acts according to the promisorÊs (person making the proposal) desire.000. and (iii) past consideration. A found and returned the mobile phone to you. United Asian Bank Bhd [1987] 1 MLJ 27 on consideration. For example. 2. For instance. Promises which form the consideration for each other are called reciprocal promise.1 demonstrates the difference between these two considerations. Only your liability remains outstanding which is to pay C the RM100 reward. you promised to pay RM100 and A paid the price for your promise by performing the act. CÊs consideration for your promise is executed. Figure 2. Consideration may be executory when one promise is made in return for another promise. C finds and returns the watch to you in response to the offer.1) agree to sell a fax machine to B for RM2. executed. These are lawful considerations. EXECUTED AND PAST CONSIDERATION Consideration can be classified as: (i) (ii) executory.

it is valid if it is done „at the desire of the promisor. Your promise to reward D is made in return for DÊs consideration that has passed.‰ . if a promise is made in return for an act that has already been performed. D found and returned your lost chain and in gratitude. Thus. For example. past consideration is sufficient to support a promise because Section 2(d) and Section 26 (b) apply to past consideration. Under English law.1: Executory and Executed Considerations Apart from the executory and executed considerations. even though the consideration is past. you promised to reward D RM100. the position in Malaysia is that. However. that act is regarded as past consideration. past consideration will not support a claim in contract because the act which was performed before the promise of reward was made is regarded as gratuitous.22  TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION) Figure 2. The words „has done or abstained from doing‰ referred to an act which has been performed before the promise is made. under the Malaysian Contracts Act 1950.

. A. had assisted another in obtaining a prospecting permit for mining iron ore in the state of Johore.. the company agreed to pay him one per cent of the value of all ore sold from the mining land.‰ Later. even though they were past.1 1. SELF-CHECK 2. 2. after incorporation and for future services.K. This was „in consideration of the services rendered by Schmidt on behalf of the company before its formation. What are the differences between executed. In the agreement.TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION)  23 The Malaysian case which applied the principle of past consideration is the case of: Kepong Prospecting Ltd & S. Schmidt & Marjorie Schmidt [1968] 1 MLJ 170 Schmidt. Subsequently. a consulting engineer. He also helped in the formation of the company (Kepong Prospecting Ltd) and was appointed the Managing Director.. an issue arose in this case. executory and past consideration? Can past consideration support a claim in contract? .E. were sufficient to constitute a valid consideration. Schmidt entered into an agreement with the company. whether the services rendered by Schmidt after the incorporation of the company but before the agreement was made. Jagatheesan & Ors v. The Privy Council held that it was a valid consideration and Schmidt was entitled to claim the amount.

Now Intan refused to pay what she has promised. she told Berlian.2 EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE OF CONSIDERATION The general rule of consideration under Section 26 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that an agreement without consideration is void.1 Agreement made on account of Natural Love and Affection This exception is provided in Section 26(a) of the Contracts Act 1950. even though the agreement is made without consideration. 2. Advise Berlian. The rule provides that any agreement which is made without consideration is still valid if „it is expressed in writing and registered under the law (if any) for the time being in force for the registration of such documents. With these exceptions. IntanÊs house caught fire and Berlian could only save IntanÊs wedding album. .‰ After four weeks of Intan being away. there are exceptions to this general rule.24  TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION) ACTIVITY 2. Intan had to go abroad for business arrangements. „Please look after my house.1 Discuss the following problem by applying the principle of law on consideration: Intan and Berlian were neighbours. and is made on account of natural love and affection between parties standing in a near relation to each other‰. she thanked Berlian for saving her wedding album which she treasured so much and promised Berlian that she would pay RM100 for what Berlian had done. When Intan returned home. The exceptions include the following: 2. However. the agreement is still valid and will be enforceable.2. Before she left.

B. The agreement is registered under the existing law which requires its registration. for natural love and affection. The agreement was void. The issues to be resolved in this case were whether:   An agreement was made on account of natural love and affection. but a case example in which an attempt was made to define the term is the case of: Re Tan Soh Sim [1951] MLJ 21 In this case. The legal next-of-kin drew up an agreement renouncing all rights in favour of the four adopted children (who were their nephews and nieces). but they were not nearly related to the family of their adoptive mother. A puts his promise to B into writing and registers it under a law for the time being in force for the registration of such documents.000. the uncles and aunties of the adoptive mother did not stand in near relation to their nephews and nieces. The court granted that: Chinese adopted children are related to the adoptive parents and brothers. In such a case. . For example: A. there is a phrase „near relation‰ that is attached to the position of the parties in the agreement. Under the exception. The deceased Tan Soh Sim (in her illness) had made a wish that her estate should be divided among her two adopted sons and two adopted daughters. there was an agreement made between members of a Chinese family governed by their personal laws. there was no natural love and affection between the signatories and the donees. What is meant by „near relation‰? It is not defined in the Act. and Three sisters and seven half-sisters and brothers stood in near relationship to their adopted nephews and nieces. and The agreement is made on account of natural love and affection between the parties standing in near relation to each other. RMl. This is a contract. promises to give his son.TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION)  25 This means the agreement that is not supported by any consideration is valid if it fulfils the following conditions: (a) (b) (c) The agreement is made in writing. Thus.

in order to enforce the agreement made on account of natural love and affection. a person who has already voluntarily done something for the promisor. paying tax to the government) voluntarily on his own will for the promisor. The rule provides that an agreement without consideration is valid if „it is a promise to compensate. what signifies „near relation‰ may be different for every social group. The term „near relation‰ is not defined in the Act. or something which the promisor was legally compellable to do. If Section 2(d) covers an act which has been done at the request of the promisor. wholly or in part. for the promisor (without being requested by the promisor) and subsequently the promisor promises to compensate the promisee for such act. For example: A supports B's infant son. This is a contract and A can enforce BÊs promise. 2. for example. depending on the ethnic groups and their customs. the promise made by the promisor to compensate the act is also enforceable. B promises to pay A's expenses in doing so.2. Similar to Section 2(d). Section 26(b) covers an act which has been done voluntarily by the promisee (before the promise to compensate the promisee is made by the promisor).‰ It means. then that promise is enforceable. this exception covers the principle of past consideration which has been explained above. the court must be satisfied that the parties who enter into the agreement must stand in near relation to each other besides having natural love and affection. This is because the personal law relating to family matters is applicable to the groups. if the promisee has done some act voluntarily on his own will.26  TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION) Therefore. What is meant by „voluntarily‰ is not defined in the Act but a case example that considered the term is the case of: . if the promisee has done some act (an act which the promisor is compellable to do in law. Similarly.2 Agreement to Compensate a Past Voluntary Act This is the exception provided in Section 26(b) of the Contracts Act 1950. Thus.

It was found that the plaintiff had acted on the suggestion of the defendant. The rule provides that an agreement without consideration is valid if „it is a promise. to pay wholly or in part a debt of which the creditor might have enforced payment but for the law for the limitation of suits. things went wrong. or by his agent generally or specially authorised in that behalf.TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION)  27 J. a commission would be paid to the Malaysian firm. Therefore. Henry Agency House [1962] MLJ 86 In this case.2. the promises cannot be legally enforceable. the promise made by the defendant firm to compensate the plaintiff was not enforceable. When a sale had been arranged. unless it falls under Section 26(b). Wotherspoon & Co Ltd v. the promisee must have acted voluntarily for the promisor in that particular action. The court found that: there were promises of compensation made by the defendant firm to the plaintiff. so that the action could not be said to have been done voluntarily. The question was whether the plaintiff had already „voluntarily‰ done something for the defendant. the promisor is liable to pay a previous debt (which the creditor cannot recover through legal action because the time within which the creditor must commence legal action is limited by statute) if the following conditions arise: . made in writing and signed by the person to be charged therewith. The arrangements were that the Malaysian firm would find buyers and inform the English firm. in order to enforce the promise made for past consideration under Section 26(b).M. 2. wholly or in part. The dispute that arose in this case was that after the Malaysian firm arranged a buyer for confectionery and the English firm found a seller. a person who has already voluntarily done something for the promisor‰. Therefore.‰ What it means under this exception is that.3 Agreement to Pay a Statute-barred Debt This is another exception provided in Section 26(c) of the Contracts Act 1950. The English firm then sued the Malaysian firm for the loss it suffered because of non-payment by the buyer. who would then find the sellers. there were arrangements between a Malaysian and an English firm. Thus. „a promise to compensate. but these promises were not supported by consideration.

The six years run from the time the cause of action arises (usually from the time of the breach of contract by the contracting party). and The promise is made in writing and signed by the person to be charged or his authorised agent. Wotherspoon & Co Ltd v. the promise to pay a statute-barred debt under this exception will form a new cause of action although without consideration. 3.M. 4. Henry Agency House [1962] MLJ 86? What are the important conditions required in an agreement to pay a statute-barred debt? .000. For example: A owes B RM1. SELF-CHECK 2. 2.28  TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION)   The debtor makes a fresh promise to pay the statute-barred debt. but the debt is barred by limitation. The Limitation Act provides six years as the time limit for any party to take legal action in contract.2 1. Therefore. What is the general rule of consideration? Is there any exception available to the general rule of consideration? What was the decision of the court in the case of J. This is a contract. and the fresh promise is valid. This is provided in Section 26(2) of the Limitation Act 1953. A signs a written promise to pay B RM500 on account of the debt. What is meant by a statute-barred debt? It is a debt which cannot be recovered because the time allowed to a party to enforce his legal rights is limited by the Limitation Act 1953.

Mr Ajay was reluctant to accept Salwath as his daughter-in-law and refused to give Suresh the bungalow.000 in return for BainiÊs act. However. Mr Ajay made his promise in writing and registered it. The idea is that. the person who gets the promise must personally give something in return as the consideration for the promise. Under the Malaysian Contracts Act. Suresh. Under common law. he takes no part in the contract. (b) 2. A few years later. he promises his eldest son. He left his briefcase containing important documents on his table.3 MUST CONSIDERATION MOVE FROM THE PROMISEE? After understanding the general rule of consideration and the exceptions. Several weeks passed and there was no sign of Azrai giving Baini the reward. a fire broke out at the bank. left for his hometown in haste as his mother passed away. that he wishes to transfer one of his bungalows to Suresh to show how much he loved him. Advise Baini. if a person furnishes no consideration. Advise Suresh. Baini came to see Azrai for the reward but Azrai refused to pay her on the basis that it was BainiÊs duty as his secretary to do so. consideration must move from the promisee. saw the briefcase and realising that the briefcase was important to her boss.2 Discuss the following problems by applying the principle of law on the exception to consideration: (a) Mr Ajay was a successful business man. Suresh requested from Mr Ajay the possession of the bungalow for him to start his matrimonial life. Azrai promised to give Baini a reward in the sum of RM1. Azrai. a bank manager. dashed into the room and took the briefcase with her. the promisee can enforce . Unfortunately. Baini. when Suresh married Salwath. it is important to know from whom the consideration can come.TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION)  29 ACTIVITY 2. Azrai reported back to work the subsequent week and felt so relieved that the briefcase was not destroyed in the fire. One day. Must the consideration come from the promisee only or can the consideration come from some other persons (who is not the party in the contract)? The principle relating to who should furnish a consideration is different in the Malaysian Contracts Act and the common law of England. This means. the secretary of the bank manager.

R.. there was a valid consideration that was given by their mother. Contracts Act 1950.000 from A although B does not personally give any consideration for AÊs promise.000 when C paints AÊs house.. their mother gave the sister some land with the requirement that the sister must pay the annuity to her brothers. On the same day. the sister failed to fulfil her promise to pay the annuity and her brothers sued her on the promise. The authority for this principle is in Section 2(d) of the Contracts Act which provides the words „any other person‰.. A case to illustrate this principle is: Venkata Chinnaya v...... even though the promisee does not give any consideration for a promise made by the promisor. Even though the consideration did not move from the brothers. VerikataraÊmaÊya (1881) I.000 for only RM100 to Mr Man? Is the amount of RM100 sufficient as consideration for your promise? According to Explanation 2 of Section 26. This is because the consideration has moved from C. 2. Later...the promisee or Âany other personÊ has done or abstained from doing. The case was about a sister who agreed to pay an annuity of Rs 653 to her brothers who provided no consideration for the promise. in the following part of the provision: „. The court ruled that: The sister was liable to pay the brothers.L. The question is: must consideration be adequate? Can you sell your house worth RM100. Therefore.30  TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION) the promise even though he personally does not give any consideration.‰ What is meant by the provision is that. 4 Mad. the . Such consideration can come from some other persons... As soon as C completes the work (paints AÊs house). For example: A promises to pay B RM1.4 ADEQUACY OF CONSIDERATION Another important principle is the adequacy of consideration. he can still claim for the promise if the consideration is given by some other persons.‰. 137.. „an agreement to which the consent of the promisor is freely given is not void merely because the consideration is inadequate. B can claim the amount of RM1....

. Explanation 2 of Section 26 further reads. provided that your consent to sell at that amount is freely given. The agreement is a contract notwithstanding the inadequacy of the consideration. You are not under fraud or oppression. misrepresentation. However. Thus. suppression of the value of property. This clause means the court will consider the adequacy of consideration. For example: A agrees to sell a horse worth RM1. urgent necessity for money. This case involved the respondent who agreed to transfer a parcel of land to the appellant on payment of $500 when the land was subdivided. oppression. Free consent means the parties do not enter into such contract under fraud. „. Subsequently...000 for RMl0. A case to illustrate this principle is: Phang Swee Kim v. For example: A agrees to sell a horse worth RMl. etc. this agreement is a contract.but the inadequacy of the consideration may be taken into account by the court in determining the question whether the consent of the promisor was freely given‰. However.. only when the issue of free consent is raised by the contracting party. if you agree to sell your house that worth RM100. the respondent refused to honour the promise and claimed that the promise was unenforceable. At that time. A's consent to the agreement was freely given. the land was worth much more than the price.000 for RMl0. to sell at that price. The inadequacy of the consideration is a fact which the court should take into account in considering whether or not A's consent was freely given. .TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION)  31 adequacy of consideration is immaterial.000 to Mr Man for only RM100. on appeal.. weakness of understanding or ignorance. A denies that consent to the agreement was freely given. The trial judge in the case held that the agreement was void because of inadequacy of consideration. The consideration given for the promise need not be adequate as long as the agreement has been entered into by the parties with free consent. the Federal Court reversed the decision and applied the principle in Explanation 2 of Section 26.. Beh I Hock [1964] MLJ 383.

had requested K to paint his cottage and to build up certain fences around the cottage.000 in the market for only RM1. Advise Hana as regards the validity of the contract. K sent his nephew. 2. The next day. who decided to make a home improvement to his cottage. 3. 4. K came to see Mr J for the payment. On the day of collection. a local trader in the town offered Hana a sale of a slimming apparatus which is worth RM10. Mr J refused to pay K because he got to know that it was M who had performed the work and not K. Advise K whether he could claim for the payment from Mr J.3 Discuss the following problems by referring to the relevant principle of law on consideration: (a) Mr J. SELF-CHECK 2. as she decided to clear the stock of that model (SE101). However. Hana agreed to buy the apparatus and to collect it from ZaitunÊs office.3 1. M. (b) .000. M managed to complete the said improvement work within two weeks. Can the promisee enforce the promise made by the promisor if the consideration is given by some other persons? Would the principle on the above situation (para (a) above) be the same under the English common law? What is meant by adequacy of consideration? Why is the free consent of the promisor important in considering the adequacy of consideration? ACTIVITY 2. to start the work.32  TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION) Hence. Upon completion of the work. the agreement to transfer the land to the appellant for the $500 payment was valid and the promise was enforceable because the consent was freely given by the respondent although the consideration was inadequate. Zaitun changed her mind and told Hana that she had wrongly decided to sell the apparatus at that price. Zaitun. He promised to pay K double the usual payment charged by other contractors for that purpose and the arrangement was agreed to by K.

it is known as executory consideration. An agreement made on account of natural love and affection is valid without consideration if it is made in writing. provided the debtor makes a fresh promise to pay. in writing. Consideration can move from the promisee or any other person under the Malaysian Contracts Act 1950.TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION)  33     An agreement made without consideration is a void agreement. An agreement to pay a statute-barred debt is valid without consideration. When one promise is made in return for another promise. before the promise to compensate the act is made by the promisor. Consideration need not be adequate so long as the promisor has freely given his consent to the agreement. and signed by him or his authorised agent.      Adequate consideration Executed consideration Executory consideration Free consent Past consideration Promisee Promisor Voluntary act . The exception under Section 26(b) of the Contracts Act 1950 requires the promisee to have done an act voluntarily. Past consideration is valid under the Malaysian Contracts Act 1950 but not under English common law. Executed consideration is when one promise is made in return for the performance of an act. registered under the law (if any) and made between parties standing in near relation.

Rahman. 137. D. Schmidt & Marjorie Schmidt [1968] 1 MLJ 170. (2006).34  TOPIC 2 LAW OF CONTRACT (CONSIDERATION) Text Books: Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn.R.M. Cases:        J. Osman bin Abdul Ghani & Ors v.).). Jagatheesan & Ors v. v. Ltd.E.K. A. . Smith and KeenanÊs Law for Business (13th ed. Braithwait (1615) 80 ER 255. Bhd. 4 Mad. Henry Agency House [1962] MLJ 86. Re Tan Soh Sim [1951] MLJ 21. M. (2007). Venkata Chinnaya v. VerikataraÊmaÊya (1881) I.Wotherspoon & Co.L. (2000). B. & Vohrah. Selangor: Pearson and Longman. The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. Kepong Prospecting Ltd. & S. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia. UK: Pearson and Longman. Beh I Hock [1964] MLJ 383. United Asian Bank Bhd [1987] 1 MLJ 27. Phang Swee Kim v. Keenan. A. Lampleigh v. Wu.

3. you should be able to: 1. the principles in the English common law will apply in the absence of such provision . and Compare the presumption of intention in business or commercial agreements. Explain the importance of intention to create legal relations in an agreement. The element of intention has not been defined in the Contracts Act 1950 and there is no provision in the Act which clearly provides the element of intention as one of the elements to form a valid contract. However. 4. and the word „at the desire‰ used in Section 2(d) of the Act.  INTRODUCTION Any agreement made between the parties (the proposer and the acceptor) will only become a binding contract if both parties intend to make the contract enforceable.Topic  3 Law of Contract (Intention to Create Legal Relations) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic. Analyse the situations in which the presumption of intention is rebuttable. Discuss the presumption of intention in domestic. The provisions which may imply to the element of intention is the word „with a view‰ used in Section 2(a). family and social agreements. 2.

there is a presumption of no intention to create legal relations. where a husband and wife were living together but not in amity or were separated when the agreement was made. that no parties would intend to go to court for breach of such arrangements and promises made. the parties to the agreement do not contemplate any legal consequence to arise from their agreement. the law has divided an agreement into two categories: (a) (b) Domestic. the husband was employed in a government post in Ceylon. In determining whether there is an intention by the parties to create a legally binding contract. The Court held that although it was not impossible for a husband and wife to enter into a contract for maintenance.36  TOPIC 3 LAW OF CONTRACT (INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELATIONS) under the Contracts Act 1950. the presumption made is that the parties in the contract do not intend for their agreement to create legal relations. This means. He consequently promised orally to make her an allowance of £30 a month until she rejoined him. The following case illustrates the situation: . the court may enforce the agreement. Family and Social Agreements. there was no enforceable contract between the parties. in this case they never intended to make a bargain which could be enforced in law. 3. He returned with his wife to England on leave. and Business Agreements. but she was unable to go back to Ceylon with him for medical reasons. The husband failed to make the payment and the wife sued him. family and social agreements. if the presumption can be rebutted on the evidence that there was a serious intent. Balfour [1919] 2 K. 571 In the case. However. Therefore. The English case which established the principle is the case of: Balfour v.B. then a different situation will appear. Thus. FAMILY AND SOCIAL AGREEMENTS In domestic. It is because this type of agreement is made every day between the family and social members and between spouses for many arrangements. in the above case that involved husband and wife. For example.1 DOMESTIC.

The following cases illustrate the situations in which the court presumed that legal relations were intended. The wife paid off the mortgage but the husband did not subsequently transfer the property to her. The above case shows that the presumption that no intention is present in ordinary domestic or social arrangement may be rebutted if there is a proof of the true intention of the parties which may be inferred from the language they use and the circumstances in which they use it. The husbandÊs defence was that the agreement was a family arrangement and there was no intention to create legal relations. the wife was entitled to the relief claimed. Furthermore. i.e. The husband agreed to pay the wife £40 per month for maintenance and wrote and signed a document agreeing that if the wife paid all charges in connection with their matrimonial home until the mortgage repayments had been settled. the financier. Merritt [1970] 2 All ER 760 In this case. The Court held that: The agreement which was made when the parties were not living together in amity was enforceable. the husband would transfer the matrimonial home to the wife as a sole owner. a meeting was held between the husband and the wife after the husband had left her to live with another woman. there were other cases which involved other family and personal relationships.TOPIC 3 LAW OF CONTRACT (INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELATIONS)  37 Merritt v. Therefore. Apart from the cases involving husband and wife. .. She then claimed ownership of the property and asked for an order that her husband should transfer the house to her. payment of the mortgage balance was a detriment to the wife and the husband has received the benefit of being relieved of liability to the building society.

Clark [1960] 1 W. The coupon contained a forecast by each of them. a forecast by the granddaughter was correct and the defendant received a prize of £750. The plaintiffs sold their cottage and moved in with the defendants. Parker v. the plaintiffs claimed damages for breach of contract.L. If the words are uncertain.R. then the agreement will not be enforced because the uncertainty may lead to the conclusion that there is no intention to create legal relations. Example of cases are as follows: . As a result of this. The Court held that: There was an intention to create legal relations. it is important that the words used by the parties are certain. The defence given by the defendant was that there was no intention to create legal relations but that the transaction was a friendly arrangement binding in honour only. The claimant sued for her share of that sum. The evidence showed that it was not merely a friendly domestic arrangement but a joint enterprise. Pays [1955] 3 All ER 10 The defendant and the defendantÊs granddaughter in this case made an agreement with the claimant that they submitted a weekly coupon in the defendantÊs name to a Sunday newspaper fashion competition. an elderly couple. the male defendant would leave them a portion of his estate in his will. the parties expected to share any prize that was won. The defendants then repudiated the agreement by requiring the plaintiffs to find somewhere else to live. Since the true intention of the parties may be inferred from the language they use. Thus. It was argued by the defendants that the agreement amounted to no more than a family arrangement. The Court held that: The circumstances indicated that the parties intended to affect their legal relations and thus the defendants were liable. But difficulties developed between the two couples. agreed with the plaintiffs (who were twenty years younger) that if the plaintiffs would sell their cottage and come to live with the defendants and share household expenses. On one occasion. 286 The defendants in this case.38  TOPIC 3 LAW OF CONTRACT (INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELATIONS) Simpkins v.

the mother was entitled to possession of the house and had no liability under the maintenance agreement. In January 1965. Padavatton [1969] 2 All ER 616 Mrs Jones (the claimant) made an offer to her daughter. a contractual intention was negatived when a husband (who was leaving his wife) undertook to pay her £15 per week „so long as I can manage it‰. . It was still uncertain what was to happen to the surplus of the rent income and what rooms Mrs Padavatton was to occupy. However. Jones v. Mrs Jones claimed possession of the house from Mrs Padavatton. Thus. The arrangements in relation to the home were very vague and must be regarded as made without contractual intent. Held by the court: The arrangements were family agreements depending upon the good faith of the parties in keeping promise made and not intended to be rigid binding agreements. the agreements were too vague and uncertain to be enforceable as contracts.TOPIC 3 LAW OF CONTRACT (INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELATIONS)  39 Gould v. Although the agreement to maintain while reading for the Bar might be regarded as creating a legal obligation in the mother to pay. Again. Her fees and maintenance were paid for by Mrs Jones. In this case.655 18s 9d (the amount she had paid for running the house). Mrs Padavatton (the defendant) that she would provide the daughter a maintenance at the rate of £42 a month if she leave her job in Washington and go to England and read for the Bar. the daughter could not claim anything in respect of that agreement. Mrs Padavatton came to England (bringing her child with her) in November 1962 and began to read for the Bar. Mrs Jones offered to buy a large house in London to be occupied by the daughter and partly by tenants. The income from the rents would go to the daughter in lieu of the maintenance. Gould [1969] 3 All ER 728. The agreement was an informal one and there was uncertainty as to its exact terms. The word „so long as I can manage it‰ in the case of Gould was considered as uncertain and does not create an intention to enter into a legally binding contract. there was no written agreement. In 1967. Later. Furthermore. There was an uncertainty as to the utilisation of the surplus of the rent income and the room that Mrs Padavatton would occupy. Mrs Padavatton counter-claimed for £1. Mrs Padavatton moved into the house and the tenants also arrived.

Merritt [1970] 2 All ER 760? Must the words used by the parties in their agreement be certain and unambiguous? Why? ACTIVITY 3. Lately. 5. he would take Mrs Alan to Neverland for a vacation. they quarrelled over the week because Mr Alan was very busy with his business trips and had no time for a vacation with Mrs Alan. Victoria now refuses to share. is this presumption rebuttable? How? What was the principle established by the court in the case of Merritt v.40  TOPIC 3 LAW OF CONTRACT (INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELATIONS) In PadavattonÊs case. Viv and Valerie are very happy to know about the news and want to claim their share. Mr and Mrs Alan are husband and wife. although there seemed to be an assumption that there was a contractual intent in the motherÊs promise because it caused Mrs Padavatton to leave her job to study law.000 prize. Two months later. 3.1 Discuss the following problems by applying the principle of law on intention to create legal relations: (a) Three sisters. Mrs Alan was very happy and gave up her intention to go back to her hometown. After a series of argument. Mr Alan was offered a new business contract and Mrs Alan wanted to enforce the promise made by her husband. family and social agreement? In relation to question (b) above. one of the entries that Victoria sent won a RM10. agree to form a syndicate for the purpose of making a weekly entry in a fashion contest in a local newspaper. the vagueness of the arrangement with Mrs Jones had negatived that intent. How does the law determine the existence of an intention in any agreement between two parties? What is the presumption on intention to create legal relations in a domestic. (b) . Mrs Alan had expressed her intention to go back to her hometown if the situation remained the same. Valerie and Victoria. Viv and Valerie do not know much about fashion and give Victoria RM7. After one month.1 1. Victoria fills in and sends off the contest forms every week and she always fills the forms in her own name.00 each week. 2. 4. Explain whether she will succeed in her claim. Viv. Mr Alan promised Mrs Alan that if he got a new business offer. SELF-CHECK 3. Advise Viv and Valerie.

Therefore.. The presumption is a strong one and can be seen in the judgment of: Edwards v. the Court held that: the use of the words „ex gratia‰ with regards to an airline pilotÊs contractual redundancy payment did not alter the presumption.TOPIC 3 LAW OF CONTRACT (INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELATIONS)  41 3.. the defendants who had promised to make an ex-gratia payment to the employees contended that they were not bound to fulfil their obligation.2 BUSINESS OR COMMERCIAL AGREEMENTS In business or commercial agreements.. the airline had to make payments because the agreement was enforceable. The following cases illustrate this point: Jones v. In such case... binding in honour only‰. it is not necessary that there is an intention to create legal relations just because the parties are in business...or be legally enforceable . Skyways Ltd [1964] 1 All ER 494 In this case. The Court held that: This clause was a bar to any action in a court of law. The clause provided that the transaction should not „give rise to any legal relationship. the presumption made is that the parties in the contract have the intention to create legal relations. the court will then treat their promises as binding in honour only. This means the parties to the agreement contemplate a legal consequence to arise from their arrangements. However.. VernonÊs Pools Ltd [1938] 2 All ER 626 The claimant in this case had sent a successful football coupon to the defendants but the defendants denied receiving it and relied on a clause printed on every coupon. ... The parties to a business transaction may state that they do not intend to enter into any legal obligation. but .. However.

. but „subject to the preparation and approval of a formal contract‰. The case to explain this is the case of: Winn v.. It is however important to note that most business agreements are to be regarded as binding in the absence of the „Honorouble Pledge Clause‰ or anything similar to this. Such agreement gives rise to no legal liability.‰. Therefore. It means a binding contract will come into existence only when a subsequent formal contract is entered into by the parties. because such clauses are relatively rare in the business world. Crompton (JR) & Brothers Ltd [1925] AC 445. Up to this time. In this case. Apart from the above. the insertion of the words „subject to contract‰ renders the agreement to be unenforceable..42  TOPIC 3 LAW OF CONTRACT (INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELATIONS) Rose and Frank Co v. The Court held that: The agreement was not binding on the parties. there are various other clauses used in business agreements that negate contractual intention. . The most common is the use of the words „subject to contract‰ or „subject to formal contract‰. either party is free to re-negotiate or even to withdraw from their arrangements. Bull (1877) 7 ChD 29 A written agreement was drawn up whereby the defendant agreed to take a lease of a house for a definite period and at a fixed rent. The Court held that: There was no contract. the agreement between the claimant and the defendants contained an „Honourable Pledge Clause‰ as follows: „This arrangement is not entered into nor is this memorandum written as a formal or legal agreement and shall not be subject to legal jurisdiction in the courts of the United States of America or England.

The appellant argued that the pro forma was „subject to contract‰. [1963] MLJ 165 The defendant in this case gave an option to the plaintiffsÊ agent to buy a parcel of land subject to „a formal contract to be drawn up and agreed upon by the parties‰. the exercise of the option amounted to nothing more than an agreement to enter into an agreement. In most instances like the above cases. The Court held that: The option was conditional upon and subject to a formal contract to be drawn up and agreed upon between the parties. Mathew Lui Chin Teck & Anor [1981] 1 MLJ 56 The purchaser (respondent) signed a booking pro forma for the purchase of a house to be built by the housing developer (appellants). The argument was rejected by the court. the use of the words „subject to contract‰ infers that there is no intention by the parties to create legal relations. However. Thus. the appellants informed the respondent that the price of the house was to be increased. After the payment of a deposit was made and the pro forma was signed. the Privy Council had rejected a „subject to contract‰ issue in a case involving a booking pro forma signed by the purchaser to purchase a house to be built by a housing developer. The respondent did not agree and applied to the court for specific performance. The Lordships held that: The appellants were bound by the pro forma and could not argue that it did not create an obligation to purchase and sell the property. Mohd.TOPIC 3 LAW OF CONTRACT (INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELATIONS)  43 The decision in the case of Winn v. the plaintiffsÊ agent exercised the option but the defendant failed to sign the agreement for sale. Bull was cited in: Low Kar Yit & Ors v. The plaintiffs brought an action for specific performance or (alternatively) damages for breach of contract. Subsequently. . Isa & Anor. no contractual obligation arose from the pro forma itself until a further document was agreed and signed. The case is: Daiman Development Sdn Bhd v. Thus.

Each coupon drew a fee of RM3. refused to pay and denied that they had ever received the winning coupon. Decide whether there was a binding contract between Mr Ferrera and Bigwood Pools Ltd. it is an offence to collect any money from a purchaser as a booking pro forma. Bigwood also relied on a clause printed on each coupon which stated that: „The following transaction should not give rise to any legal relationship or legally enforceable. SELF-CHECK 3.44  TOPIC 3 LAW OF CONTRACT (INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELATIONS) Note: The provision as to booking pro forma has been abolished and under the current provisions of the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Act 1966.000.2 Discuss the following case by applying the principle of law on the intention to create legal relations: On 10 July 2002.24 for football matches played on 11 July and one of the coupons was a winning coupon entitling him to RM174. 2. .2 1. Bigwood. Mr Ferrera claimed to have submitted two football pool coupons to Bigwood Pools Ltd. ACTIVITY 3. It is binding in honour only‰. What is the presumption on intention to create legal relations in a business or commercial agreement? Is there any reason for the parties of a business transaction to say that they do not have the intention to be bound by their arrangements? How does the clause „subject to contract‰ render the agreement to be unenforceable? 3. however.

The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. Uncertainty of words in an agreement may render the agreement unenforceable.). In business or commercial agreements. (2007). In domestic. A.).TOPIC 3 LAW OF CONTRACT (INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELATIONS)  45       An agreement without an intention to create legal relations does not bind the parties to the agreement. the parties are presumed to not have any intention to create legal relations. A. G. Keenan. B. & Vohrah. UK: Pearson and Longman. (2006). The presumption of no intention may be rebutted if there is a proof of true intention of the parties.). the parties are presumed to have the intention to create legal relations. family and social agreements. Various clauses used in business or commercial agreements have the effect that negate the contractual intention. Rahman. AnsonÊs Law of Contract (26th ed. D. Smith and KeenanÊs Law for Business (13th ed. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn. Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. Selangor: Pearson and Longman. . Wu M. (1988). Bhd. (2000). Business agreement Certainty Domestic agreement Family agreement Intention to create legal relations Presumption Rebuttable presumption Social agreement Text Books: Guest. Singapore: Oxford University Press. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia.

Balfour [1919] 2 K. Gould v. 571. Padavatton [1969] 2 All ER 616.L. v. Mohd. 286. Parker v. Simpkins v. . Merritt [1970] 2 All ER 760. Gould [1969] 3 All ER 728. [1963] MLJ 165.R. Crompton (JR) & Brothers Ltd [1925] AC 445. Isa & Anor.B. Low Kar Yit & Ors. Pays [1955] 3 All ER 10. Mathew Lui Chin Teck & Anor [1981] 1 MLJ 56. Rose and Frank Co. Jones v. Clark [1960] 1 W. Winn v. Edwards v. Jones v. Bull (1877) 7 ChD 29. v. Merritt v. Skyways Ltd [1964] 1 All ER 494. VernonÊs Pools Ltd [1938] 2 All ER 626. Daiman Development Sdn Bhd v.46  TOPIC 3 LAW OF CONTRACT (INTENTION TO CREATE LEGAL RELATIONS) Cases:             Balfour v.

 INTRODUCTION In forming a valid contract. This is provided by Section 11 of the Contracts Act 1950 whereby „every person is competent to contract who is of the age of majority according to the law to which he is subject. it is paramount that the person who enters into the contract must have the full capacity in terms of age and mind. cannot make a valid contract (Refer to Figure 4). 4. .Topic  4 Law of Contract (Capacity to Contract) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic. you should be able to: 1. Describe the types of contract validly entered into by a minor. This means the person who has not reached the age of majority. and Discuss the status of contract made by a person of unsound mind. 3. 2. 5. and is not disqualified from contracting by any law to which he is subject‰. Explain the importance of contractual capacity of a minor to contract. or is of unsound mind. and who is of sound mind. Explain the importance of mental capacity for purposes of contract. Examine the effect of a minor contract.

Dhurmodas Ghose (1903) I.1: Persons who cannot make valid contract 4. The Privy Council held that: the combined effects of Sections 10 and 11 of the Indian Contracts Act (which is similar to the same sections of the local Act) rendered the contracts void. The authority was derived from the following Indian case of: Mohori Bibee v.48  TOPIC 4 LAW OF CONTRACT (CAPACITY TO CONTRACT) The following discussion will also look into the status of a contract entered into by a minor and person of unsound mind. With regards to the minorÊs contractual capacity.R. the general rule is that all contracts entered into by a minor are void. 539. . the age of majority is 18 years.L. 30 Cal.1 MINORS A minor or an infant is a person who is below the age of majority. Figure 4. Under the Age of Majority Act 1971.

The plaintiff in this case was an infant.TOPIC 4 LAW OF CONTRACT (CAPACITY TO CONTRACT)  49 The local case that applied the decision in the Mohori BibeeÊs case was the case of: Tan Hee Juan v. The transfers were witnessed and registered.1 Valid Contracts (Exceptions to Minors) There are certain exceptions available to contracts entered into by a minor. Thus. the plaintiff applied to the court for an order to set aside the transfers and for incidental relief. The Court ruled that the transactions were void and ordered the restoration of the property to the minor. Section 65 of the Indian Contracts Act (similar to Section 66. the court refused to order the minor to refund the purchase price paid by the defendant. However. Normally. or to make compensation for it. Malaysian Contracts Act) does not apply to a minor contract. The infant executed transfers of land in favour of the defendant. „any person who has received any advantage under the agreement or contract is bound to restore it. It includes those exceptions under the: . to the person from whom he received it‰. whereas in a case involving a minor. the contract never exists from the beginning. In the case of Tan Hee Juan. the plaintiff (minor) had received the purchase price for the transfers of land to the defendant. the Privy Council in Mohori BibeeÊs case decided that a party who is a minor cannot be compelled to repay any monies that he has received in the contract. It applies to a contract between competent parties. Later. under Section 66 of the Contracts Act 1950.1. when a contract is void. when the court made an order declaring the transfers void. 4. However. Teh Boon Keat [1934] MLJ 96.

Exceptions under the Age of Majority Act 1971 The Age of Majority Act provides exceptions to the general rule that minor contracts are void. The religion and religious rites and usages of any class of persons within Malaysia. the age for voting is 21 years and the age of a young person to join a trade union is above 16. The Insurance Act 1963 (Revised 1972) (contract of insurance).50  TOPIC 4 LAW OF CONTRACT (CAPACITY TO CONTRACT) Exceptions to Minors  The Age of Majority Act 1971 (including matters relating to marriage. Apart from marriage contracts. dower and adoption. dower. For example. divorce. etc. and    (a) (iii) Any other written law fixing the age of majority. adoption. religion and religious rites and usages of any class of persons within Malaysia. The above provision shows that minors can enter into contracts of promise of marriage and the contracts are valid. The Contracts (Amendment) Act 1976 (contract of scholarships). and any other written law fixing the age of majority). An example of a case where a minor entered into a valid contract of promise of marriage is the case of: . minors can also make a valid contract depending on the statute that provides the age of majority for particular purposes. The exceptions include: (i) (ii) The capacity of any person to act in matters relating to marriage. The Contracts Act 1950 (contract for necessaries).. divorce.

is supplied by another person with necessaries suited to his condition in life. The High Court held that: the age of majority for entering into a marriage contract differed from other minor contracts and were not affected by the general principle established in the Mohori BibeeÊs case. In the above case. The above principles will therefore apply to contract for necessaries entered into by a minor. the person who has furnished such supplies is entitled to be reimbursed from the property of such incapable person‰. food. It is important to observe the principles in Section 69 as follows:     The necessaries have been supplied to a minor. According to Section 69 of the Contracts Act 1950. . The parties in this case were Ceylonese Hindus. The minor is also liable for necessaries supplied to his dependants (wife and children). The contract will be valid if the minor has been supplied with articles which are considered as necessary to the minorÊs actual requirements and suited to the minorÊs condition in life. The defendant pleaded that the first plaintiff had no capacity to enter into the marriage contract because she was a minor.TOPIC 4 LAW OF CONTRACT (CAPACITY TO CONTRACT)  51 Rajeswary & Anor. and they went through a customary ceremony. incapable of entering into a contract. They entered into a marriage agreement according to customary practice that provides for a dowry and a penalty for breach. Later. or anyone whom he is legally bound to support. Balakrishnan & Ors. v. (1958) 3 MC 178. the contract was a valid contract and enforceable although the party to the contract was a minor. For example. „if a person. The supplier of necessaries may only claim for reimbursement (a reasonable price). the first defendant repudiated the promise of marriage and the plaintiffs then brought an action for breach of promise of marriage. (b) Contract for Necessaries Contract for necessaries is another exception to the general rule. A minor who enters into a contract for necessaries is liable for the contract. The minor is not personally liable and this means he is liable to pay only if he has the property to do so.

the claimant could continue the action for damages for breach of contract. The Government sued the first defendant (the minor) and the second and third defendants (the sureties) for breach of contract. if the goods or services have a utility value. Gurcharan Singh & Ors [1971] 1 MLJ 211. As far as goods or services are concerned. the minor was liable for the repayment of a reasonable sum spent on him.52  TOPIC 4 LAW OF CONTRACT (CAPACITY TO CONTRACT) shelter.500. then they will no longer be . The defendant in this case wished to become a professional billiards player and entered into an agreement with the claimant. medical services. Gray [1913] 1 KB 520. In Government of Malaysia v. then they are basically necessaries. such as clothing.000. However. being the sum spent by the Government for the minorÊs education. An example of a contract for the minorÊs benefit is the case of: Roberts v. to go on a joint tour. The Court held that: The contract was void but since education was „necessaries‰.683 because the minor has served the Government for three years and ten months out of the contractual period of five years. Gurcharan Singh & Ors [1971] 1 MLJ 211.500 were awarded.g. a leading professional. the first defendant was a minor. Damages of £1. but a dispute arose between the parties and the defendant refused to go. The amount ordered as payment to the Government was RM2. The claimant then sued for damages of £6. and education. if the minor is well supplied with the particular articles. The Court held that: The contract was for the minorÊs benefit. The claimant went to some trouble in order to organise the tour. Thus. The amount of claim was RM11. by holding that education was „necessaries‰ for the minors. clothing. At the time when the contract was made. The Contracts Act 1950 does not define the word „necessaries‰ but the concept has been mentioned by the Lordship in the case of Government of Malaysia v. a diamond tiara). and are not merely things of luxury (e.

The above case shows that a minor will not be bound by a contract of goods supplied. Award. As illustrated by the following case: Nash v. Cambridge. . However. Loan. being an architect with a town and country house. The claimant sent his agent to Cambridge because he had heard that the defendant was spending money freely. The clothes included 11 fancy waistcoats. The „Scholarship Agreements‰ have been defined as any contract or agreement between an appropriate authority and any person. Following the agentÊs visit. (c) Contract of Scholarships Another exception to the minorÊs contract is the contract of scholarships. Inman [1908] 2 KB 1 The claimant was a Savile Row tailor and the defendant was a minor undergraduate at Trinity College. the claimant supplied the defendant with various articles of clothing to the value of £145. which are not of necessaries for the minor. with respect to any:      Scholarship. The claimant then sued the minor for the price of the clothes. There was evidence that the minorÊs father was in a good position. the father proved that the defendant was adequately supplied with such clothes when the claimant delivered the clothing. The rule relating to scholarship agreements is provided in the Contracts (Amendment) Act 1976. Bursary. and might be the sort of person who would be interested in high-class clothing. The burden to prove that the goods supplied are necessaries for the minor is on the supplier or the seller. and it could be said that the clothes supplied were suitable to the defendantÊs position in life.TOPIC 4 LAW OF CONTRACT (CAPACITY TO CONTRACT)  53 necessaries even though they are useful for the minor. It was held that: The claim failed because the claimant had not established that the goods supplied were necessaries. Section 4(a) provides that no scholarship agreements shall be invalidated on the grounds that the scholar entering into such agreement is not of the age of majority‰. Sponsorship.

Conversely. .. A statutory authority. is not applicable to contract of scholarships between minors and private organisations. A State Government. but occasionally of sound mind. a person who is usually of sound mind. he is capable of understanding it and of forming a rational judgement as to its effect upon his interests‰. 4. and Facility for the purpose of education or learning. (d) Contract of Insurance Contract of insurance also constitutes an exception to the minorÊs contract.54  TOPIC 4 LAW OF CONTRACT (CAPACITY TO CONTRACT)   Appointment to a course of study. Section 153 of the Insurance Act 1963 (Revised 1972) provides that „a minor over the age of ten may enter into a contract of insurance but if he or she is under sixteen years. however.. it is important that at the time of making the contract.2 PERSON OF SOUND MIND With regards to capacity to contract. may not make a contract when he is of unsound mind‰. Further. Section 11 is followed by Section 12(1) of the Contracts Act 1950 which provides that „a person is said to be of sound mind for the purpose of making a contract if. the written consent of the parents or guardians is essential‰. The above rule. the contracting party must not suffer from mental disability. may make a contract during the period when he is sound. but occasionally of unsound mind. Section 12(2) and (3) state that „a person who is usually of unsound mind. and is not disqualified from contracting by any law to which he is subject‰. Section 11 of the Contracts Act 1950 states that „every person is competent to contract. „Appropriate authority‰ includes:     The Federal Government. and An educational institution. at the time when he makes it.who is of sound mind.

when sober. . he ratified and confirmed the contract. The Contracts Act 1950 does not state the status of contracts entered into by persons of unsound mind.TOPIC 4 LAW OF CONTRACT (CAPACITY TO CONTRACT)  55 The examples of contracts covered under Section 12 can be seen in Illustrations (a) and (b) as follows: Illustration (b) A sane man. and the other party knew this. In Matthews v. or form a rational judgment as to its effect on his interest. Baxter (1873) LR 8 Exch 132. as in the above case of Matthew. cannot contract whilst such delirium or drunkenness lasts. He was so drunk as not to know what he was doing. Matthews agreed to buy houses from Baxter. who is at intervals of sound mind. the contract is voidable if the fact of mental disorder or intoxication can be proven. who is delirious from fever. may contract during those intervals. Under English common law. Afterwards. or who is so drunk that he cannot understand the terms of a contract. Thus. Illustration (a) A patient in a mental hospital. the drunken person can ratify contracts when sober. It was held that both parties were bound by it.

had disposed the motorcycle to his other friend. aged 17. Roy has difficulty supervising NormanÊs training and disagreement arises between them. 4. aged 17.000 are ordered for Norman. Later. For that purpose. Roy is not happy either and brings an action for damages for breach of contract of RM20. After two weeks. Norman is given training on marketing the product. (b) . Norman. Alan. 2. Can Ismail succeed in his claim? Discuss. who was in need of money. Alan failed to come up with the balance and Ismail wanted to claim the payment from Alan. What is the legal effect of a contract entered into by a minor? Is there any exception to the above principle? What are the important principles laid down in Section 69 of the Contracts Act 1950? Can the contracting party sue a minor for damages under contract for necessaries? What is the effect of a contract entered into by a person who is of unsound mind? ACTIVITY 4. At the same time. He had difficulty in coming to the college and decided to purchase a Modenas (the national motorcycle of Malaysia) from Ismail.1 1.1 Discuss the following cases by applying the principles of law on capacity to contract: (a) Alan is a college university student. 3. Discuss the legal action that can be taken by Roy against Norman. enters into a contract of apprenticeship with Roy to become an enterpreneur in a health product. Norman is not happy and decides to withdraw himself from the training. 5.56  TOPIC 4 LAW OF CONTRACT (CAPACITY TO CONTRACT) SELF-CHECK 4. An outlet is provided for Norman to carry out this task and goods worth RM10. Rani. Alan paid RM500 as deposit for the motorcycle and promised to pay the balance of the purchase price in two weeks time.000.

the supplier of necessaries may only claim a reasonable price from the minor.TOPIC 4 LAW OF CONTRACT (CAPACITY TO CONTRACT)  57         Contracts made by minors are void. However. The burden to prove that goods or services supplied are necessaries is on the supplier. Marriage contract. contract of scholarship and contract of insurance constitute valid contracts for minors. A minor is only liable to pay from his property and is not personally liable. Contract for necessaries include contract to supply goods or services to the minors which suit their condition in life. Capacity Insurance Minor Marriage contract Necessaries Reimbursement Scholarship Sound mind . A person who is competent to contract includes a person who is of unsound mind. A person may make a contract during the period when he is sound. contract for necessaries.

. v. Baxter (1873) LR 8 Exch 132. Bhd. A. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia. Matthews v. Cases:        Government of Malaysia v. 539. Tan Hee Juan v. Gray [1913] 1 KB 520. 30 Cal. Mohori Bibee v. Teh Boon Keat [1934] MLJ 96. Inman [1908] 2 KB 1. Keenan.58  TOPIC 4 LAW OF CONTRACT (CAPACITY TO CONTRACT) Text Books: Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab.). Balakrishnan & Ors. Gurcharan Singh & Ors [1971] 1 MLJ 211. Wu M. Nash v. Smith and KeenanÊs Law for Business (13th ed. Selangor: Pearson and Longman. Dhurmodas Ghose (1903) I.L. (2006). Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn. Rahman. UK: Pearson and Longman. (1958) 3 MC 178.). B. Roberts v. The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. & Vohrah.R. D. Rajeswary & Anor. (2007). (2000).

Apart from the elements. 3. Explain the importance of free consent to contract. Explain the circumstances under which a contract does not become voidable by reason of lack of free consent..  INTRODUCTION Previous chapters have discussed the important elements to form a valid contract.‰.T op i c  5 Law of Contract (Free Consent to Contract) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic.. you should be able to: 1. Under Section 13 of the Contracts Act. Examine the effect of contracts made under coercion. „two or . misrepresentation and mistake.. free consent of the parties to enter into contract is also essential in determining the legality of the contract. 5. Describe the elements that affect the free consent of the contracting parties. 4. and Discuss the principle on the burden of proof in contracts made without free consent. 2. As provided by Section 10(1) of the Contracts Act 1950 that „all agreements are contracts if they are made by the free consent of parties competent to contract. undue influence.. fraud. These factors which affect the true consent of one or both parties may release the party from contractual obligation. 1950. There are various factors which can affect an agreement once it has been formed.

or the unlawful detaining or threatening to detain.1 COERCION Coercion under Section 15 of the Contracts Act 1950 means „the committing. What is meant by the explanation provision is illustrated below: . Therefore. consent must be free and not caused by :      Coercion (Section 15). It means.1: Factors which affect consent 5.60  TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT) more persons are said to consent when they agree upon the same thing in the same sense‰. then he is said to have employed coercion. under Section 14. to the prejudice of any person whatever. it is „immaterial whether the Penal Code is or is not in force in the place where the coercion is employed‰. with the intention of causing any person to enter into an agreement‰. or Mistake (Section 21. Figure 5. or threatening to commit any act forbidden by the Penal Code. Fraud (Section 17). any property. Misrepresentation (Section 18). Undue influence (Section 16). 22 and 23). if a person commits or threatens to commit any act forbidden under the Penal Code 1950 (the criminal law of the country) with the intention to make the other party enter into a contract with him. According to Explanation to Section 15.

There was coercion as defined in Section 15 of the Contracts Act 1950. on board an English ship on the high seas.the agreement is a contract voidable at the option of the party whose consent was so caused‰. Tai Kim Choo & 4 Ors. In the case of: Kesarmal s/o Letchman Das v. Each respondent had signed a sale and purchase agreement to purchase a house at RM29. although Section 506 of the Penal Code was not in force at the time when or place where the act was done. In another case of Chin Nam Bee Development Sdn Bhd v.500. the Court held that a transfer executed under the order of the Sultan. Section 19(1) of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that „when consent to an agreement is caused by coercion. issued under duress of two Japanese officers during the Japanese Occupation of Malaya was invalid. the respondents purchased houses to be constructed by the appellants. 5. Coercion under Section 15 covers the common law „duress‰ which means actual violence or threats of violence to the contracting party. The issue was whether the additional payment was made voluntarily or under threat by the appellants to cancel the respondentsÊ booking. the contract will become voidable at the option of the party whose consent was so caused. A has employed coercion.1 Effect of Coercion Where there is element of coercion in a contract. Valiappa Chettiar [1954] MLJ 119. In the case. causes B to enter into an agreement by an act amounting to criminal intimidation under the Penal Code.. The respondent was then made to pay an additional amount of RM4. A afterwards sues B for breach of contract at Taiping.1.. [1988] 2 MLJ 117. consent was not freely given and the transfer became voidable at the will of the party whose consent was so caused. The Court held that the payment was not voluntary and had been made under threat. .TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT)  61 A.000.

1 Real or Apparent Authority A person holds a real or apparent authority over the other. 5. having advanced money to his son. for instance. the choice of either affirming or rejecting it.2 UNDUE INFLUENCE When a person enters into a contract under the influence exercised by another person. Thus. parentsÊ authority over a child and husbandÊs authority over a wife. Further. 5.2. a bond from B for a greater amount than the sum due in respect of the advance. or He stands in a fiduciary relation to the other. obtains. Based on the wording of Section 16(1). the two important aspects of undue influence are: (a) (b) The domination of the will by one party over the other. or mental. by misuse of parental influence. the agreement is valid and binding until the party entitled to avoid it chooses to do so. the contract can be rescinded on the ground of undue influence. illness. . For example: Illustration (a) A. „a contract is said to be induced by Âundue influenceÊ where the relations subsisting between the parties are such that one of the parties is in a position to dominate the will of the other and uses that position to obtain an unfair advantage over the other‰. during his minority. A employs undue influence. a person is said to be in a position to dominate the will of another where: (a) (b) (c) He holds a real or apparent authority over the other. B. in Section 16(2). upon B's coming of age. or He makes a contract with a person whose mental capacity is temporarily or permanently affected by reason of age.62  TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT) The term „voidable‰ refers to an agreement which gives one or more parties but not the other. According to Section 16(1) of the Contracts Act 1950. or bodily distress. and Obtaining an unfair advantage.

was being pressed to pay his college debts. The defendant. owing to ill health. a trustee-beneficiary and a religious adviserfollower. for instance. aged 23. . is induced by B's influence over him as his medical attendant.TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT)  63 5. The great-uncle was unable to advise in person. thus. B employs undue influence. the relationship of a solicitor-client. stood in a confidential relationship to T. He asked his great-uncle to advise him how he should find the means to pay. T (an Oxford undergraduate).2. Undue influence applies to every case where influence is acquired and abused. In the case of Tate v. a man enfeebled by disease or age. but proceeded with the purchase. the defendant obtained a report from a surveyor on the property and it was valued at £20. Before the sale was completed. It was held that the purchase must be set aside. to agree to pay B an unreasonable sum for his professional services.2 A Fiduciary Relation A person stands in a fiduciary relation to the other. having been asked to give advice. The defendant offered to buy it for £7000. Williamson (1866) LR 2 Ch App 55.000. a doctor-patient. Conversations took place between T and the defendant in which T expressed the desire to sell part of his estate. or where confidence is reposed and betrayed. For example: Illustration (b) A. This prevented him from becoming a purchaser of the property without the fullest communication of all material information which he had obtained as to its value. The defendant did not disclose this fact to T. he deputed the defendant (his nephew) to do so.

In the case of Che Som bt Yip & Ors v.R. The defendant induced the plaintiff to buy his (defendantÊs) own house for the purpose at a price which grossly exceeded its market value. „where a person who is in a position to dominate the will of another. that affect his mental capability and also physical suffering. or Mental or Bodily Distress When a person makes a contract with another person whose mental capacity is temporarily or permanently affected by reason of age. to obtain advantage which is unfair to the other person. The plaintiff and defendant were fellow members of a committee formed to establish a Muslim cultural centre in London. the burden of proving that the contract was not induced by undue influence shall lie upon the person in a position to dominate the will of the other‰. and the transaction appears. the Court held that the charge document that has been signed by the third plaintiff who was of unsound mind could be set aside at his option. or in a state of unsound mind.2. 5. to be unconscionable.2. or mental or bodily distress. enters into a contract with him. 5. 516. Illness. illness. or sick.64  TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT) Another example of a case where a confidential relationship arises is the case of: Tufton v. the presumption is that the person will dominate another personÊs will. The Court of Appeal set the contract aside. on the face of it or on the evidence adduced. Sperni [1952] 2 T. Maha Pte Ltd & Ors [1989] 3 MLJ 468. For example: .L.4 Burden of Proof According to Section 16(3)(a) of the Contracts Act 1950. It was understood that the plaintiff would provide the funds for the centre. The other person could be old.3 Mental Capacity is Temporarily or Permanently Affected by Reason of Age. or suffering from certain illnesses or diseases.

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Illustration (c)
A, being in debt to B, the moneylender of his village, contracts a fresh loan on terms which appear to be unconscionable. It lies on B to prove that the contract was not induced by undue influence. In case where undue influence is shown to exist, the presumption of its exercise can be rebutted by proof that the party reposing the confidence has formed a free judgement, independent of any kind of control. The way to establish this is by showing that the person has received independent legal advice and took it. However, a transaction will also be upheld despite the absence of independent advice. The essential is to show that the transaction was „the result of the free exercise of independent will‰.

In the case of Lloyds Bank, Ltd. v. Bundy [1975] QB 326,
The defendant, an elderly farmer, and his only son, had been customers of the plaintiff bank for many years. The son founded a company which banked at the same bank. In 1966, the defendant guaranteed the companyÊs overdraft for £1,500 and charged his farm to the bank to secure that sum. Subsequently, the overdraft was increased and the bank sought further security. In May 1969, the defendant took legal advice and signed a further guarantee in favour of the bank for £5,000 and a further charge for £6,000. In December 1969, the bank manager visited the defendant and indicated to him that the continuance of the companyÊs overdraft facility was dependent upon the defendant executing in favour of the bank a further guarantee for £11,000 and a further charge for £3,500. The bank manager did not advise the defendant to seek independent advice, and the defendant signed the required guarantee and charge without such advice. The Court of Appeal held that the last guarantee and charge should be set aside for undue influence because a special relationship of confidence existed between the defendant and the bank in the particular case.

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Other important cases of undue influence are the case of:

Salwath Haneem v. Hadjee Abdullah (1894) 2 SSLR 57.
The plaintiffÊs husband executed a conveyance of property belonging to himself and the plaintiff to his brothers, B and C. The plaintiff agreed to the conveyance but after her husbandÊs death, she brought an action seeking to set aside the agreement and the conveyance. The Court held that a confidential relationship existed between the plaintiff and B and C. The burden of proof therefore lay on B and C to show that the plaintiff fully understood the transaction and executed the conveyance freely and without being subject to undue influence. Since B and C failed to discharge the burden, the transaction was set aside.

In the case of:

Datuk Jaginder Singh & Ors. v. Tara Rajaratnam [1983] 2 MLJ 196.
The respondent was the registered proprietor of a piece of land. She claimed that she was induced by fraud and undue influence of the first and second appellant to transfer her land to the second appellant. The Federal Court held that the appellants and respondent were in a solicitorclient relationship and the transaction was unconscionable. Therefore, the burden was on the appellants to rebut the presumption of undue influence. In this case, the appellants had not discharged that burden and thus the transaction was set aside.

5.2.5

Effect of Undue Influence

Where there is element of undue influence in a contract, the contract will become voidable at the option of the party whose consent was so caused. Section 20 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that „when consent to an agreement is caused by undue influence, the agreement is a contract voidable at the option of the party whose consent was so caused‰.

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SELF-CHECK 5.1
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. What is meant by coercion? What are the important ingredients to establish undue influence? What is the legal effect of a contract made under coercion and undue influence? Who must prove that a contract is not induced by undue influence? In what type of relationship is a person said to be in a position to dominate the will of another in a contract? What is the importance of independent legal advice in undue influence cases?

ACTIVITY 5.1
Discuss the following cases by applying the principle of law on free consent of contracting parties: (a) Mr Best lived with Mr Hard for many years in a house owned by Mr Best. Mr Hard was a man given to violence. After he threatened Mr Best, Mr Best sold the house to Mr Hard for RM30,000. A year later, Mr Hard died and his widow claimed the ownership of the house. However, Mr Best wanted to set aside the sale of the house to Mr Hard on the ground of duress. Explain whether he can succeed. One evening, Jack met Susan and told her that Adam would sue him for his failure to pay the money he owed Adam, amounting to RM100,000. After Jack revealed his problem to Susan, Susan persuaded Jack to sell his bungalow to her at the price of RM100,000, to enable Jack to pay up his debt to Adam. Jack immediately agreed with SusanÊs proposal because Susan was the only one in his heart. Jack had always listened to Susan and would fulfil SusanÊs wishes. A contract to transfer the bungalow to Susan was done and six months later, Susan left Jack to marry her friend, Mark. Jack was frustrated and happened to know that his bungalow was worth RM300,000 at the time of the transfer. Now, Jack decided to set aside the contract on the ground of undue influence. Discuss.

(b)

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5.3

FRAUD

Fraud refers to acts committed by a party to a contract with the intent to deceive the other contracting party. According to Section 17 of the Contracts Act 1950, „fraud includes any of the following acts committed by a party to a contract, or with his connivance, or by his agent, with intent to deceive another party thereto or his agent, or to induce him to enter into the contract:........‰. (a) „The suggestion, as to a fact, of that which is not true by one who does not believe it to be true.‰ It means fraud will exist when the party to a contract is suggesting a fact which is not true to another party, and he himself knows that the fact is not true. In the case of:

Letchemy Arumugam v. Annamalay [1982] 2 MLJ 198,
The plaintiff, an illiterate Indian woman rubber tapper, claimed to rescind the sale and purchase agreement made with the defendant on the ground of fraudulent misrepresentation. According to the plaintiff, she was induced to enter into the agreement whereby the defendant had fraudulently represented to the plaintiff that she was signing for a loan document and also other documents to free her land from a charge. In actual fact, she was signing a sale agreement relating to her land in Port Dickson. The Court held that the evidence clearly showed that the defendant had exercised fraud and therefore the plaintiff was entitled to rescind the contract. (b) „The active concealment of a fact by one having knowledge of belief of the fact.‰ An example of this act is provided in the following illustration in Section 19 of the Contracts Act 1950.

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Illustration (c)
B, having discovered a vein of ore on the estate of A, adopts means to conceal, and does conceal, the existence of the ore from A. Through AÊs ignorance, B is able to buy the estate at an undervalued price. The contract is voidable at the option of A.

(c) (d) (e)

„A promise made without any intention of performing it.‰ „Any other act fitted to deceive.‰ „Any such act or omission as the law specially declares to be fraudulent.‰

Notwithstanding the above principles, Explanation to Section 17 states that, „mere silence as to facts likely to affect the willingness of a person to enter into a contract is not fraud‰.

Illustration (a), Section 17
A sells, by auction, to B, a horse which A knows to be unsound. A says nothing to B about the horseÊs unsoundness. This is not fraud in A.

Illustration (d), Section 17
A and B, being traders, enter upon a contract. A has private information of a change in prices which would affect BÊs willingness to proceed with the contract. A is not bound to inform B.

An example of case to illustrate the principles: In Keates v. Lord Cadogan (1851) 10 C.B. 591, The plaintiff sued for damages arising from the defendantÊs fraud in letting to the plaintiff a house which he knew for immediate occupation (without disclosing that it was in a ruinous condition). The Court rejected the claim and held that there was nothing amounting to deceit (fraud).

is not voidable. the relation between the parties would make it AÊs duty to tell B if the horse is sound. where silence is equivalent to speech. Here... the contract will become voidable at the option of the party whose consent was so caused. 1950. A says nothing.. the act of A keeping silence means approving BÊs statement that the horse is sound). (Here. fraud. or unless his silence is. For instance: Illustration (c). if the party whose consent was so caused had the means of discovering the truth with ordinary diligence‰... fraudulent within the meaning of section 17. nevertheless.70  TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT) However.unless the circumstances of the case are such that. Section 17 B is AÊs daughter and has just come of age. Firstly. However.. This duty arises where the relationship between the contracting parties is in the nature of fiduciary relationship... I shall assume that the horse is sound‰. Secondly. For instance: Illustration (b). in itself.. „If you do not deny it. .. the same Explanation (Section 17) continues to provide that. „if such consent was caused by misrepresentation or by silence.3. where there is a legal duty to disclose the material facts (duty of disclosure) to the other party in a contract. Section 19(1) of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that „when consent to an agreement is caused by . the contract. The above statement means. Here. as in a solicitor-client relationship. according to Exception to Section 19 of the Contracts Act. there are circumstances in which failure by one party to speak out may amount to fraud. „. it is the duty of the person keeping silence to speak.. Section 17 B says to A. 5. AÊs silence is equivalent to speech....... equivalent to speech".. regard being had to them.1 Effect of Fraud Where there is element of fraud in a contract. the agreement is a contract voidable at the option of the party whose consent was so caused‰. ...

there was no fraud on the appellantÊs part. Thus. In the case of: Mithoolal v. or to whom the misrepresentation was made.TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT)  71 This means. Misrepresentation under Section 18 of the Contracts Act 1950 includes: (a) „The positive assertion. Eastern Mining & Metals Co Ltd [1965] 1 MLJ 201. by taking reasonable appropriate measures. though he believes it to be true. In the case of: Tan Chye Chew & Anor v. This means. does not render a contract voidable‰. of that which is not true. Further. the false statement does not give rise to a cause of action if it has not induced or caused the other party to enter into the contract. „a fraud or misrepresentation which did not cause the consent to a contract of the party on whom the fraud was practised. Life Insurance Corp of India AIR 1962 SC 814. if the party who was deceived has the means or capable of investigating the truth of the facts given by the other party. Explanation to Section 19 also provides that. 5.4 MISREPRESENTATION Misrepresentation refers to an untrue statement made by a representor and that induces the other party to enter into a contract. the contract cannot be rescinded. Thus. in a manner not warranted by the information of the person making it. The Indian Supreme Court stated that: A false representation. The representee must have relied on the statement of the representor. The Court held that the respondent had sufficient means to carry out his own inspection or investigation in determining the truth of the facts in their contract.‰ . is irrelevant if it has not induced the party to whom it is made to act upon it by entering into the contract. then the untruth facts cannot render the contract void. The burden of proving fraud lies on the party making the claim. whether fraudulent or innocent.

without an intent to deceive.. a misrepresentation in which no element of fraud is present. . the agreement is a contract voidable at the option of the party whose consent was so caused‰.‰ „Causing. to induce the other party to enter into the contract.1 Effect of Misrepresentation Where there is element of misrepresentation in a contract.. The respondents agreed to purchase from the appellant certain lands at Avondale. This is because the party making such a statement honestly believes in the truth of the statement. or anyone claiming under him. carried out sheep-farming on the lands in question. In the case of: (c) Bisset v. The respondents relied on the appellantÊs statement that he estimated the lands to carry two thousand sheep. misrepresentation under Section 18 is made without any intention to deceit. misrepresentation is a representation of untrue or misleading statement of fact. The Court held that the statement was merely of an opinion which the appellant honestly held. a party to an agreement to make a mistake as to the substance of the thing which is the subject of the agreement. in the Southern Island of New Zealand.. The appellant had not. The claim to rescind the contract failed. and no other person had at any time.72  TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT) (b) „Any breach of duty which. The difference between fraudulent misrepresentation and misrepresentation under Section 18 is that. It is important that the statement represented is a statement of fact and not only a statement of opinion.. Wilkinson [1927] AC 177. for the purpose of sheep-farming. In other words. or negligently or innocently makes such statement which is untrue or causes another to make a mistake of fact. or to the prejudice of anyone claiming under him. 5. or misrepresentation. made by a party to the contract.. the contract will become voidable at the option of the party whose consent was so caused. Section 19(1) of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that „when consent to an agreement is caused by . the respondents counter-claimed to rescind the contract on the ground of misrepresentation. however innocently. When the appellant claimed the balance of the purchase price.. gives an advantage to the person committing it.‰ In brief. by misleading another to his prejudice.4..

... B buys the factory. The representee must have relied on the statement of the representor. does not render a contract voidable‰. Section 19 A. the act of misrepresentation does not give rise to a cause of action if it has not induced or caused the other party to enter into the contract.. 2. Explanation to Section 19 also provides that. For instance: Illustration (b).. according to Exception to Section 19 of the Contracts Act.TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT)  73 However. leads B erroneously to believe that five hundred gantangs of indigo are made annually at AÊs factory.2 1. is not voidable.. if the party whose consent was so caused had the means of discovering the truth with ordinary diligence‰. 1950. 7. After this.. 4. nevertheless.. „a . B examines the accounts of the factory. 5. which show that only four hundred gantangs of indigo have been made... SELF-CHECK 5. the contract.. to whom the misrepresentation was made. What is meant by fraud and misrepresentation? What is the difference between fraudulent misrepresentation and innocent misrepresentation? What is the legal effect of a contract made under fraud and misrepresentation? What is meant by „silence is no fraud‰? Is there any exception to the above principle? Under what circumstance a contract cannot become voidable by reason of fraud and misrepresentation? What is the implication of not exercising oneÊs ordinary diligence to discover the truth of a statement made in a contract under fraud and misrepresentation? ... This means. 6. „if such consent was caused by misrepresentation or ... Further. 3... misrepresentation which did not cause the consent to a contract of the party .. by a misrepresentation... The contract is not voidable on account of AÊs misrepresentation.

„where both parties to an agreement are under a mistake as to a matter of fact essential to the agreement. Jade then discovered that she had been misled and sought the legal advice to sue the directors for damages for fraud and misrepresentation.74  TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT) ACTIVITY 5. Advise Tim.000 a year. only one of the parties is under a mistake of fact which is essential to the contract made. But if the mistake is done by one of the . Under Section 21. and under Section 23. Tim states that the income of the business is RM60. According to Section 23. In fact. Jade was induced to lend money to a company by a representation made by its directors that the money would be used to improve the companyÊs buildings and generally expand the business. (b) 5. However. Later. the directors intended to use the money to pay off the companyÊs existing debts because the creditors were pressing hard for payment. 5.1 Mistake of Fact According to Section 21.2 Discuss the following problems by applying the principles of law on consent of the contracting parties: (a) Tim is a mechanic who wishes to take a partner into his business.000 a year and Kyra asks about the balance. Kyra does not examine the accounts in detail and agrees to become a partner. Kyra discovers the true position and seeks to rescind the contract on the ground of fraud. the agreement is void‰. During negotiations between Tim and Kyra. Sections 21 and 23 of the Contracts Act 1950 provide for the effect of a contract entered into under a mistake of fact.5. „a contract is not voidable merely because it was caused by one of the parties to it being under a mistake as to a matter of fact‰. The above provisions provide that if the mistake of fact is done by both parties in a contract. The accounts which Tim produces show that the income is not quite RM60. Tim then produces further accounts to show how the figure is made up. Advise Jade.5 MISTAKES Mistake under the Contracts Act 1950 includes a mistake as to a matter of fact (by one or both contracting parties) and mistake as to any law in force or not in force in Malaysia. the contract will be void. both parties to the contract are under a mistake of fact.

then the contract will not be voidable. the ship conveying the cargo had been cast away and the goods lost. It turns out that the horse was dead at the time of the bargain. It turns out that. Section 21 A. In the case of: Raffles v. Examples of cases are illustrated below: Illustration (a). Section 21 of the Contracts Act 1950 covers the English common law classification of common mistake and mutual mistake. Illustration (c). Neither party was aware of the facts. Section 21 A agrees to buy from B a certain horse. The agreement is void.TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT)  75 parties to a contract. Therefore. there were two ships of the same name both leaving from Bombay at different times. They were both negotiating under a mistake and had in mind of different ships. Common mistake occurs when both parties make the same mistake as to the subject matter of the contract. being entitled to an estate for the life of B. while mutual mistake occurs when both parties misunderstand each other. sailing from Bombay. the contract of sale was ruled void for mutual mistake. Illustration (b). But unknown to both parties. Wichelhaus (1864) H&C 906. B was dead at the time of the agreement. Section 21 A agrees to sell B a specific cargo of goods supposed to be on its way from England to Kelang. but both parties were ignorant of the fact. agrees to sell it to C. The agreement is void. Two parties agreed to a sale of a cargo of cotton arriving in London by a ship called The Peerless. though neither party was aware of the fact. The agreement is void. before the day of the bargain. .

is bound by the terms of the contract.3 Mistake as to Document A party who has made a mistake as to the nature of a document he has signed.5. But if the mistake is made as to the law not in force in Malaysia. The contract was held to be valid by the English court. B made a successful bid at an auction for the sale of a public house under the mistaken belief that a certain field was included in the lot when in fact.76  TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT) Section 23 covers the unilateral mistake in English common law. For example: Illustration A and B make a contract grounded on the erroneous belief that a particular debt is barred by limitation: the contract is not voidable. Section 22 states. James (1898) 15 ChD 215. Thus. but a mistake as to a law not in force in Malaysia has the same effect as a mistake of fact‰. then the contract is void. the contract is not voidable. it was not. 5.5.2 Mistake of Law Mistake of law is provided under Section 22 of the Contracs Act 1950. The example of case is: Tamplin v. if the mistake is made by the contracting parties as to the law in force in Malaysia. . 5. „a contract is not voidable because it was caused by a mistake as to any law in force in Malaysia.

and the Malaysian courts applied the principle in the local cases. 5. Thus. to sign a document). C is dead at the time of the promise.000. he was bound by the terms he had signed (provided there was no fraud or misrepresentation). Haji Omar & Anor [1949] MLJ Supp 28. Even if the defendant was ignorant of the language. In the case of: Awang bin Omar v. The plaintiff and the second defendant entered into a contract and the performance was guaranteed by the first defendant (who was induced by the second defendant. there is an exception in English law that allows the defence of non est factum. .000 in consideration of BÊs promise to marry C (AÊs daughter).TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT)  77 In Subramaniam v. An example is illustrated below: Illustration (a) A pays B $1. it is a plea that the agreement is not the act of the person. Retnam [1966] 1 MLJ 172. However. The first defendant did not know English and he was persuaded to sign in the mistaken belief that he was merely witnessing his brotherÊs signature. The agreement is void. The defendant had signed a written acknowledgment of a loan provided in the English language. The High Court ruled that there was a mistake as to the nature of the document signed and therefore.4 Effect of Mistake When a contract is void (for mistake). „any person who has received any advantage under the agreement is bound to restore it or to make compensation for it to the person from whom he received it‰. according to Section 66 of the Contracts Act 1950. Non est factum means „it is not his deed‰.5. the first defendant was not liable. but B must repay A the $1.

Leong Fong Yew (1918) 2 FMSLR 187.78  TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT) Section 30 of the Specific Relief Act 1950 also provides remedy of rectification in cases where the parties made a contract under a mistake and the contract does not accurately record the true intention of the parties. . The appellant. Section 30 states. neither C nor D having any knowledge of the fraud. all three godowns are included. The local case below is a case where rectification of a document was granted to the claimant. so that it could rectify the instrument so as to express the real intentions. B gives one to C and lets the other to D for rent. but it cannot be rectified so as to affect DÊs lease. either party.. the remedy of rectification is available in equity. or his representative in interest.. The High Court ruled that the mistake was common to all parties. may institute a suit to have the instrument rectified. Of the two godowns which were fraudulently included. In Lim Hong Shin v. be rectified so as to exclude from it the godown given to C. in which. through fraud or a mutual mistake of the parties. so far as this can be done without prejudice to rights acquired by third persons in good faith and for value‰. intending to sell to B his house and one of three godowns adjacent to it. „when. a contract or other instrument in writing does not truly express their intention. The conveyance may... through BÊs fraud. Under the English common law. A third party and his predecessors had always been in possession of the bottom lot. It is also important that the order to rectify must not be prejudicial to the rights of an innocent third party. An example is provided in the illustration below: Illustration (a) A. the court may at its discretion rectify the instrument so as to express that intention. Lin Hong shin (and his predecessors) had always been in possession of the middle lot. and the predecessors of the claimant-respondent as owners of the middle lot. By mistake. executes a conveyance prepared by B. as against B and C. the predecessor of the appellant was registered as owner of the top lot.

Nadia believes that he is buying from Vince and not from Hans. After the sale was completed. 5.TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT)  79 SELF-CHECK 5.3 1. 6. Kamal did not read this statement and believed that the field would be included in the sale. Kamal always wanted to graze cows that would bring him profit apart from maintaining the orchard. Kamal was one of those who was interested in the orchard because he had seen Mr Sam using the adjacent field to graze cows. What is the effect of a contract made under a mistake of fact? What is the difference between common/mutual mistake and unilateral mistake? What is the effect of a contract made under a mistake of law? What is the meaning of the rule of non est factum? Is the English common law rule of non est factum apply to the Malaysian cases? Is the remedy of rectification available in mistake cases? ACTIVITY 5. Explain how the mistakes in the following would affect the contract: (i) (ii) Nadia believes that she is obtaining credit over four months whereas Hans believes that it is a cash sale. Kamal then bought the orchard from Mr Sam.3 Discuss the following cases by applying the principles of law on free consent of the contracting parties: (a) Nadia agrees to buy a camera and Hans agrees to sell the same. Advise Kamal. Kamal discovered that the field was not included in the sale and intended to set aside the contract. 4. (b) Mr Sam advertised his „Durian Orchard‰ for sale. Later. . 2. Kamal obtained the details of the sale advertisement which clearly stated that the field in question was not part of the sale since it did not belong to Mr Sam. 3.

Mere silence is no fraud. A contract which is void under a mistake of fact requires the party who has received the advantage to restore it to the other party. Failure by one party to speak out will amount to fraud if there is a duty of disclosure.                   . Fraud covers an act committed by one contracting party with the intent to deceive another. Unilateral mistake does not render a contract voidable. The defence of non est factum is accepted in mistake cases but in exceptional circumstances. with the intention to make the other party enter into a contract. The burden of proving that the contract is not induced by undue influence is on the person dominating the will of another. A false statement which does not induce or cause the party to enter into a contract does not render the contract voidable. A contract under fraud is not voidable if the party being the victim of fraud had the means of discovering the truth with ordinary diligence. Contracts made under undue influence will become voidable. Element of fraud makes the contract voidable.80  TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT)  Coercion is the act of committing or threatening to commit any act forbidden by the Penal Code. Innocent misrepresentation in a contract is not made with the intention to deceive but the contract is voidable. The presumption of undue influence can be rebutted by proving the other party taking independent legal advice. The effect of a contract made under coercion is voidable. Mistake of fact will render a contract void if it is a common or mutual mistake. Remedy of rectification is allowed in a contract made under mistake. To establish a contract made under undue influence requires the elements of domination of will and obtaining unfair advantage. A contract made under a mistake of law in force in Malaysia is not voidable.

The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. 591. Rahman. Keenan. (2007). A. Cases:          Awang bin Omar v. (2006). Bhd. B. Kesarmal s/o Letchman Das v. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn. M. G. (1988). Wu. . Lord Cadogan (1851) 10 C.TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT)  81 Coercion Fiduciary relation Fraud Free consent Mental capacity Misrepresentation Mistake Ordinary diligence Real/apparent authority Rectification Undue influence Voidable contract Text Books: Guest.). UK: Pearson and Longman.B. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia. Lim Hong Shin v. Bisset v. Letchemy Arumugam v. Che Som bt Yip & Ors v. A. Selangor: Pearson and Longman.). [1988] 2 MLJ 117. Haji Omar & Anor [1949] MLJ Supp 28. Tara Rajaratnam [1983] 2 MLJ 196. Smith and KeenanÊs Law for Business (13th ed. Tai Kim Choo & 4 Ors. Singapore: Oxford University Press.). Leong Fong Yew (1918) 2 FMSLR 187. Datuk Jaginder Singh & Ors. (2000). Valiappa Chettiar [1954] MLJ 119. AnsonÊs Law of Contract (26th ed. Keates v. Annamalay [1982] 2 MLJ 198. v. Wilkinson [1927] AC 177. Chin Nam Bee Development Sdn Bhd v. & Vohrah. Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. Maha Pte Ltd & Ors [1989] 3 MLJ 468. D.

Wichelhaus (1864) H&C 906. Mithoolal v. Ltd. . Subramaniam v.L. Raffles v. Retnam [1966] 1 MLJ 172. Hadjee Abdullah (1894) 2 SSLR 57. Tamplin v. Tan Chye Chew & Anor v. Salwath Haneem v. v.R. Eastern Mining & Metals Co Ltd [1965] 1 MLJ 201. Life Insurance Corp of India AIR 1962 SC 814. 516. Bundy [1975] QB 326. Tate v. Tufton v.82  TOPIC 5 LAW OF CONTRACT (FREE CONSENT TO CONTRACT)          Lloyds Bank. Sperni [1952] 2 T. Williamson (1866) LR 2 Ch App 55. James (1898) 15 ChD 215.

3. 2. Explain the status of contracts with unlawful consideration or object. and Discuss the consequence of illegal contracts. List several kinds of void contracts.1) when it: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) is forbidden by law. Explain the effect of contracts in restraint.  INTRODUCTION Section 2(g) of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that „an agreement not enforceable by law is said to be void‰. implies injury to person or property of others. defeats the provisions of any law. Describe the importance of reasonable restraint in contracts. . Under Section 24. the consideration or object of the agreement is unlawful (see Figure 6. 4. 5. is fraudulent. you should be able to: 1. or is regarded as immoral or opposed to public policy.Topic  6 Law of Contract (Void and Illegal Contract) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic.

Section 28 makes an agreement that restrains trade transaction as void agreement. These kinds of agreements are regarded as void according to Section 29 of the Contracts Act. DEFEAT THE LAW Section 24(a) and (b). The same also applies to an agreement that restricts a person from enforcing his absolute rights under any law or limits the time for a person to enforce his rights. An example of this is Section 31 of the Contracts Act 1950 which states that any wager contract is void and no legal action can be taken to recover money won out of such wager. 6. 1950. It provides that all agreements. Some statutes do not provide specific provisions concerning void or illegal contract but some provide that failure to conform to any law provisions would cause the contract to be void. by way of gaming or wagering shall be null and void. The same is also stressed in Section 26 of Civil Law Act 1956. No legal action can be taken to recover money or valuable things won out of the same.1 CONTRACTS FORBIDDEN BY LAW AND IF PERMITTED.1: Elements that make a consideration or an object of an agreement unlawful Whereas Section 27 of the Contracts Act considers an agreement which affects the freedom and stability of marriage of any person as void. either made orally or written. Contracts Act 1950.84  TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT) Figure 6. .

it was unlawful by reason of Section 24 of the Contracts Act. Krishnan [1955] MLJ 103. & Anor [1990] 1 MLJ 356. v. the agreement contravened Rule 12(1) of the Housing DeveloperÊs (Control and Licensing) Rule 1970 which requires every contract of sale to be in writing. In the case of Hee Cheng v. The plaintiff entered into an agreement with the defendant for a purchase of a piece of land held under Temporary Occupational License (TOL). The agreement. The appellants extended loans to the respondents and the loan was secured by documents and guarantees. Hotel Rasa Sayang Sdn. the respondent orally agreed to sell and transfer a house to the appellant. The court further held that although the oral agreement contravened Rule 12(1). The Court held that: The transactions were tainted with illegality. The documents evidencing the loans showed that the hotel whose shares were being purchased by a company had given financial assistance to that company. Example of cases where contracts are prohibited by statute: Chung Khiaw Bank Ltd. was in contravention of Rule 41 of the Land Rules 1930 which provides that a licence for temporary occupation of a state land shall not be transferable. . However. The Court held that there was nothing in the rules which provided that verbal agreement was invalid. Bhd. The Court held that the agreement was an attempt to sell a land under the TOL. which the respondent undertook to build. Such an attempt if allowed would frustrate the law. the appellant-purchaser clearly belonged to a class for whose protection the statutory prohibition was imposed.TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT)  85 In the case of Rasiah Munusamy v. The defendant breached the contract and the plaintiff claimed for specific performance of the agreement. This act contravened Section 67 of the Companies Act 1965. Therefore. he could enforce it. however. Therefore. Lim Tan & Sons Sdn Bhd [1985] 2 MLJ 291.

The defendant. as its object is unlawful.3 CONTRACTS INJURIOUS TO PERSON OR PROPERTY OF ANOTHER Section 24 (d). The defendant agreed to assign his rights under the licence (to extract timber) to the plaintiff. Abu Samah [1968] 1 MLJ 221. The defendant held a logging licence in Pahang under the Forest Rules 1935 which prohibited transfer without written approval from the District Forest Officer. .2 FRAUDULENT CONTRACTS Section 24(c). who was a trustee of a piece of land belonging to a minor. if allowed. had agreed to sell it to the plaintiff. An example of a fraudulent contract is found in the following illustration. the Court held that the transaction was void. Since the sale of the land. B and C enter into an agreement for the division among them of gains acquired. would affect the interest of the minor. by them by fraud. 6. Puteh bt Sabtu (1922) 5 FMSLR 243). The Court held that the contract was illegal. Illustration (e).86  TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT) In Tan Bing Hock v. or to be acquired. Section 24 A. Contracts Act 1950 Any contract which its consideration or object causes injury to person or property of another is void under the law. Contracts Act 1950 Any contract which its consideration or object is fraudulent is void. The agreement is void. In the case of Syed Ahamed Alhabsyee v. 6.

Section 24 A promises to obtain for B an employment in the public service. Contracts Act 1950 Any contract which its consideration or object is regarded as immoral or opposed to public policy is void under the law. . and B promises to pay RM1. Section 24 A agrees to let her daughter be hired to B for concubinage. The Court held that the money lent for the purpose of brothel business was not recoverable for illegality. In Aroomogum Chitty v. because it is immoral. The agreement is void. Public Policy (a) Contracts prejudicial to the public service Illustration (f). though the letting may not be punishable under the Penal Code.000 to A in return.4 CONTRACTS IMMORAL OR AGAINST PUBLIC POLICY Section 24(e). The plaintiff initiated a claim for the refund of money he lent to a brothel business.TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT)  87 6. Lim Ah Hang (1894) 2 SSLR 80. Such an agreement is void as the consideration is unlawful. Immoral Contracts Illustration (k). The object of the agreement was clearly immoral.

In the case of Foster v.88  TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT) In the case of Parkinson v.College of Ambulance Ltd & Harrison [1925] 2KB 1. or promotes any act which weakens the stability of marriage. He then sued for the return of the money when he did not receive the honour. (c) Contracts against the interests of the state The kinds of contracts which are detrimental to the state and unlawful include contracts to trade with the enemy of the state during war. He did with a promise of more should the knighthood be forthcoming. as its object is unlawful. The reason for this is simply that it profits the enemy state and is thus against public policy. . (b) Contracts obstructing the course of justice Illustration (h). Driscoll [1929] 1 KB 470. it is also void as it is against public policy. that provides terms in the event of future separation. Another kind of contract is a marriage brokerage contract to find a spouse for a person in return for a fee. Section 24 A promises B to drop a prosecution which he has instituted against B for robbery. Also a contract between spouses who are living together. is void because it encourages the parties to get into divorce. The agreement is void. The secretary of the defendant charity promised to secure a knighthood for the plaintiff if he would make an adequate donation. (d) Contracts prejudicial to the freedom and stability of marriage A contract is void if it restricts a personÊs ability to marry. and B promises to restore the value of the things taken. A partnership agreement between five persons with the intention to smuggle whisky into the US was held as illegal.

Advise Joey as to whether he could recover the RM20.1 1. 3. paid RM20. When does a consideration or an object of an agreement become unlawful? What kind of contracts are regarded as against public policy? What is the status of a contract with an unlawful object or consideration? ACTIVITY 6. the Director of a few listed companies. Contracts Act 1950. Section 26. He has also failed to pay customs duty to the authority.000 paid to Harry. Harry has since failed to provide any information to Joey and has indicated that he has no intention of ever doing so. Decide whether Gesmar could enforce the indemnity clause. Insider trading is an offence under Section 132A of the Companies Act 1965.000 to Harry. Contracts Act 1950. 2. Gesmar had brought into Malaysia certain jewellery which he has failed to declare to the customs. A contract is void if the consideration for one or more objects is in part unlawful.TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT)  89 SELF-CHECK 6. 2.1 1. Joey.5 OTHER VOID CONTRACTS The following provisions provide for other kinds of contracts to be regarded as void: (a) Section 25. Later. a remisier. 6. A contract made without consideration is void except in the circumstances provided. for „insider information‰ which he intended to use in determining how to invest his clientsÊ funds. (b) . he filed a claim for indemnity against the insurers for the loss of the jewellery at his home through theft.

The plaintiff entered into an agreement to restrain the defendant from practising as an advocate and solicitor within five miles of Kota Bharu town for a period of two years after the termination of his service contract with his employer. (d) (e) (f) (g) 6. In other words. The plaintiff applied for an injunction to restrain the defendant from practising. in Malaysia. A contract that is uncertain is void. A contract by way of wager is void except a subscription or contribution made in favour of certain prizes for horse-racing. Contracts Act 1950. In the case of Wrigglesworth v. Anthony Wilson [1964] MLJ 269. „every agreement by which anyone is restrained from exercising a lawful profession. Contracts Act 1950. Contracts Act 1950. The Court held that the restraint is void. However. English common law only invalidates contracts with unreasonable restraint.90  TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT) (c) Section 27. trade or any lawful business is enforceable provided the restraint is reasonable. Section 28 clearly provides that a . Later. profession or business is void except in certain limited circumstances. the defendant left the employment and set up a practice in Kota Bharu town. Section 28. A contract in restraint of marriage of a person other than a minor is void. Section 29. Under common law. in breach of the promise. trade or business of any kind. any contract that prevents a person from practising a profession. A contract in restraint of trade. Section 31. is to that extent void‰. Contracts Act 1950.5.1 Contracts in Restraint of Trade According to Section 28 of the Contracts Act 1950. Section 30. Contracts Act 1950. A contract in restraint of legal proceedings is void except contracts to refer a dispute to arbitration and certain written contracts relating to award of scholarships by the Government.

There was a clause in a fire insurance policy which stated: „If the claim be made and rejected. carries on a like business therein: Provided that such limits appear to the court reasonable.‰ The Court held that this clause reduced the period within which an assured might bring a suit for compensation to a period less than that sanctioned by the limitation statute. and an action or suit be not commenced within three months after such rejection.5. so long as the buyer. other than that of the partnership. regard being had to the nature of the business. or which limits the time within which he may thus enforce his rights.TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT)  91 contract which prevents a person from exercising lawful profession. In the case of Corporation Royal Exchange v. Exception 2 Partners may. Those exceptions are as follows: (a) Exception 1 One who sells the goodwill of a business may agree with the buyer to refrain carrying on a similar business. by the usual legal proceedings in the ordinary tribunal. or any person deriving title to the goodwill from him. Teck Guan (1912) 2 FMSLR 92. Exception 3 Partners may agree that some one or all of them will not carry on any business. agree that some or all of them will not carry on a business similar to that of the partnership within such local limits. „an agreement whereby a person is restricted from enforcing his rights under or in respect of any contract. Thus. is void to that extent‰.2 Contracts in Restraint of Legal Proceedings According to Section 29 of the Contracts Act 1950. within specified local limits. upon or in anticipation of dissolution of the partnership. the clause infringed Section 28 of the Contracts Enactment (now Section 29 of the Contracts Act 1950) and was to that extent. during the continuance of the partnership. . There are three exceptions under Section 28. void. all benefit under this policy shall be forfeited. trade or any kind of business is void. (b) (c) 6.

and that only the amount awarded in the arbitration shall be recoverable in respect of the dispute so referred. restraint of trade and restraint of legal proceedings. as follows: (a) Exception 1 This section shall not render illegal a contract by which two or more persons agree that any dispute which may arise between them in respect of any subject or class of subjects shall be referred to arbitration. Exception 2 Nor shall this section render illegal any contract in writing.6 CONSEQUENCES OF ILLEGALITY The general rule at common law and under the Contracts Act 1950 is that the courts will not enforce illegal contracts and assist the parties: ex turpi causa non oritur actio (no action will arise from a wrong done). by which two or more persons agree to refer to arbitration on any question between them which has already arisen.5. This means.92  TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT) There are three exceptions to the general rule. only the invalid part of the contract is unenforceable but the rest of the contract will be enforceable. 6.3 Effect of Contracts under Section 28 and 29 Contracts in restraint of trade and in restraint of legal proceedings are not void in toto but only void to the extent of the restraints. or affect any law as to references to arbitration. . (b) (c) 6. Those contracts are void only to the extent of the restraint. Exception 3 Nor shall this section render illegal any contract in writing between the Government and any person with respect to an award of a scholarship by the Government wherein it is provided that the discretion exercised by the Government under that contract shall be final and conclusive and shall not be questioned by any court. The consequences of illegality do not apply to contracts in restraint of marriage.

Section 66 would apply and the respondent was entitled to recover the deposit paid. or any one or any part of any one of several considerations for a single object. contravening Section 3(1) of the Paddy Cultivators Ordinance. Goon Food On (1933-34) FMSLR 169. is unlawful.TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT)  93 In Seong Sam v. the agreement is void‰. One of the tickets won a prize which was not paid in full by the defendant. the appellants refused to allow the respondent to till the land. The plaintiff sued for the balance but the defendant claimed illegality of the contract. Under the Contracts Act 1950. Subsequently. Ng Aik Chong [1970] 1 MLJ 82. Contracts severable and not severable In cases where the contract is illegal in part. The respondent and the appellants entered into an agreement for a lease of paddy field for a period of six years and $1500 was paid pursuant to the agreement. Therefore. being a wager. the plaintiff was a party to an illegal agreement and she could not maintain an action based on the agreement. restitution is possible provided the illegality is not known to the party seeking it. Once a contract becomes void. The respondent took legal action to recover the sum paid to the appellants and the appellants claimed illegality of the agreement. The Court held that an agreement for the purchase of a share in a ticket in a public lottery was illegal and not merely void. The Federal Court held that the parties were ignorant of the fact that they were executing an illegal agreement. In Ahmad bin Udoh & Anor v. . it is either possible or not possible to sever the illegal part from the rest. „if any part of a single consideration for one or more objects. The plaintiff bought a share in three tickets from the defendant. Section 66 which is regarded as restitutionary provision. Hence. The agreement was illegal. According to Section 25 of the Contracts Act 1950. may be applied.

to do certain other things which are illegal.000 a year. For both jobs.000. a legal manufacture of indigo and an illegal traffic in other articles. to do certain things which are legal. under specified circumstances. A is promised a salary of $1. on behalf of B. the whole agreement is void if it is not possible to sever the considerations. Section 58 provides that.000 is a contract while the second set is void. he will instead pay $50. „where persons reciprocally promise.94  TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT) That means. But if B uses it as a gambling house. firstly.000. but the second is a void agreement‰. For example: Illustration A agrees to sell a house to B and B agrees to buy it for $10. if the considerations of the contract are partly lawful and partly unlawful. . the first set of promises is a contract. and secondly. The agreement is void since the object of AÊs promise and the consideration for BÊs promise being in part unlawful. For example: Illustration A promises to supervise. Accordingly. This provision applies to contracts which are severable. The first set of reciprocal promises for sale of the house at $10.

Decide whether there was a breach of contract by Robin. was employed by Mr White to deliver milk to his customers. and would not compete with the company in any way. Nothern was a manufacturer of machine guns and other military weapons. 5.2 1. He sold the business to a company. (b) . Robin then took the same milk round as he had worked when he was with Mr White. Robin left his employment with Mr White in order to work as a roundsman for West Dairies. Decide whether this covenant regarding the business sold was valid and enforceable. In his contract. 2. The company was amalgamated with another company and Nothern was employed by the new entity as managing director. Later. 4. a milk roundsman. Robin agreed that for one year after leaving his job.TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT)  95 SELF-CHECK 6. Can a contract be made to restrain a person from marrying another? What is the effect of an uncertain contract? Is contract in restraint of trade enforceable? What are the exceptions to contract in restraint of legal proceedings? Will the court assist the parties to an illegal contract? Can a party to an illegal contract apply for restitution under Section 66 of the Contracts Act 1950? ACTIVITY 6.2 Discuss the following problems by applying the relevant principles of law: (a) Robin. he would not serve or sell milk or dairy produce to persons who (within six months before he left employment) were customers of his employer. Nothern agreed that for 25 years he would not manufacture guns or ammunition in any part of the world. giving certain undertakings which restricted his business activities. 6. 3.

A contract made without consideration is void. Singapore: Oxford University Press. AnsonÊs Law of Contract (26th ed. Illegal contracts Restitution Restraint of legal proceeding Restraint of marriage Restraint of trade Severable contracts Unlawful objects or considerations Void contracts Text Books: Guest. (1988). Immoral contracts and contracts opposed to public policy are void. Bhd. Any contract which its consideration or object is fraudulent is void. A contract that is uncertain is void. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia. Restitution is possible provided the illegality is not known to the party seeking it. A.96  TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT)           An agreement not enforceable by law is said to be void. G. Contracts in restraint of trade and in restraint of legal proceedings are void to the extent of the restraints. Rahman.). Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn. A contract in restraint of marriage of a person other than a minor is void. The courts will not enforce illegal contracts and assist the parties to the contract. Contract injurious to person or property of another is void. (2007). Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. .

Krishnan [1955] MLJ 103. Cases:             Ahmad bin Udoh & Anor v. Lim Ah Hang (1894) 2 SSLR 80. Teck Guan (1912) 2 FMSLR 92. The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. Driscoll [1929] 1 KB 470. Parkinson v. Lim Tan & Sons Sdn Bhd [1985] 2 MLJ 291. Aroomogum Chitty v. Puteh bt Sabtu (1922) 5 FMSLR 243). Wu. Rasiah Munusamy v. Goon Food On (1933-34) FMSLR 169. v. Smith and KeenanÊs Law for Business (13th ed. Bhd. & Anor [1990] 1 MLJ 356. Tan Bing Hock v. Syed Ahamed Alhabsyee v. UK: Pearson and Longman. (2000). Ng Aik Chong [1970] 1 MLJ 82. & Vohrah. Anthony Wilson [1964] MLJ 269. Hee Cheng v. Chung Khiaw Bank Ltd. Hotel Rasa Sayang Sdn. Selangor: Pearson and Longman. .). (2006).TOPIC 6 LAW OF CONTRACT (VOID AND ILLEGAL CONTRACT)  97 Keenan. M. A. Seong Sam v. Abu Samah [1968] 1 MLJ 221. Wrigglesworth v.).College of Ambulance Ltd & Harrison [1925] 2KB 1. Foster v. Corporation Royal Exchange v. D. B.

5. Explain the lawful and unlawful ways of discharging a contract. Discharge by performance. . When a contract is terminated. 4. Describe the various ways by which a contract may be discharged. 2. Discuss the remedies available to the parties in a contract. Explain the requirement of principles in various remedies available. 6. and Distinguish the importance of each remedy in a contract. Identify the circumstances under which remedies may not be granted. 3. it is said to be discharged and the contracting parties are free from further obligations arising from it. you should be able to: 1.  INTRODUCTION This topic explains the situations in which contracts can be discharged and the remedies available to the parties in a contract. A contract may be discharged by any one of the following ways: (a) (b) Discharge by consent or agreement between parties.T op i c  7 Law of Contract (Discharge of Contract and Remedies) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic.

It is agreed between A. Consent given subsequent to the contract may be a waiver. release. Rescission and Alteration According to Section 63 of the Contracts Act 1950. For example. For example: .1 DISCHARGE BY CONSENT OR AGREEMENT BETWEEN PARTIES A contract that is created by consent can be discharged by consent. „if the parties to a contract agree to substitute a new contract for it. Sections 63 and 64 of the Contracts Act 1950 provide for the discharge of contract by consent. or to rescind or alter it. 7. The old debt of A to B is at an end. The effect of novation is to release the obligation of the parties under the earlier contract. the original contract need not be performed‰. or Discharge by breach. and a new debt from C to B had been contracted. the contract will be discharged. B and C that B shall henceforth accept C as his debtor.TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  99 (c) (d) Discharge by impossibility. instead of A. For example: Illustration (a) A owes money to B under a contract. novation. 7. The consideration for the new agreement is the mutual discharge of the original contract and consent of all parties is secured. Consent may be given at the time of the contract or subsequently. Novation is the substitution or replacement of a new contract for an earlier one.1. the parties may agree at the time of making the contract that on the occurence of an event. remission or rescission.1 Novation.

which will apply to the following situations: (a) Payment of a lesser sum in satisfaction of a larger sum. but C does not assent to the agreement.000 were payable. B orders A to credit C with $1. and no new contract has been entered into. the performance of the promise made to him.000. Illustration (c) A owes B $5. .1. 7.000 paid at the time and place at which the $5.000 in place of the debt of $10.000 under a contract. and B accepts.000 and B accepts it in satisfaction of his claim on A.100  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES) Illustration (c) A owes B $1. (b) Payment of a lesser sum by a third party to satisfy a larger debt.000. and gives B a mortgage of his (AÊs) estate for $5. B still owes C $1. The whole debt is discharged. B owes C $1. A pays to B. A enters into arrangement with B.000.000. in satisfaction of the whole debt. For example: Illustration (b) A owes B $5. This is a new contract and extinguishes the original contract.000 in his books. or may extend the time for such performance.‰ The provision allows the party to remit the performance of the contract. C.000 and a third party. pays to B $1.2 Remission of Performance Section 64 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that. $2. „every promisee may dispense with or remit. or may accept instead of it any satisfaction which he thinks fit. as follows: Illustration (b) A owes B $10. This payment discharge the whole claim.000. wholly or in part. An example of alteration of a contract.

unless such performance has been dispensed with or excused under this Act or of any other law‰. (d) An arrangement between a debtor and his creditors to settle debts. accepts the sum of $2.000 to the creditorÊs solicitor in discharge of $8. This is a discharge of the whole debt. and is also indebted to other creditors. Illustration (e) A owes B $2. a sum of money.000 is a discharge of BÊs demand. their respective promises.000. the amount of which has not been ascertained. without ascertaining the amount. Section 38(1) of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that „the parties to the contract must either perform. A. Payment to B of $1. 7. gives to B. A case to illustrate further the application of the provision: Kerpa Singh v Bariam Singh [1966] 1 MLJ 38 A third party. made an offer of $4. the son of the appellant debtor. The Court held that the creditorÊs conduct in cashing the cheque and retaining the money would be considered an agreement to discharge the debtor from any futher liability. and B.000. or offer to perform. including B. whatever may be its amount. A makes an arrangement with his creditors. . in satisfaction thereof.2 DISCHARGE BY PERFORMANCE A contract is said to be discharged when the parties to the contract has performed what they have agreed to do in the contract.650 (on the condition that the creditor could either return the cheque to the offeror or retain it and discharge the debtorÊs debt).TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  101 (c) Payment accepted in satisfaction of an unascertained sum. Illustration (d) A owes B under a contract. to pay them a composition of fifty cents in the dollar upon their respective demands.

The following illustrations explain the provision: Illustration (a) A promises to deliver goods to B on a certain day on payment of RM1. by the contract.1 Time and Place of Performance Parties to the contract must perform their obligations according to the time and place that they have agreed in the contract. Section 40 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides. his promise in its entirety. A dies before the day. and no time for performance is specified. unless a contrary intention appears from the contract‰. . his acquiescence in its continuance‰. a contract will continue to exist even though promisorÊs act has already amounted to a breach of the contract. „promises bind the representatives of the promisors in case of the death of the promisors before performance. AÊs representatives are bound to deliver the goods to B. or disabled himself from performing. the contract is voidable at the option of the promisee. by word or conduct. Illustration (b) A promises to paint a picture for B by a certain day. „where. A dies before that day. The contract cannot be enforced either by AÊs representatives or by B. Meanwhile. a promisor is to perform his promise without application by the promisee. the promisee may put an end to the contract.000 to AÊs representatives. Otherwise. unless he has signified. and B is bound to pay the RM1. It means that with the promiseeÊs consent.000.102  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES) Further. 7.2. at a certain price. Section 38(2) of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that. the engagement must be performed within a reasonable time‰. „when a party to a contract has refused to perform. According to Section 47 of the Contracts Act 1950.

and within the hours of business‰. and the promisor has not undertaken to perform it without application by the promisee. it is the duty of the promisee to apply for performance at a proper place. A has not performed his promise. a question of fact. the promisor may perform it at any time during the usual hours of business on the day and at the place at which the promise ought to be performed‰. but after the usual hour for closing it.TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  103 The question "what is a reasonable time" is. And according to Section 49. and they are not received. „when a promise is to be performed on a certain day. in each particular case. is stated in the case of: . and the promisor has undertaken to perform it without of application by the promisee. „when a promise is to be performed on a certain day. On that day. For instance: Illustration A promises to deliver goods at BÊs warehouse on 1st of January. A brings the goods to BÊs warehouse. Whether time of performance is to be „of the essence‰ of the contract. In Section 48.

104  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES) Yeoh Kim Pong (Realty) Ltd v Ng Kim Pong [1962] MLJ 118 In this case. Although the appellant was late.‰ Place of performance of a contract is provided under Section 50 of the Contracts Act 1950 which provides „where no place is specified for performance. it is the duty of the promisor to ask the promisee where he would like the contract to be performed‰. . the respondent allowed the delivery dates to pass by agreeing to the work being done by the appellant and by further ordering extra work. the innocent party has the right either to rescind the contract. For instance: Illustration If A undertakes to deliver a thousand gantangs of rice to B on a fixed day. Held: The respondent cannot rescind the contract because he had waived his right to do so by allowing the appellant to still perform the obligation after the time had passed. the appellant delayed in performing their obligation. the contract exists but time ceases to be of the essence and becomes at large. A must apply to B to appoint a reasonable place for the purpose of receiving it. the developer appellant was supposed to perform certain obligations for the respondent. Nevertheless. or to treat it as still subsisting. a party fails to perform it by the stipulated time. and must deliver it to B at that place. Thus. The statement of the Lordships: „If in a contract in which time is of the essence. and the promise is to be performed without application by the promisee. If he treats it either expressly or by conduct as still continuing. the respondent had to treat the contract as subsisting.

then it must be performed by him personally‰.2 Performance of Reciprocal Promise According to Section 52 of the Contracts Act 1950. according to Section 42.2. However. Since the defendant could not give vacant posession by the due date. 7. which entitled the plaintiff to repudiate the contract and obtain the return of the deposit. „if it is the intention of the parties that the contract should be performed by the promisor himself.3 Performance by Third Party Section 41 of the Contracts Act 1950 states. no promisor need perform his promise unless the promisee is ready and willing to perform his reciprocal promise. In the case of: .‰ A case to explain the provision: Central Malaysia Development Ltd v Chin Pak Chin [1967] 2 MLJ 174 There was an agreement for the sale of land where the defendant-vendor was to execute a valid transfer and deliver vacant possession of the land to the plaintiff upon paying the deposit. „when a contract consists of reciprocal promises to be simultaneously performed. Held : They were reciprocal promises to be performed simultaneously because the plaintiff was ready and willing to perform. he cannot afterwards enforce it against the promisor‰.2.TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  105 7. „if a promisee accepts performance of the promisee from a third party. the defendant was in breach.

000 and that of the respondentÊs. Section 57(2) of the Contracts Act 1950 states.3 DISCHARGE BY IMPOSSIBILITY Impossibility of performance covers two situations. This principle covers the doctrine of frustration in common law.000.000 would be settled by two sons of the respondent. becomes void when the act becomes impossible or unlawful‰.000. unlawful. For example: Illustration (a) An agreement to discover treasure by magic is void.106  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES) Chin Swee Onn v Puchong Realty Sdn. the consideration for the appellantÊs parcel being $25. 7. Impossibility at the time a contract is made (under Section 57(1)) means. or by reason of some event which the promisor could not prevent.000 and the other for $7. where there is no default by the contracting . Impossibility at the time a contract is made and impossibility after it has been made. he could not under Section 42 of the Contracts Act 1950. $14. Bhd [1990] 1 MLJ 108 The parties agreed to transfer land to each other. frustration refers to circumstances that occur. one would be responsible for $4. an agreement to do an act impossible in itself.000 was not paid and the appellant thereupon claimed payment from the respondent. Impossibility after a contract has been made (under Section 57(2)) means. enforce it against the respondent. Held: As the appellant had agreed to accept performance of the promise from the third party. Therefore. The frustration doctrine is applied on the ground that there is supervening impossibility which causes the whole purpose of a contract to be different from what was undertaken by the contract or its performance has become unlawful. after the contract is made. becomes impossible. „a contract to do an act which. a contract becomes impossible to perform subsequent to its making. It was also agreed that the difference of $11. which is void. The $7.

the hall was destroyed by fire without negligence by any party.TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  107 parties to perform their contractual obligations. Supervening impossibility will discharge a contract. H A Berney v Tronoh Mines Ltd [1949] MLJ 4 Held: the contract of employment was discharged by frustration on the outbreak of war when Japan invaded Malaya. The claimant sued for damages for wasted advertising expenses. . The fact that the procession had been cancelled discharged the parties from their obligations. Example of cases: Taylor v. Before the first concert was due to be held. The claimant sued for the agreed fee. The defendant agreed to let the claimant have the use of a music hall for the purpose of holding four concerts. since it was no longer possible to achieve the real purpose of the agreement. Held: The contract was impossible of performance and the defendant was not liable. (b) Supervening events defeat the whole purpose or object of the contract. Held: The defendant could be excused from paying rent for the room as the contract was frustrated. The circumstances under which a contract may be discharged by supervening impossibility are as follows: (a) Destruction of the subject-matter of the contract. and had let it to the defendant for the purpose of viewing the procession. As in the case of: Krell v Henry [1903] 2 KB 740 The claimant owned a room overlooking the proposed route of the Coronation procession of Edward VII. Caldwell (1863) B&S 826. The procession did not take place because of the KingÊs illness.

but must refund to B the RM1. „when an agreement is discovered to be void.000 paid in advance. If the party in the contract has incurred expenses in performing the contract .This refers to a contract where its performance becomes unlawful. which is paid in advance. the contract becomes void and Section 66 of the Contracts Act 1950 applies.108  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES) (c) Death or personal incapacity of a party to the contract. . the party to the contract has undertaken a personal obligation. or when a contract becomes void. A case for instance: (d) Lee Kin v. to the person from whom he received it‰. A is too ill to sing. According to Section 66. Under this circumstance. it must be restored. For example: Illustration (d) A contracts to sing for B at a concert for RM1.1 Effect of Frustration When a contract is automatically terminated by reason of frustration. or to make compensation for it. A is not bound to make compensation to B for the loss of the profits which B would have made if A had been able to sing.3. personal qualification and skill of the person are the basis of the contract. But if the money has actually been paid. 7. Section 15(2) provides that money due but not paid before frustration ceases to be payable. due to a change in the law. Chan Suan Eng [1933] MLJ 197 Held: A lease for five yearly renewals was frustrated by the enactment of a new law prescribing annual renewals. Therefore. Section 15 of the Civil Law Act 1950 (Revised 1972) is also relevant to frustration contract. any person who has received any advantage under the agreement or contract is bound to restore it.000. Supervening illegality.

his promise in its entirety. This means. the obligation of both parties sustains and the party not in breach could still claim for damages. the manager of the theatre. and enters into a contract with B. the court has the discretion to order payment not exceeding the amount of the said expenses. by words or conduct. For example: Illustration (a) A is a singer. The party not in breach has the option either to continue or repudiate the contract. the promisee may put an end to the contract. to sing at his theatre two nights a week during the next two months. there is a breach of the contract which entitles the party not in breach to take appropriate action which may include repudiation. or disabled himself from performing. his acquiescence in its continuance‰. If the party not in breach chooses to continue with the contract. B is at liberty to put an end to the contract. and to sue for payment for the work which had been done. when a promisor fails to perform his obligations or to tender performance.TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  109 before frustration. „when a party to a contract has refused to perform.4 DISCHARGE BY BREACH Section 40 of the Contracts Act 1950 states. A wilfully absents herself from the theatre. 7. On the sixth night. B engages to pay her $100 for each nightÊs performance. As illustrated below: . In the case of: Ban Hong Joo Mine Ltd v. Chen & Yap Ltd [1969] 2 MLJ 83 Held: The deliberate refusal of the appellants to make fortnightly payments for work already done and their order to the respondents to stop work left the respondents with no option but to treat the contract as having been repudiated. unless he has signified.

5. and cannot now put an end to it.100 bags was put on board ship on 31 October 2007. How can a contract be discharged? What is the effect of novation? Under what situations remission of performance is allowed to the party in contract? Is time of performance essential in a contract? Can the performance of a contract be done by a third party? What is the meaning of frustration in contract? What are the circumstances under which a contract may be discharged by supervening impossibility? What is the effect of frustration? What is meant by breach that entitles the party to discharge a contract? ACTIVITY 7. and the remaining 100 bags on 3 November 2007. B has signified his acquiescence in the continuance of the contract. 3. The sold note stated that the rice was to be shipped during the months of November and/or December 2007. With the assent of B.110  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES) Illustration (b) A. 2. 7. enters into a contract with B. SELF-CHECK 7. Discuss the rights of Mr Fernando and Mr Roshan in the above contract.200 bags of Moghul rice by Mr Roshan. A wilfully absents herself.1 Discuss the following problems by applying the relevant principles of law: (a) An action was brought by Mr Fernando for damages for nonacceptance of 5. . 9. 6. but is entitled to compensation for the damage sustained by him through AÊs failure to sing on the sixth night. 8. to sing at his theatre two nights in every week during the next two months.1 1. and B engages to pay her at the rate of $100 for each night. On the sixth night. A total of 5. A sings on the seventh night. Mr Roshan refused to take delivery because the rice was not shipped in accordance with the terms of their contract. a singer. the manager of a theatre. 4.

Specific Performance.. Injunction. Daw sued to recover the RM300 and Edward counter-claimed for RM250.5. The contract provided that the money be payable immediately. Steve contended that there was no cause of action until the date due for performance.1 Rescission of Contract Under Section 40 of the Contracts Act 1950.‰.. .. It means that non-performance of a contract by any of the party to the contract will entitle the other party to rescind the contract. Damages. for RM550. his duties to commence on 1 June 2007. Feeling unsatisfied.. the promisee may put an end to the contract. left the balance unpaid. Advise Smith. his promise.TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  111 (b) Edward agreed to let Daw have a room for the purpose of viewing the Parade for Visit Malaysia Year 2007 on 1 September 2007. Smith decided to commence an action for breach of contract on 22 May 2007. „when a party to a contract has refused to perform. or disabled himself from performing.5 REMEDIES In cases of breach of contract. The procession did not take place because of heavy rain and flood.. Steve wrote to Smith saying that he no longer required SmithÊs services. the party not in default may claim one or more of the following remedies: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) Rescission of contract. Advise the parties on their rights in the above contract. Daw who had paid RM300 on account. 7. and/or Quantum Meruit. Steve agreed in April 2007 to engage Smith as a courier for Malaysian travel.. On 11 May 2007. (c) 7.

477. . Held: Plaintiff was entitled to that amount.390.69. Mohamed Abubakar [1958] MLJ 25 Held: The loss which arises naturally resulting from the breach by the defendant is the loss of plaintiffÊs profit which is usually the difference between the contract price and the market price. However. (b) If the party is claiming special damages for loss. Ltd v.5. RM4. Othman [1966] 2 MLJ 38 The defendant agreed to buy the plaintiffÊs car for RM6.112  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES) 7. This section re-enacts the case of Hadley v. that is.912. Section 74 provides recoverable by the claimant.2 Damages provided under Sections the measure of damages common law rule in the provides that an injured The claim for damages in cases of breach of contract is 74 to 76 of the Contracts Act 1950. Plaintiff later claimed damages amounting to RM1. Lee Hin v. This is explained in the case of: East Asiatic Co. being the difference between the selling price that he could get from the defendant and the actual selling price that he acquired from another company. according to the usual course of things resulting from the breach. he must show that the other party knew at the time of making the contract that the special loss is likely to result from the breach. The rule party is entitled to the following: (a) Damages arising naturally. the defendant committed breach and the plaintiff had to sell his car to another company at a cheaper price. Baxendale (1854) 9 Ex 341.31.

Mitigation of loss It is also the duty of the party to take reasonable steps to mitigate losses flowing from a breach. If the party has failed to mitigate losses. the respondent brought an action alleging breach of condition and claimed damages. they were liable to pay for certain loss of profits suffered by the respondent. Since the appellant knew of the requirement to deliver a furnace capable of producing the specified temperature and the urgency of delivery.600 degrees F. he cannot later recover any loss flowing from his neglect. (c) The compensation given is not for any remote and indirect loss or damage sustained as a result of the breach.TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  113 Tham Chew Toh v. This specification was not fulfilled and consequently. A case to illustrate this: . including loss of profits. Held: The appellant would not normally be liable for payment of damages for loss of profits unless there was evidence that the special object of the furnace had been drawn to their attention and they had contracted on the basis that delay in delivery would make them liable to payment for loss of profits. giving an undertaking that the melting furnace would have a temperature of not lower than 2. Associated Metal Smelters Ltd [1972] 1 MLJ 171 The defendant-appellant had agreed to sell a metal melting furnace to the plaintiff-respondent.

specific performance may be granted by the court in the following circumstances: . the appellant left it 500 feet away from the sawmill. Section 11(1) of the Specific Relief Act 1950 provides that. Damages that cannot be ascertained. It is a decree of the court directing that the contract shall be performed specifically according to its terms. the court reduced the damages awarded to the respondent. The remedy is granted under the Specific Relief Act 1950. which were to be delivered to a sawmill from the appellant. There was „no need for the respondent to have gone to the expense and trouble of buying logs from elsewhere when the logs were lying a few hundred feet away and all that required was additional expense for hauling them up to the sawmill.‰ Therefore. the respondent had made a second purchase from other sources to make good the shortage. Damages that may be assessed by mere arimethic calculation. v.114  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES) Kabatasan Timber Extraction Co.5. It is commonly given upon the breach of any duty that has been prescribed by the statute.3 Specific Performance Specific performance is a discretionary remedy granted by the court. but he did not suffer actual loss. A sum awarded which is far greater than the actual pecuniary loss suffered by the plaintiff. Classification of Damages Substantial It is a pecuniary compensation that put the plaintiff in the position he would have enjoyed if the contract had been performed. However. Nominal Exemplary Liquidated Damages Unliquidated Damages 7. Chong Fah Shing [1969] 2 MLJ 6 The respondent had purchased timbers. Held: It was the duty of the respondent to take reasonable steps to mitigate the damages caused by the appellant. Small token of award that is given when the plaintiff has proved there is a breach. instead of delivering it to the sawmill. Thus.

Illustration A holds certain stock in trust for B. A may compel B specifically to perform this contract. Illustration A agrees to buy.TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  115 (a) When the act agreed to be done is in the performance. wholly or partly. The law creates an obligation on A to restore the same quantity of stock to B. and B may enforce specific performance of this obligation. (b) When no standard exists to ascertain the actual damage caused by the nonperformance of the act agreed to be done. A wrongfully disposes of the stock. and B agrees to sell. a picture by a dead painter and two rare China vases. . for there is no standard for ascertaining the actual damage which would be caused by its non-performance. of a trust.

(iv) A contracts with B to paint a picture for B. . B may compel C to endorse the note. Z is entitled to have this contract specifically enforced. who agrees to pay therefore RM1. A becomes insolvent. and C is appointed as his assignee. B may compel A specifically to perform this agreement. and the court may appoint a proper person to superintend the construction of the archway. for C has succeeded to AÊs liabilities and a decree for pecuniary compensation for not endorsing the note would be fruitless. The picture is painted. for the shares are limited in number and not always to be had in the market.000. a promissory note to B. to pay a certain annual sum towards the maintenance of this road. B is entitled to a decree directing A to convey the house to him. and B contracts to buy. and also to construct a siding and a wharf as specified in the contract. and wharf.116  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES) (c) An act agreed to be performed is such that its non-performance would not afford adequate relief. he paying the purchasemoney. to construct a road between certain specified points.000. for his interest in its performance cannot be adequately compensated for by money. which cannot otherwise be procured. Illustrations (i) A contracts with B to sell him a house for RM1. A refuses to complete the sale. but for valuable consideration. (d) When it is probable that pecuniary compensation cannot be obtained for the non-performance of the act agreed to be done. road.000. In consideration of being released from certain obligations imposed on it by its Act of Incorporation. a certain number of railwayshares of a particular description. and their possession carries with it the status of a shareholder. (ii) (iii) A contracts to sell. Illustration A transfers without endorsement. B is entitled to have it delivered to him on payment or tender of the RM1. a railway company contracts with Z to make an archway through their railway to connect lands of Z served by the railway. siding.

Temporary injunctions (or interlocutory or interim injunction) are to continue until a specified time. 2. Too Cheng Kwong [1963] MLJ 272 Held: The court granted a perpetual injunction by ordering the defendant who was a landlord of the plaintiff to keep all communication pipes in proper repair and to comply with all regulations of the Waterworks Department so that water supply to the premises rented by the plaintiffs would not be disconnected. Section 20(1)(a) of the Specific Relief Act 1950 clearly states that specific performance will not be granted where monetary compensation is adequate. the court cannot compel specific performance of the affirmative agreement but shall grant injunction to perform the negative agreement.5. the defendant is thereby perpetually enjoined from the assertion of a right. 7. A perpetual injunction (or permanent injunction) can only be granted by the decree made at the hearing and upon the merits of the suit. For instance: .TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  117 Further. or from the commission of an act. and are regulated by the law relating to civil procedure. They may be granted at any period of a suit.4 Injunction Injunction as a remedy is classified under Part III of the Specific Relief Act 1950 as „Preventive Relief‰. which would be contrary to the rights of the plaintiff. It is granted at the discretion of the court and it can be either „temporary‰ or „perpetual‰ (Section 50). or until the further order of the court. and the defendant is permanently prohibited from doing the act or asserting a right for which the injunction was granted. The temporary injunction is granted by the court to preserve the status quo pending the resolution of a legal action. Further principles in Section 55 of the Specific Relief Act 1950 provides that where a contract consists of affirmative agreement and negative agreement. In the case of: Neoh Siew Eng & Anor v. Section 51 of the Specific Relief Act 1950 explains the injunctions as follows: 1. A perpetual injunction can only be granted after a full trial and upon the merits of a case.

quantum meruit may be used to recover a reasonable price or remuneration where there is a contract for the supply of goods or services but the parties have not fixed any precise sum to be paid. The claimant cannot recover damages for breach because no valid contract exists. An example of case: Pertama Cabaret Nite Club Sdn.5. Later. the singer dishonoured the contract by singing in a rival club. the respondent should not perform in Kuala Lumpur during the fixed period of the contract. B cannot obtain specific performance of the contract to sing but he may be able to secure an injunction to restrain A from singing at any other place of public entertainment. Bhd v. 7. The remedy can be used contractually or quasi-contractually. and the contract provided that in the event of a breach. The court had granted an interlocutory injunction. but he may recover on a quantum meruit basis. Contractually. Quasi-contractually. work has been done under a void contract. a claim of quantum meruit may be made where. . for instance.118  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES) Illustration A contract with B to sing for twelve months at BÊs theatre and not to sing elsewhere. Roman Tam [1981] 1 MLJ 149 A singer had signed a contract to appear and sing at the appellantÊs night club for a number of days.5 Quantum Meruit This remedy means that the claimant will be awarded as much as he has earned or deserved.

SELF-CHECK 7. 7. The articles provided that directors must have qualification shares. there being no valid contract. 3. The claimant and other directors who appointed him never obtained the required number of shares so that the deed was invalid. What are the remedies available to the parties in a contract? Can the plaintiff claim damages more than the amount of his actual loss? What is the importance of mitigating losses in claim for damages? When will the court grant the remedy of specific performance? In what circumstance is specific performance not to be granted? What is injunction? What is the difference between temporary injunction and perpetual injunction? . Canons Ltd [1936] 2 All ER 1066. and must obtain these within two months of appointment. The claimant was employed as managing director by the company under a deed which provided for remuneration. and he is now sued on a quantum meruit for a reasonable sum by way of remuneration. 2. Held: He succeeded on a quantum meruit. 5.TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  119 In the case of Craven-Ellis v.2 1. 4. However. the claimant had rendered services. 6.

Kenchana delivered the said boiler 12 weeks later. (b) (c)    When a contract is terminated. . Subsequently. Starhill Production. The effect of novation is to release the obligation of the parties under the earlier contract. Dewi lost her normal business profits during the period of delay and also the profits from dyeing contracts which were offered to her during the period. YBF has to reduce production and reject orders from customers.2 Discuss the following problems by applying the relevant principles of law: (a) AG Sdn Bhd (AGSB) has been awarded a tender to supply sugar for Yummy Biscuits Factory (YBF) for two years. A contract that is created by consent can be discharged by consent. Dewi now wishes to claim damages from Kenchana for her losses.120  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES) ACTIVITY 7. Can she succeed? Discuss. AGSB managed to deliver only 200 bags of sugar and due to that. she was anxious to obtain more money and thus left Famous Production to enter into a contract with another film company. after the two monthsÊ period for delivery due. Cempaka. On 3rd December 2007. a distinguished actress. Famous Production found out about this and asked for an injunction to restrain Cempaka from carrying out the contract with Starhill Production. Advise YBF whether they can claim damages from AGSB. it is said to be discharged and the contracting parties are free from further obligations arising from it. Advise Famous Production on its chance of success. As a result. Last month. AGSB has to deliver 500 bags of sugar every month to the factory. According to the agreement. had entered into a contract in which she agreed to act exclusively for the film company (Famous Production) for 18 months. Kenchana agreed to deliver a new boiler to Dewi in two monthsÊ time but she failed to do so.

Bhd. (2000). Cases:   Ban Hong Joo Mine Ltd v. A claim for special damages requires the party to show that the other party knows that special loss is likely to result from the breach. Central Malaysia Development Ltd v Chin Pak Chin [1967] 2 MLJ 174. Injunction as a remedy is classified as “Preventive Relief”. An agreement to do an act impossible in itself is void. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn.). Wu M. D. The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. Rahman. . An injured party is entitled to damages arising naturally resulting from the breach. & Vohrah B. Chen & Yap Ltd [1969] 2 MLJ 83. Selangor: Pearson and Longman. (2006). Agreement Breach Damages Discharge of contract Frustration Injunction Performance Quantum Meruit Remedies Specific performance Text Books: Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab.). (2007). A. Smith and KeenanÊs Law for Business (13th ed.TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)  121        A contract is said to be discharged when the parties to the contract have performed what they have agreed to do in the contract. Keenan. UK: Pearson and Longman. Specific performance is a discretionary remedy granted by the court. There is a general duty requiring that reasonable steps must be taken to mitigate losses flowing from a breach.

Baxendale (1854) 9 Ex 341. Hadley v. Lee Hin v. Kabatasan Timber Extraction Co. Mohamed Abubakar [1958] MLJ 25. Taylor v. Too Cheng Kwong [1963] MLJ 272. Krell v Henry [1903] 2 KB 740. H A Berney v Tronoh Mines Ltd [1949] MLJ 4. Ltd v. Roman Tam [1981] 1 MLJ 149. Caldwell (1863) B&S 826. Bhd [1990] 1 MLJ 108. Yeoh Kim Pong (Realty) Ltd v Ng Kim Pong [1962] MLJ 118. Neoh Siew Eng & Anor v. Pertama Cabaret Nite Club Sdn. Tham Chew Toh v.122  TOPIC 7 LAW OF CONTRACT (DISCHARGE OF CONTRACT AND REMEDIES)               Chin Swee Onn v Puchong Realty Sdn. Kerpa Singh v Bariam Singh [1966] 1 MLJ 38. Othman [1966] 2 MLJ 38. East Asiatic Co. . Chong Fah Shing [1969] 2 MLJ 6. Chan Suan Eng [1933] MLJ 197. Bhd v. Associated Metal Smelters Ltd [1972] 1 MLJ 171. Lee Kin v. v.

The owner will then authorise the real estate agent to deal with the land. For example. 2. Describe the types of agency contract. or who is so represented‰. In Malaysia. he may need the service of a real estate agent to sell the land on his behalf. Explain the statutory requirements for creation of agency contract. Define the meaning of agency. This is where the agency relationship comes into existence. a person needs help and assistance from another person to act on his behalf or become his proxy to perform certain acts. Section 135 of the Act defines an „agent‰ as „a person employed to do any act for another or to represent another in dealings with third persons‰. Explain the purpose of agency contract. it can be said that the contract of agency is divided into two: . the law of agency is governed by Part X of the Contracts Act 1950. 3.Topic  8 Law of Agency (Part 1) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic. 4. and Discuss the scope of authority of the agent. you should be able to: 1.  INTRODUCTION The relationship between a principal and an agent is very important because at times. and a „principal‰ as „the person for whom such act is done. From the definition above. 5. where a person intends to sell his land.

8. A is still liable to C for the payment of the goods and A cannot claim damages from B. An agent can therefore enter into contracts with third parties that are binding on the principal. „any person may become an agent. where the agent attains the authority to act for and on behalf of the principal.1). By ratification. By implied appointment.1 CAPACITY Section 137 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides a requirement for a person to become an agent. 8. as follows: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) By express appointment. but B sells the goods for his benefit. but no person who is not of the age of majority and of sound mind can become an agent. and/or By estoppel or „holding out‰. so as to be responsible to his principal‰. A cannot deny his responsibility to C on the ground that B is a minor.2 FORMATION OF AGENCY There are several ways for a contract of agency to exist (see Figure 8. C supplies the goods to A through B. By necessity. According to the provision. and A contract between the principal and third party through an agent.124  TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1) (a) (b) A contract between the principal and agent. A hires B. For example. who is 16 years old. to buy goods from C on his behalf. .

1: Elements for formation of agency ty si es ec N 8. . which means things that were spoken or written.1 Agency by Express Appointment An agency by express appointment is created through verbal or written authorisation by the principal to the agent. The principal gives express authority to the agent as stated in the first part of Section 140 of the Contracts Act. 8. The appointment is implied when the authority can only be drawn from the circumstances of the case.2.2.TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1)  125 Ex pr es s Impl ied A ppoi ntme nt Ap po in m en t n tio ica tif Ra FORMATION  OF AGENCY ” ut gO din ol ”H l/ e top Es Figure 8.2 Agency by Implied Appointment The second part of Section 140 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides for implied appointment of an agent. or act done by the parties in the ordinary course of dealing. “an authority is said to be express when it is given by words spoken or written”. According to Section 140. 1950.

Most of the time. There are. In such a case. The assumption is rebuttable if the husband can prove that the wife was given sufficient allowance for buying goods. who manages the shop. Under common law. Implied appointment of agency also exists between partners in a partnership business. In Summers v. A stays in Shah Alam and has a shop in Kuala Lumpur. This principle is laid down in Section 141(1) of the Act that says. which are connected to the authorised act. The Court held that even though the agent was not expressly authorised to receive deposits from prospective buyer. a real estate agent was instructed by a hotel owner to find a buyer for the hotel. situations where the authority given under the express appointment by the principal does not specify the extent of the agentÊs authority. Solomon (1897) AC 22. an agent who has been authorised to do certain acts. distribution and transportation of the product as well as other matters that are connected with his appointment. N has the authority to deal with the advertisement. will have the authority to do other acts. The agent did as instructed and received a deposit from a prospective buyer. „an agent having an authority to carry on a business has authority to do every lawful thing necessary for the purpose. For instance. an agency relationship exists between husband and wife. however. packaging. using AÊs name. The owner then brought an action to cancel the agentÊs act. M appointed (either verbally or written) N. as a marketing agent. „an agent having an authority to do an act has authority to do every lawful thing which is necessary in order to do the act‰. Here it is clear that B has an implied authority from A. as an agent to market his product in Kota Bharu. In his appointment. or usually done in the course of conducting such business‰. he was presumed to have acted under the ambit of implied authority of an agent. It is presumed that a wife has the authority to buy necessaries for their living by pledging her husbandÊs credit. as an agent to deal with Y in purchasing goods for the shop. Therefore. or the wife was sufficiently provided for with the goods. who lives in Kota Bharu. B. orders and pays for goods from Y. Also provided in Section 141(2) of the Act. it did not specify the extent of authority in which N can act.126  TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1) For example. or the order was .

000. 8.2.000. E would therefore become an agent by ratification. Ratification renders the principal liable to the contract. without authority. Therefore. In this case. .TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1)  127 unreasonable. Section 149 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that. Ratification can be done expressly or impliedly as provided in Section 150 of the Contracts Act 1950. on 3 January. he may elect to ratify or to disown the acts‰. If P accepted EÊs act on 7 June. E was not authorised to purchase the goods exceeding the amount given by the principal. „where acts are done by one person on behalf of another but without his knowledge or authority. but acted as if he has the authority to act as an agent. buys goods for B. such acceptance is known as ratification. or he expressly forbade his wife to pledge his credit or he expressly warned the trader not to supply his wife with the goods. E agreed to purchase goods from Z at the price of RM220. the ratified contract is considered valid or effective from the date it was made by the agent and not from the date of ratification. as if the agent has been authorised to do such act. P appointed E as an agent to purchase goods at the price of not exceeding RM200. Afterwards B sells them to C on his own account. P had the option to either ratify or reject EÊs contract with Z. For example. In the event of the above. For example. BÊs conduct implies a ratification of the purchase made for him by A. Thus. Indian Overseas Bank Ltd [1952] MLJ 25. On 5 June. the contract entered by E and Z was valid on 5th June and not on 7 June. or when a person is not an agent. If the principal accepts the contract. A. In Muthuchellapa Chettiar v. Consequently. Ratification operates retrospectively.3 Agency by Ratification Agency by ratification can arise if one of the situations below exists: (a) (b) when an agent exceeded his authority. part payment on an overdraft by the principal (which had been arranged by the agent without the principalÊs authority) was an implied ratification of the loan.

(d) (e) The principal must ratify the whole contract. Durant [1901] AC 240. Therefore the agent must disclose that the contract was entered into on behalf of his principal. „no valid ratification can be made by a person whose knowledge of the facts of the case is materially defective‰. a contract to buy a hotel on behalf of a company by an agent could not be ratified by the company because it did not exist at that time. Section 152 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides „a person ratifying any unauthorised act done on his behalf ratifies the whole of the transaction of which the act formed a part‰. (b) (c) At the time the contract was made. . in his own name. In the case of Keighley Maxted & Co v. He cannot ratify only part which is advantageous to him and reject the rest. agreed to take the wheat at the higher price but failed to take delivery. At the time of ratification. the principal must have full knowledge of the material facts to be ratified. the agent must have acted as an agent for the principal. however. such ratification by the principal can only be done under the following conditions:(a) The unauthorised act must be recognised by the law and not a void contract. the agent has acted in his own capacity.128  TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1) However. In Kelner v. the agent must have actual principal in existence. the appellants authorised the agent to buy wheat at a certain price. According to Section 151 of the Contracts Act 1950. The principal. The agent exceeded his authority and bought at a higher price. Baxter (1866) LR 2 CP 174. unless there is evidence to show that he does not care of the facts that he intends to ratify. At the time the contract was made. It was held that the principal (Keighley) was not liable and could not ratify the contract because at the time of the contract.

Ratification must be exercised within a reasonable time.2. .4 Agency by Necessity Agency by necessity arises when there is an emergency situation and it becomes necessary for the agent to act to preserve the principalÊs property. In Grover & Grover v.TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1)  129 (f) Ratification must not affect... under similar circumstances‰.which.. be made to have that effect‰.. or of terminating any right or interest of a third person. „an agent has authority... in an emergency. injure or terminate a third partyÊs rights. the principal must have contractual capacity. Mathews [1910] 2 KB 401.would have the effect of subjecting a third person to damages. to do all such acts for the purpose of protecting his principal from loss as would be done by a person of ordinary prudence.. by ratification. Section 153 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that „an act done by one person on behalf of another. in his own case. cannot. Section 142 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that. 8. (g) (h) At the time the contract was made and at the time of ratification. a fire insurance policy ratified after the event insured against had happened was held to be ineffective.. the following conditions must be fulfilled.. For an agency by necessity to exist.

2. (c) 8. the principal is bound by those acts or obligations if he has. the ship arrived late at Weymouth due to bad weather and some of the tomatoes were found to be bad. if the third party does not pay certain amount after using services provided by the principal. The plaintiff then claimed for damages in conversion based on the market price of tomatoes in Covent Garden. They have failed to communicate with the plaintiff. In Springer v. The agent may be considered has acted in good faith to protect the interest of the principal if he collects the payment from the third party in order to prevent his principal from suffering losses. The contract was to carry the plaintiffÊs tomatoes from Jersey to Covent Garden market. Therefore. by his words or conduct. the defendants decided to sell the tomatoes locally because it was not possible for them to arrive in Covent Garden market to deliver the tomatoes in a saleable condition. If the goods are not perishable goods like clothes or furniture. Great Western Railway Company [1921] 1 KB 257. done acts or incurred obligations to third persons on behalf of his principal. . (b) The agent acted to prevent the principal from incurring loss or damages. without authority. induced such third persons to believe that those acts and obligations were within the scope of the agentÊs authority‰.130  TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1) (a) It is impossible for the agent to get the principalÊs instructions.5 Agency by Estoppel or Holding Out Under Section 190 of the Contracts Act 1950. it will not give rise to emergency situation that requires disposal of them. The agent acted in good faith for the interest of the principal. The Court held that: The plaintiff was entitled to damages because the defendants were not agents of necessity. Without communicating with the plaintiff. „when an agent has. an agent who acted in such case will be liable for the loss suffered by the principal. However.

In such case. For example. The Court held that the defendant (as the principal) was liable to pay because a manager of a public house usually had the authority to make such purchases. The defendant appointed a manager to run a public house. and P was estopped from denying the existence of EÊs authority. 8.000. When X sold goods to E.TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1)  131 For instance. E tells X in the presence of P that he is PÊs agent and is authorised to make contract on behalf of P. E is not PÊs agent. not exceeding RM10.3.3 AUTHORITY OF AN AGENT It is important to know the extent of an agentÊs authority because any act done by the agent within his authority will bind the principal. In Watteau v. In actual fact. X may claim for the payment of the goods from P. The agentÊs authority is classified into: (a) (b) Actual authority. and Apparent authority.000. T appoints S as his agent to sell TÊs car. Fenwick [1893] 1 QB 346. P does not deny EÊs statement. the plaintiff could rely on the usual authority of the manager if he has no knowledge of the restrictions imposed by the principal. The defendant forbade the manager to buy cigars on credit. The plaintiff then claimed for the price of the cigars from the defendant. T appoints S as his agent to purchase goods not exceeding RM10.1 (a) Actual Authority Express actual authority Express actual authority is expressly given by the principal (orally or in writing) to the agent. 8. A licence was taken out in the managerÊs name. (b) . SÊs actual authority is to purchase goods on behalf of T. S has implied authority to allow the purchaser to test drive the car. Therefore. which was disregarded by the manager. For example. Implied actual or usual authority Implied actual authority is the proper or necessary authority given to the agent to execute the express authority.

It is due to the representation made by the principal to the third party that leads the third party to believe that the agent has such authority. Chai Chee Mein & Ors (1987) Nov. the act was within the usual authority of a company secretary. ButterwothsÊ Digest. the principal is bound by those acts or obligations if he has. Fidelis Furnishing Fabrics Ltd [1971] 3 AllER 16. and it was considered as part of the company administration. The Court held that the company (defendant) was liable for the contract of hiring of motor vehicles made by the company secretary. without authority. by his words or conduct.3. therefore.132  TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1) 8. . precluded from denying the authority of the agent because the element of estoppel applies. v. The principal is. According to Section 190 of the Contracts Act 1950 „when an agent has. done acts or incurred obligations to third persons on behalf of his principal. induced such third persons to believe that those acts and obligations were within the scope of the agentÊs authority‰. In the case of Graphic Lines Pte Ltd v. Although the company secretary exceeded his actual authority in hiring the motor vehicles from the plaintiffs. In Panorama Development (Guilford) Ltd. The Court held that the assistant manager had apparent authority because the general manager had represented to the plaintiffs that advertisements should be done through the assistant manager.2 Apparent or Ostensible Authority Apparent authority arises where a principal (by words or conduct) makes the third party believe that the agent has the authority to make contracts for the principal.

5.TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1)  133 SELF-CHECK 8. 2. 9. 7. 8. 4. 3. Who is an agent? Can a minor become an agent ? What are the ways of formation of agency contract? Must the appointment of an agent be done expressly? Under what circumstances can the principal ratify his agentÊs act? Does ratification of agency contract operate retrospectively? What are the conditions for an agency by necessity to exist? What is meant by agency by estoppel? What is the importance of an authority to an agent? What is the difference between actual authority and ostensible authority? .1 1. 10. 6.

Without contacting Charlie for further instruction.000 to Kedai Runcit Tampan (KRT) in Bukit Tinggi on 10th February 2004. The next day.000. (a) Zila was appointed by Jaya to supervise the purchase of 1000 plastic bottles produced by Syarikat Kalis Berhad (SKB). One month after the booking date. Charlie has appointed Yuppie as his agent to carry out the following: (i) To deliver 200 bags of Taj Mahal rice at the price of RM4. Advise Charlie on the legal claims that he can take against Yuppie. Later. Gary told Tan Chong that the car was meant for RichardÊs personal use. Tan Chong sent the car to Richard and claimed for the balance purchase price of the car. Discuss the effect of ZilaÊs act according to the law of agency. While carrying out such duty. which agreed to buy all the rice bags at the price of RM3.3 Discuss the following questions. Zila decided to place an order of 1050 plastic bottles produced by SKB in her own name. On 15 June 2007. Richard told Tan Chong that he has never authorised Gary to purchase the car at that price and refused to accept the car. . a car dealer and booked a car at the price of RM75. Richard appointed Gary as his agent to buy a car at the price not exceeding RM70. Richard has just sold his share in one company and decided to buy a new car for his wife. Decide whether Tan Chong could claim for the price of the car from Richard. To obtain the supply of 100 kilograms salted fish from Tamban Enterprise (TE) after delivery of the rice bags to KRT. Yuppie went to TE and bought 150 kilograms of salted fish on behalf of Charlie.000.000 and paid the deposit of RM7. Yuppie went to Pasar Mini Sayugia (PMS). upon reaching KRT. Tan Chong knew about the limitation of GaryÊs authority. Yuppie discovered that the shop was closed beginning 9th February and would be opened on 15th February 2004. Gary went to see Tan Chong.500. (b) (c) (ii) On the 10th of February.134  TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1) ACTIVITY 8.1 – 8.

. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn. ratification. Agency by necessity arises when there is an emergency situation which would require the agent to act promptly. (2000). In the agreement. A. The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. Actual authority Agent Apparent authority Estoppel Express appointment Holding out Implied appointment Necessity Principal Ratification Text Books: Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia.). (2007). Bhd. Wu M. Implied actual authority is the proper or necessary authority given to the agent to execute the express authority. necessity or estoppel. The formation of an agency contract can be done through an express or implied appointment. B. Agency by ratification arises when the principal accepts the contract made by the agent who exceeds his authority or acts without authority. Apparent authority arises where a principal makes the third party believes that the agent has the authority to make contracts for the principal.TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1)  135          Agency arises from an agreement between the principal and the agent. Rahman. the principal authorises the agent to do things on behalf of the principal. Selangor: Pearson and Longman. & Vohrah. Agency by express appointment can be done verbally or in writing. A ratified contract is valid and effective from the date the contract was made.

Summers v. Springer v. Muthuchellapa Chettiar v. Fidelis Furnishing Fabrics Ltd [1971] 3All ER 16. Kelner v. . Keighley Maxted & Co. Indian Overseas Bank Ltd [195] MLJ 25. Great Western Railway Company [1921] 1 KB 257. Butterwoths‰ Digest. Grover & Grover v. Durant [1901] AC 240. v.136  TOPIC 8 LAW OF AGENCY (PART 1) Cases:          Graphic Lines Pte Ltd v. v. Baxter (1866) LR 2 CP 174. Fenwick [1893] 1 QB 346. Solomon (1897) AC 22. Watteau v. Chai Chee Mein & Ors (1987) Nov. Mathews [1910] 2 KB 401. Panorama Development (Guilford) Ltd.

the agent is obliged to do the following for the principal: 1. However. "an agent is bound to conduct the business of his principal according to the directions given by the principal. and Explain the rules of termination of agency contract. if any .1 DUTIES OF AGENT TO PRINCIPAL As far as the duty of an agent to his principal is concerned. 2. 4. The agreement confers the rights and duties to the principal and agent... whether express or implied. Describe the rights of agents and principals. 3. According to Section 164 of the Contracts Act 1950. 1950 will be applicable. List the duties of agents and principals. Obey the principalÊs instructions. The provisions in Section 164 to 174 govern the duties of an agent to his principal and the provisions in Section 175 to 178 deals with the principalÂs duties to his agent. you should be able to: 1. Discuss the effect of agency contract.. 9.Topic  9 Law of Agency (Part II) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic.Where the agent acts otherwise. if the contract does not specify the rights and duties of the parties. the provisions in Sections 164 to 178 of the Contracts Act.  INTRODUCTION An agency relationship arises out of an agreement between the principal and the agent.

he must make it good to his principal. However. and if any profit accrues. the provision requires the agent to act according to the customs which prevail in doing business of the same kind if there is no clear instruction from the principal. Therefore. "an agent is bound to conduct the business of his principal according to the directions given by the principal. the agent has no obligation to obey the order. in the absence of any such directions. Act according to the customs prevailing if there is no instruction from the principal. Bilton (1843) 5 Man & G 455. the agent purchased at more than the authorised price and as a result. the agent was to be personally liable for the payment of the price of the goods. . the agent will be liable for any loss sustained by the principal. Otherwise. The provision provides that an agent who fails to carry out his principalÊs instructions will result in breach of contract and consequently. When the ships lost. 2. According to Section 164 of the Contracts Act 1950. In the case of Turpin v.138  TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II) loss sustained. he must account for it‰. the court decided that the agent was liable for the losses. or. an agent failed to insure his principalÊs ship although he had been ordered to do so. according to the custom which prevails in doing business of the same kind at the place where the agent conducts the business‰. For example. he has to make good any loss sustained by the principal. the principal instructed his agent to purchase certain goods at a certain price. If the principalÊs order is clearly illegal.

TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II)  139 Illustration (a) A. the agent must make good any loss sustained by the principal as result of his act. and to use such skill as he possesses. before payment. at interest. Exercise care and diligence in carrying out his work and to use skill as he possesses. an agent engaged in carrying on for B a business. or misconduct. whose credit at the time was very high. C. sells goods of A on credit to C. the moneys which may be in hand. in which it is the custom to invest from time to time. and to make compensation to his principal in respect of the direct consequences of his own neglect. The agent is always bound to act with reasonable diligence. The following case and illustrations explain the provision above. want of skill or misconduct‰. . unless the principal has notice of his want of skill. 3. B must make good the loss to A. skilfully and with due care. in whose business it is not the custom to sell on credit. but not in respect of loss or damage which are indirectly or remotely caused by such neglect. It means if an agent failed to carry out his duty diligently. Section 165 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that ‰an agent is bound to conduct the business of the agency with as much skill as is generally possessed by persons engaged in similar business. becomes insolvent. a broker. want of skill. omits to make the investment. A must make good to B the interest usually obtained by such investments. Illustration (b) B.

the plaintiff employed the defendant to sell his house. A. a merchant in Kuala Lumpur. at the time of the sale. sells to B on credit. A must make compensation to his principal in respect of any loss sustained. The ship is afterwards lost. B retains the money for a considerable time. Illustration (c) A. has an agent. As a result. In consequence of the omission of the clauses. but not further. X made a higher offer for the property but the defendant did not communicate this offer to the plaintiff. B. the first offer was signed. The plaintiff received an offer and accepted it „subject to contract‰. B. in London.140  TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II) In the case of Keppel v Wheeler [1927] 1 KB 577. omits to see that the usual clauses are inserted in the policy. an insurance-broker employed by B to effect an insurance on a ship. . Illustration (b) A. with orders to remit. according to the usual rate. to whom a sum of money is paid on AÊs account. A few days later.g. without making proper and usual enquiries as to the solvency of B. an agent for the sale of goods. in consequence of not receiving the money. B is liable for the money and interest from the day on which it ought to have been paid. The court held that the defendant was liable to the plaintiff for the difference between the two offers.. becomes insolvent. Illustration (a) A. and for any further direct loss (e. by variation of rate of exchange). nothing can be recovered from the underwriters. A is bound to make good the loss to B. having authority to sell on credit. is insolvent.

papers and other properties. Pay the principal all sums received on his behalf. 5. B is bound to make good to A the profit which he might have made by the 100 bales of cotton at the time the ship arrived. 4. Render proper accounts when required. Section 171 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that „the agent is bound to pay to his principal all sums received on his account (subject to the deductions in Section 170)‰. „in the absence of any contract to the contrary. According to Section 166 of the Contracts Act 1950. „an agent is bound to render proper accounts to his principal on demand‰. Soon after her arrival. until the amount due to himself for commission. all moneys due to himself in respect of advances made or expenses properly incurred by him in conducting such business. of the principal received by him. who accepts the agency. his agent at Kelang. „an agent may retain. omits to do so. Section 174 of the Contracts Act 1950 also gives the agent the right to retain his principalÊs property in his possession until his remuneration is paid. According to Section 170. This means the agentÊs duty is to account for all monies and the property handled by him as agent for the principal and to produce such accounts when demanded by the principal. The ship arrives safely in England. the price of cotton rises.TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II)  141 Illustration (d) A. B. and also such remuneration as may be payable to him for acting as agent‰. directs B. . out of any sums received on account of the principal in the business of the agency. whether movable or immovable. to send him 100 bales of cotton by a certain ship. having it in his power to send the cotton. an agent is entitled to retain goods. According to Section 174. but not any profit he might have made by the subsequent rise. a merchant in England.

It is the agentÊs duty not to let his personal interest conflict with his duty. an agent must not become a party in a transaction and he must act solely for the benefit of the principal. he has the right to repudiate the transaction. or that the dealings of the agent have been disadvantageous to him‰. 6. It is the duty of an agent to communicate with his principal. the principal is entitled to claim from the agent any benefit which may have resulted to him from the transaction‰. A directs B to sell AÊs estate. . without the knowledge of his principal. A on discovering that B has bought the estate for himself. For the example above. to use all reasonable diligence in communicating with his principal. „if an agent. may repudiate the sale if he can show that B has dishonestly concealed any material fact. „it is the duty of an agent. Avoid conflict of interest with own duty. in cases of difficulty. without first obtaining the consent of his principal and acquainting him with all material circumstances which have come to his own knowledge on the subject. For instance. 7. the principal may repudiate the transaction. As laid down in Section 169 of the Contracts Act 1950. if the principal discovers the truth. deals in the business of the agency on his own account instead of on account of his principal. Consequently. Thus. and in seeking to obtain his instructions‰. According to Section 168 of the Contracts Act 1950.142  TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II) disbursements and services in respect of the same has been paid or accounted for to him‰. Obviously. „if an agent deals on his own account in the business of the agency. the principal has the right to claim any benefit gained by the agent from the transaction. if the case shows either that any material fact has been dishonestly concealed from him by the agent. but B buys the estate for himself in the name of C. or the sale has been disadvantageous to the principal. Communicate with the principal. As provided in Section 167 of the Contracts Act 1950.

. The defendant received 100 pounds from a purchaser as deposits for the property. and buys the house for himself. Otherwise.TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II)  143 For instance. A may compel B to sell it to him at the price he gave for it. Recover the amount of the secret commission from the agent (Section 169 of the Contracts Act 1950). An agent is also under a duty not to make secret profit out of the performance of his duty. On discovering this. above the commission or remuneration agreed by the parties. the plaintiff discovered that the defendant received 20 pounds as commission from the purchaser. (d) (e) Dismiss the agent for breach of duty. Refuse to pay the agent his commission or other remuneration as illustrated in the following case: (b) (c) In the case of Andrews v Ramsay & Co [1903] 2 KB 635. The defendant paid 50 pounds to the plaintiff and kept the other 50 pounds in payment of his commission with the plaintiffÊs consent. An agent can only keep the profit if the principal consents to it. B tells A it cannot be brought. the plaintiff instructed the defendant to sell property and agreed to pay him 50 pounds as commission. Later. Secret profit may include payment of a secret commission or any financial advantage received by the agent. for damages for any loss he may have sustained through entering into the contract. 8. The plaintiff sued to recover the 20 pounds and also the 50 pounds he had paid the defendant. A directs B to buy a certain house for him. Sue the agent and third party giving the secret commission. It was held that he could recover both sums. Not to make any secret profit out of the performance of his duty. the principal may take the following actions: (a) Repudiate the contract if it is disadvantages to him (Section 168 of the Contracts Act 1950).

000 for it. The appellant knew of this fact but failed to inform the society. Officers Co-operative Housing Society Ltd. Not to disclose confidential information or documents entrusted to him by his principal. Phipps [1966] 3 All ER 721. the society discovered the fact that the appellant had received $122. 9. [1978] 1 MLJ 149. an agent must not disclose or reveal this information to other persons. In the case of Boardman v. he is usually entrusted with the principalÊs confidential information or documents. As an agent for the principal.144  TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II) In Mahesan v. After the sale was completed. Lord Denning said: „Once it is found that the agent has used his principalÊs property or his position so as to make money for himself.000 from the vendor who had paid earlier $456. it matters not that the principal lost no profit or suffered no damage⁄.the reason is simply because it is money which the agent ought not to be allowed to keep. The Privy Council held that the Housing Society could recover either the bribe or the amount of the actual loss suffered by it as a result of entering into the contract. Thus.000 as a bribe or secret commission from the vendor for the sale of the said land. Malaysia Govt. He gained unjust benefit by the use of his principalÊs property or his position and must account for it‰. the respondent society bought land at a price of $944. .

"an agent cannot lawfully employ another to perform acts which he has expressly or impliedly undertaken to perform personally. This principle is in line with the maxim "delegatus non potest delegare" which means "a delegate cannot delegate‰. a sub-agent must. unless by the ordinary custom of trade a sub-agent may. In cases of necessity or unforeseen emergency (for instance. placed by the principal on his agent. Where the customs of the trade or business permits delegation. Thus. due to sickness of agent). . Not to delegate his authority. It is also provided in Section 143 of the Contracts Act 1950 that.TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II)  145 In the case of L. or Where the act to be done is purely ministerial or clerical and does not involve the exercise of discretion. the court held that the agentÊs action revealing the information about the defendantÊs fire insurance policy had given right to the defendant to terminate the contract and sued for damages. Power Packing Services (Hermit Road) Ltd (1970) 2 LloydÊs Rep 65.S Harris Trustee Ltd v. an agent may delegate his authority or appoint a sub agent under the following circumstances: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) Where the principal approves of the delegation of authority. 10. to this rule there are exceptions. from the nature of the agency. Where the nature of the agency is such that delegation of the authority to another person is necessary to complete the business. However. be employed‰. An agent must not delegate his authority to another person because an agency relationship is personal in nature and involves trust and confidence. or. Where it is presumed from the conduct of the parties that the agent shall have power to delegate his authority.

Generally. Pay the agent any commission or other remuneration unless the agency relationship is gratuitous. Where no amount is agreed. Another example. "an agent who is guilty of misconduct in the business of the agency is not entitled to any remuneration in respect of that part of the business which he has misconducted‰. Particularly. 3.000 from C and to invest in good securities. an agent loses his right to remuneration if there is misconduct (wrongful or improper conduct) in the business of the agency. the principal is obliged to do the followings in carrying out his duties under the agency contract: 1.000 and invests $90. the agent is entitled to reasonable remuneration.000.000 from C. A loses $2000. and must make good the loss. However.000 in good securities and the other $10. B is entitled to no remuneration for his services.000 and for investing the $90.000 in securities which he ought to have known to be bad.146  TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II) 9. if the appointed agent is already in the midst of negotiations and the act of appointing another agent is to deprive the original agent from earning his commission. the right to receive commission or other remuneration arises when the agent has done all that he had agreed to do. A employs B to recover $1. Not to wilfully prevent or hinder the agent from earning his commission A principal cannot employ another agent if an agent has already been appointed to carry out certain duties. Through BÊs misconduct. The amount of commission to be payable to an agent depends on the terms of the contract of agency. B is entitled to the remuneration for recovering the $100. 2. B recovers the $100. As a result. A employs B to recover $100. . But he is not entitled to any remuneration for investing the $10. For example.000 and he must make good the $2000 loss to A. Indemnify the agent for acts done in the exercise of his duties According to Section 175 of the Contracts Act 1950. the money is not recovered.2 DUTIES OF PRINCIPAL TO AGENT As far as the duty of a principal to his agent is concerned. Section 173 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that.

Afterwards. under instructions from A. A refuses to receive the oil. contracts with C for the purchase of 10 casks of oil for A. even if it causes injury to third person. costs and expenses. B defends the suit. „where one person employs another to do an act. and is compelled to pay damages and costs. the employer is liable to indemnify the agent against the consequences of that act. Illustration (b) B. at Kelang. A does not send the goods to B. and C sues B for breach of contract. by the orders of A. B informs A of the suit.TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II)  147 „the employer of an agent is bound to indemnify him against the consequences of all lawful acts done by the agent in exercise of the authority conferred upon him‰. B informs A. contracts with C to deliver certain goods to him. while the agent is acting in good faith in the execution of his authority. and incurs expenses. A is liable to B for such damages. It means the principal must indemnify the agent when he incurred loss or liability in exercising his authority. and A authorises him to defend the suit. in Taiping. . and the agent does the act in good faith. and incurs expenses. and C sues B. a broker at Taiping. Section 176 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that. though it cause an injury to the rights of third person‰. and has to pay damages and costs. who repudiates the contract altogether. costs and expenses. B defends but is unsuccessful. It means the agent has the right to be indemnified by his principal for any expenses incurred and consequences of any act. Subsequently. a merchant there. For example: Illustration (a) B. A is liable to B for such damages.

the proprietor of a newspaper. sues B and recovers the value of the goods and costs. For example: Illustration (b) B. „where one person employs another to do an act which is criminal. a libel upon C in the paper. Section 178 of the Contracts Act 1950 provides that. representing them to be the goods of B. but which A had no right to dispose of. the principal is not bound to indemnify the agent against the consequences of the act. B is sued by C and has to pay damages. Afterwards C. at the request of A. at AÊs request. A is liable to indemnify the officer for the sum which he is compelled to pay to C. the true owner of the goods. A is not liable to B upon the indemnity. and hands over the proceeds of the sale to A. sells goods in the possession of A. However. and all costs and damages of any action in respect thereof. in consequence of obeying AÊs directions. if the agent suffers injury during the course of his duty due to his principalÊs neglect or want of skill. and also incurs expenses. either upon an express or an implied promise. Consequently. A is liable to indemnify B for what he has been compelled to pay to C and for BÊs own expenses. publishes. This is provided in Section 177 of the Contracts Act 1950. . if the agent is employed to do a criminal act. the employer is not liable to the agent. The officer seizes the goods. B does not know this. and is sued by C. a decree-holder and entitled to execution of BÊs goods. Illustration (b) B. requires the officer of the court to seize certain goods. the true owner of the goods.148  TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II) For example: Illustration (a) A. to indemnify him against the consequences of that act‰. and A agrees to indemnify B against the consequences of the publication.

The defendant in this case asked the plaintiff to quote the price of some stock ex dividend. Due to plaintiffÊs negligence. The scaffolding is unskilfully put up. he failed to inform the defendant accordingly. The plaintiff sold and had to pay the dividend to the purchaser (under the rules of the London Stock Exchange). The Court held that: The plaintiff was not entitled to be indemnified by the defendant. The defendant then authorised the plaintiff to sell the stock. For example. McLaughlin [1938] MLJ 23. A must make compensation to B. v. An agent loses his right to an indemnity if he acts beyond his authority or negligently performs his duty. Fernandes (1889) 6 TLR 73. in consequence. and B is. hurt. will forfeit their right to an indemnity in respect of transactions which form part of the fraud. A employs B as a bricklayer in building a house. and puts up the scaffolding himself. the Privy Council held that agents who engaged in a fraudulent scheme to defraud their principals. This can be seen in following case of: Davison v. .TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II)  149 „the principal must make compensation to his agent in respect of injury caused to the agent by the principalÊs neglect or want of skill‰. In case of Solloway and Anor. but the plaintiff quoted the price cum dividend.

6. What are the agentÊs duties towards his principal under the law? What is the liability of an agent who breaches the duty? What actions can be taken by a principal who discovers his agent making a secret profit? Can an agent delegate his authority to another person? Why? Under what circumstance can an agent appoint a sub-agent? Give at least one example. 2. 7. From the contract. an auctioneer.150  TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II) SELF-CHECK 9. to sell certain property for him and agreed to pay Lenny a commission on the sale and other miscellaneous expenses including printing and advertising costs. What are the legal duties of a principal to his agent? Under what situations will an agent lose his right to remuneration? What are the conditions under which a principal is not bound to indemnify his agent? ACTIVITY 9. Decide whether Lenny is bound to account Hasnan for the discounts that he received.1 1.1 Discuss the following questions: (a) Hasnan employed Lenny. Lenny received discounts from the printers and advertisers but charge Hasnan the full amount of the contract price and kept the discounts for himself. 8. 3. 5. 4. .

Ramoo and Santhi paid Ryder & Co for the goods in the ordinary course of business. sued Mr Kim for damages for fraud. represented to Mrs Irene that the property was of considerable value that any financier would easily provide financial assistance to the purchaser of the bungalow. this was quite untrue because the bungalow had been underpinned several times to prevent it from falling down. Ramoo and Santhi employed Ryder and Co. a firm of merchants to buy goods for them. Goh. Ryder & Co stopped payment and did not settle the payment to Mr Kye. Mr Kim knew that the bungalow was in poor condition but did not authorise Goh to make the representation. a member of the firm. and supplied the goods on credit. Advise Mrs Irene whether her action would succeed. sued Mr Kim for damages for fraud. Mr Kye did not inquire whether they were acting as agents or principals. Mr Kye sued Ramoo and Santhi for the price. Advise Mrs Irene whether her action would succeed. Mrs Irene bought the bungalow on the faith of the representation and on discovering the underpinning. Upon discovering the agency. Mrs Irene bought the bungalow on the faith of the representation and on discovering the underpinning. In actual fact. Goh himself had no knowledge of the underpinning. Mr Kim knew that the bungalow was in poor condition but did not authorise Goh to make the representation. Can Mr Kye succeed? (c) (d) . Mr Kim employed a firm of estate agents to sell his bungalow for him.TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II)  151 (b) Mr Kim employed a firm of estate agents to sell his bungalow for him. this was quite untrue because the bungalow had been underpinned several times to prevent it from falling down. In actual fact. a member of the firm. A fortnight later. represented to Mrs Irene that the property was of considerable value that any financier would easily provide financial assistance to the purchaser of the bungalow. Goh. Goh himself had no knowledge of the underpinning. Ryder & Co bought the goods in their own names from Mr Kye.

Can Mr Kye succeed? (f) 9. Thus. Mr Kim knew that the bungalow was in poor condition but did not authorise Goh to make the representation. Ramoo and Santhi paid Ryder & Co for the goods in the ordinary course of business.1 A Named Principal A named principal is a principal whose name has been revealed to the third party by the agent. A disclosed principal but not the name. . this was quite untrue because the bungalow had been underpinned several times to prevent it from falling down. 9. Ryder & Co stopped payment and did not settle the payment to Mr Kye. sued Mr Kim for damages for fraud. Mr Kye did not inquire whether they were acting as agents or principals. In actual fact. A fortnight later. The kinds of principals include:    A named principal. Goh himself had no knowledge of the underpinning. The third party knows that the agent is contracting as an agent and knows the principal for whom the agent is acting. Mr Kye sued Ramoo and Santhi for the price. Ramoo and Santhi employed Ryder and Co. However. and An undisclosed principal. and supplied the goods on credit. Mrs Irene bought the bungalow on the faith of the representation and on discovering the underpinning.3. represented to Mrs Irene that the property was of considerable value that any financier would easily provide financial assistance to the purchaser of the bungalow. the agent is not liable for the contract and the contract is binding on the principal. Upon discovering the agency. Ryder & Co bought the goods in their own names from Mr Kye. Advise Mrs Irene whether her action would succeed. Goh.3 EFFECTS OF CONTRACTS MADE BY AGENTS The effect of contracts made by agents will be discussed in relation to the categories of principal. a member of the firm.152  TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II) (e) Mr Kim employed a firm of estate agents to sell his bungalow for him. a firm of merchants to buy goods for them.

A may sue either B or C. liable‰. the respondents ordered chemicals and fertilisers for themselves (rather than on behalf of the principal). they were personally liable. they had contracted for themselves. he has the right to sue the agent or the principal or both. . Persatuan Peladang Bakti Melaka [1979] 2 MLJ 124.3. Therefore. The Federal Court held that although the respondents were agents for a principal. or both. Where the agent executes a deed in his own name. 9.TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II)  153 there are exceptions under Section 183 of the Contracts Act 1950. and/or Where the agent exceeds his authority and the principal does not ratify the contract. "in cases where an agent is personally liable. but they denied liability when the appellants sued for the balance of the price. Where the agent signs a negotiable instrument in his own name.2 An Undisclosed Principal An undisclosed principal is the principal whose identity and existence is not disclosed by the agent to the third party at the time of contract. The third party who enters into a contract with the agent of undisclosed principal is bound by it if he discovers that the contract is actually made on behalf of undisclosed principal. or both of them. Illustration A enters into a contract with B to sell him 100 bales of cotton. The agent may be held personally liable on the contract because the third party does not know that the agent is acting for someone. where an agent would be personally liable for the contract as follows: (a) (b) (c) (d) Where the agent agrees to accept personal liability. If the third party does not know that a person he deals with is acting as an agent. a person dealing with him may hold either him or his principal. and afterwards discovers that B was acting as agent for C. Section 186 of the Contracts Act 1950 says. for the price of the cotton. In the case of Pernas Trading Sdn Bhd v.

the debts due to him from A. or by the principal being adjudicated or declared a bankrupt or an insolvent‰. be terminated to the prejudice of such interest‰. (i) Termination of agency. A gives authority to B to sell AÊs land. Generally. the agent is presumed to be personally liable. nor can it be terminated by his unsoundness of mind or death. A cannot revoke this authority.154  TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II) According to Section 183(b) of the Contracts Act 1950. if the agent does not disclose the name of the principal. where agent has an interest in subject matter. For example.1 (a) (b) (c) Termination by the Act of the Parties The termination by the act of the parties may be made in the following ways: By mutual agreement of both principal and agent By revocation of authority by the principal By renunciation of the agency by the agent According to Section 154 of the Contracts Act 1950. or Operation of law. or by either the principal or agent dying or becoming of unsound mind.4 TERMINATION OF AGENCY Termination of agency is dealt with under Sections 154 to 163 of the Contracts Act 1950. 9. the agency cannot. or by the business of the agency being completed. in the absence of an express contract. out of the proceeds. 9. and to pay himself. Section 155 of the Contracts Act 1950 states: „Where the agent has himself an interest in the property which forms the subject-matter of the agency. „an agency is terminated by the principal revoking his authority.4. or by the agent renouncing the business of the agency. . agency contract may be terminated in the following ways: (a) (b) Act of the parties.

for any previous revocation or renunciation of the agency without sufficient cause. (iv) Compensation for revocation by principal or renunciation by agent.000 bales of cotton on account of A. as the case may be. save as is otherwise provided by the last preceding section. so far as regards such acts and obligations as arise from acts already done in the agency‰.000 bales of cotton in his own name. so as to make himself personally liable for the price. B buys 1. as the case may be. or the agent to the principal. For example. Section 158 of the Contracts Act 1950 stipulates: „Where there is an express or implied contract that the agency should be continued for any period of time. otherwise the damage thereby resulting to the principal or the agent. Section 159 of the Contracts Act 1950 states: „Reasonable notice must be given of such revocation or renunciation. Section 157 of the Contracts Act 1950 stipulates: „The principal cannot revoke the authority given to his agent after the authority has been partly exercised. (iii) Revocation where authority has been partly exercised. and to pay for it out of AÊs money remaining in BÊs hands. . the principal must make compensation to the agent.TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II)  155 (ii) When principal may revoke agentÊs authority. A authorises B to buy 1. A cannot revoke BÊs authority so far as regards payment for the cotton. must be made good to the one by the other‰. Section 156 of the Contracts Act 1950 states: „The principal may. revoke the authority given to his agent at any time before the authority has been exercised so as to bind the principal‰.‰ (v) Notice of revocation or renunciation.

in cases of frustration). A lets it himself. By the death of the principal or agent. „an agency is terminated by the principal revoking his authority. . This is an implied revocation of BÊs authority. By the expiration of the period fixed in the contract of agency. or By the happening of an event which renders the agency unlawful (for example. or by the agent renouncing the business of the agency.‰ Thus. By the insanity of the principal or agent. Section 160 of the Contracts Act 1950 states: „Revocation and renunciation may be expressed or may be implied in the conduct of the principal or agent.2 Termination by Operation of Law Termination by operation of law is also provided in Section 154 of the Contracts Act 1950. For example. or by the business of the agency being completed. 9.156  TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II) (vi) Revocation and renunciation may be expressed or implied. termination by operation of law may be made in the following ways: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) By the performance of the contract of agency. respectively‰. A empowers B to let AÊs house.4. By the principal becoming insolvent or being made a bankrupt. or by either the principal or agent dying or becoming of unsound mind. Afterwards. or by the principal being adjudicated or declared a bankrupt or an insolvent.

What is the effect of contract made by an agent who named his principal to the third party? Under what circumstance will an agent be personally liable for a contract? How can an agency contract be terminated? Is there any situation under which a principal cannot revoke the authority of his agent? Describe the ways of termination of agency by way of operation of law. and use his skill in carrying out his work. 5. 3. A principal must not wilfully prevent his agent from earning his commission. An agentÊs duty is to render proper accounts to his principal. A principalÊs duty is to pay the agent his commission or remuneration. A principal is bound to indemnify his agent for acts done within his scope of authority. 4. An agent must not disclose confidential information or documents entrusted to him by his principal. An agent cannot delegate his authority to another person without permission or approval from the principal. An agent is bound to conduct the business of his principal according to the principalÊs instruction.TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II)  157 SELF-CHECK 9.              An agency contract confers rights and duties to the principal and agent. . An agent must communicate with his principal to get further instructions. An agent must not make any secret profit out of the performance of his duty. It is an agentÊs duty not to let his personal interest conflict with his own duty.2 1. An agent must act according to the customs prevailent in the absence of instruction from the principal. 2. An agent must exercise care and diligence.

Rahman. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn. Bhd. Officers Co-operative Housing Society Ltd. Bilton (1843) 5 Man & G 455. Wu. Phipps [1966] 3 All ER 721. Cases          Andrews v Ramsay & Co [1903] 2 KB 635. Turpin v. M. v. An agency contract may be terminated by the act of the parties or by operation of law. Boardman v. & Vohrah. Mahesan v. Keppel v Wheeler [1927] 1 KB 577.A. Fernandes (1889) 6 TLR 73. L. Malaysia Govt. (2000). Selangor: Pearson and Longman. Power Packing Services (Hermit Road) Ltd (1970) 2 LloydÂs Rep 65. (2007). Persatuan Peladang Bakti Melaka [1979] 2 MLJ 124. The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. Solloway and Anor. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia.158  TOPIC 9 LAW OF AGENCY (PART II)   An agent is not liable for contracts done for a named principal. . [1978] 1 MLJ 149. Duties Named principal Notice Mutual agreement Termination Renunciation Revocation Undisclosed principal Text Books Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. B. McLaughlin [1938] MLJ 23. Davison v.). Pernas Trading Sdn Bhd v.S Harris Trustee Ltd v.

3. Explain the important characteristics of partnership. 2.  INTRODUCTION There are various types of business that are widely being carried out in Malaysia. Partnership. Describe the relations of partners to outsiders. and Describe the liabilities of partners to third parties. 5. 4. the law that governs partnership is the Partnership Act 1961. Define the meaning of partnership. .Topic  10 Law of Partnership (Part I) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic. The Act is similar to the English Partnership Act 1890 and Section 47(1) of the Partnership Act 1961 provides for the application of rules of equity and common law in partnership so long as they are not inconsistent with the express provisions of the Act. and Company. In Malaysia. Discuss the rules on formation of partnership. The most common types of business are:    Sole Proprietorship. you should be able to: 1.

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10.1

DEFINITION OF PARTNERSHIP AND ITS CHARACTERISTICS

It is important to establish a partnership between parties since the formation of it entails certain obligations and liabilities for the partners. Section 3(1) of the Partnership Act 1961 defines partnership as "the relation which subsists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view of profit". Partnership, however, does not include clubs, societies, mutual benefit organisations and building societies (see Figure 10.1). (a) The relation between parties In order to form a partnership, there must be a minimum of two persons. Therefore, there is usually an agreement to be made by the parties which lay down certain terms and conditions relating to the partnership business, and duties and responsibilities of the partners involved. This agreement will be binding upon every partner and enforceable in law. The agreement is for business purpose Section 2 of the Partnership Act 1961 defines „business‰ as includes every trade, occupation or profession. Thus, the persons must have an agreement to have a business in common. The business is for purpose of gaining profit This means the partners agree to carry on business for profit. Thus, if a person is excluded from sharing any profit in a partnership, then he is not a partner. Similarly, the relationship between persons to do voluntary or welfare works is not a partnership.

(b)

(c)

Figure 10.1: Characteristics of partnership

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Section 3(2) of the Partnership Act 1961 therefore excludes the following list from the definition of partnership:  The relation between members of a company or association which is registered as a company under the Companies Act 1965 or a co-operative society under any written law relating to co-operative societies; or The relation between members of a company or association which is formed or incorporated by or in pursuance of any other law having effect in Malaysia or letters patent, Royal Charter or Act of Parliament of the UK.

Existence of partnership: Some considerations
Where a partnership agreement does not exist, Section 4 of the Partnership Act 1961 provides a number of tests in determining the existence of a partnership, as follows:
Section 4(a) Joint tenancy, tenancy in common, joint property, or part ownership does not of itself form a partnership. The sharing of gross returns does not of itself establish a partnership, whether the parties who share the returns have or do not have a joint right or interest in the property from which or from the use of which the returns are derived. Sharing of business profit by a person is prima facie evidence of partnership. However, the presumption may be rebutted if the sharing is for some other reasons:  Payment of a debt out of profits of the business to a creditor by instalments does not make the creditor a partner in the business.  Remuneration to a servant or an agent of the business from the profit of their employer's business.  Payment of an annuity or a portion of the profits to a widow or child of a deceased partner in the business.  Payment of interest which varies with the profits on a loan advanced for use in the business under a written contract.  Payment to a seller of the goodwill of a business in the form of a share of the profits of the business.

Section 4(b)

Section 4(c)

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Section 4(a)
Partnership does not exist between tenants regardless whether they share or not the profit gained through the use of the land. In the case of jointly owned property, it does not of itself form a partnership between the owners. In Davis v. Davis (1894) 70 LT 265, a father gave his business and three houses to be shared together by his two sons. Two of the houses were rented out. The sons used part of the money earned from the rental of the house to improve the business and shared the other remaining portion equally. The Court held that the business was a partnership between the sons but the joint ownership of the houses and equal share on the earnings did not make them partners.

Section 4(b)
In Cox v. Coulson (1916) 114 LT 599, the defendant, a manager of a theatre entered into an agreement with Mill whereby Mill would prepare and pay for the theatre show while the defendant would prepare and pay for the rent of the stage and lighting services for the show. It was agreed that the defendant would receive 60% from the gross returns and Mill would receive the remaining 40%. The plaintiff suffered injury during the show and he sued the defendant for liability as a partner of Mill. The Court decided that even though the defendant and Mill shared the gross returns from the business, it did not make the defendant and Mill partners. Both had separate responsibility and liability. The defendant was liable to pay for the rent of the stage and lighting services from the 60% returns he received. Mill, on the other hand, would settle the journey expenses, salaries of the actors and the cost incurred during the show from the 40% returns he received. This showed that no partnership was formed between the defendant and Mill. Thus, the defendant was not liable to the plaintiff.

Section 4(c)(i)
Payment of a debt out of profits of the business to a creditor by instalments does not make the creditor a partner in the business. For instance, A lends B a sum of RM15,000 and A receives a sum RM1,000 per month from the business as

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repayment of the loan. Though the payment of RM1,000 per month to A comes from the profit of the business, A is not a partner to B in the business. In Badeley v. Consolidated Bank (1888) 38 ChD 238, X intended to build a railway transportation and borrowed money from Y to finance the project. As security for the loan, X charged his machineries and agreed to pay an interest of 10% of the loan amount and 10% from the profit of the project to Y. The Court held that the advance given by Y to X creates a lender-borrower relationship. Y is not a partner to X though he received the payment from the profit of the business. Section 4(c)(ii) Remuneration to a servant or an agent of the business from the profit of their employer's business. Any form of payment to a servant or an agent which comes from the employerÊs business profit constitutes salary or wages. Therefore, a servant or an agent is not a partner in the employerÊs business and has no partnership liability. In Abdul Gaffoor v. Mohamed Kassim & Ors [1931-32] FMSLR 19, the plaintiff was a despatch clerk in the defendantÊs firm. He was then appointed as a manager in one of the firmÊs branch office. One of the firmÊs documents stated that the profit from the firm would be divided into 79.4 parts and would be shared between the plaintiff, the defendant and others partners. The plaintiff contended that he was a partner but the defendant argued that the relationship was a mere employer-employee relationship. The Court held that the receipt of salary from the profit did not make the plaintiff a partner of the firm.

Section 4(c)(iii)
Payment of an annuity or a portion of the profits to a widow or child of a deceased partner in the business. Some partnership agreements provide a term on payment of annuity to the dependants of a deceased partner. The annuity comes from the profit of the partnership. In this situation, although the widow or the child receives payment from the profit of the partnership, it did not make them partners in the business.

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In Commissioners of Inland Revenue v. LebusÊs Trustees [1964] 1 All ER 475, A, a partner in a firm bequeathed that his right to profit would be given to his wife upon his death. However, the partner did not perform the bequest and thereafter, the Inland Revenue imposed certain tax for the amount which the widow was supposed to receive. The Court held that AÊs widow is not a partner of the firm. Therefore, her portion of money must not be taxable.

Section 4(c)(iv)
Payment of interest which varies with the profits on a loan advanced for use in the business under a written contract. A person who gives advance payment by way of a loan and receives a payment of interest which varies according to the profit of the business is not a partner in the business. In the case of Re Young Ex p Jones (1896) 75 LT 278, Y and J entered into an agreement whereby J advanced £500 to Y and in consideration, J would receive £1 a week out of the profit gained from YÊs business. J also helped in the management of the business and was given certain power to manage. The Court held that the receipt of the payment from the profit in YÊs business does not make J a partner although J was authorised to deal with the business.

Section 4(c)(v)
Payment to a seller of the goodwill of a business in the form of a share of the profits of the business. For example, A, a solicitor agreed to sell his firm to B and agreed to introduce his clients to B. In consideration, B agreed to give A 10% out of the profit of the business for the period of three years. In this case, although A receives payment out of the profit of the business, it does not make him a partner to B in the business. In Rawlinson v. Clarke (1860) 15 M&M 292, a doctor sold his business and introduced his clients to the buyer. In consideration, he received certain payment and shares from the profit made in the first year of the business. The Court held that he was not a partner to the buyer.

free consent. if any person brings an action against HAS Enterprise. a partnership firm has no separate legal entity from its founder under the law.TOPIC 10 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART I)  165 10. lawful purpose.2. 10. it is. Akbar and Chua are partners. Hence. 10. It is not a legal persona but a label used by a number of individuals trading under that particular name. A partnership is said to be illegal when it is formed with the intention to carry out business activities against the law. The name under which a firm carries on business is the name applicable to the persons who are partners of the firm. Also the relations between partners concerning rights and duties will usually be contained in an agreement or defined by the Partnership Act 1961. must be present. . an action against all the partners. a partnership is also considered as illegal if the number of partners exceeds 20 persons. carrying on business under the name of HAS Enterprise. A partnership is the relationship between individuals who intend to do a business in common together. in fact.2. when an action is brought against the firmÊs name.2 Lawful Purpose A partnership must be formed for a lawful purpose. Husain. competency. For example. Under Section 47(2) of the Partnership Act 1961. Akbar and Chua.1 Partnership under the Law Distinct from a company. the elements of a valid contract including consideration.2 FORMATION OF PARTNERSHIP In formation of a partnership. Thus. it is an action against Husain. Section 6 of the Partnership Act 1961 allows persons to form a partnership to be called a firm under the name in which the business is carried on.

other partners were not liable for the claim. Therefore. of sound mind and has not lost capacity to enter into contracts under any laws. a minor can become a partner.3 Capacity In William Jacks & Co. shall be submitted to the Registrar of Business for .64 (Business Names) and Cap.4 Partnership Agreement Partnership agreement may be in the form of oral or written agreement. The partners may have partnership agreements in writing. type and nature of the business. For mutual rights and duties of partners. Chan & Yong Trading Co (1964) MLJ 105. name of business. In absence of a partnership agreement. However. who was a minor partner at the time of the purchase of the goods.166  TOPIC 10 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART I) 10. 16. a minor partner is not liable for all the firmÊs debt and contractual liabilities. A partner is competent to contract if he is an adult. Trades Licensing Ordinance. name of partners. 10. Yong. Professions and Trade Licensing)(in Sarawak).2. When a minor partner reaches his age of majority. No. 1948 (in Sabah). it did not mean that the firm and other partners were not liable and since Yong did not take any action to terminate his partnership upon attaining majority age. the provisions of the Partnership Act 1961 will be applicable to the partners.33 (Business.734. usually known as Articles of Partnership which provides for particulars of the firm and the terms of the partnership. he can exonerate himself from liability by withdrawing himself from the firm.5 Registration of Partnership A partnership must be registered under the Registration of Businesses Act 1956 (in Peninsular Malaysia). he was also liable as a partner.2. registered address of business. The Court held that even though the goods were bought for YongÊs personal use. Jacks claimed a sum of RM12. In partnership. The partners must have the capacity to enter into contract. Particulars as to the date of operation of business. But if he remains in the firm.91 being the payment of the goods sold to the defendant who were partners in a firm. (Malaya) Ltd v. 10.2. did not defend his case but Chan denied that the goods were for YongÊs personal use. Sarawak Cap. he will be liable with other partners. they may be varied by the partner's consent as provided under Section 21 of the Partnership Act 1961.

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registration. Any changes to the above particulars are to be reported to the Registry Department. In the event of dissolution of partnership or death or retirement of a partner, a report on the same shall be made to avoid liability to third party after the occurrence of any of the above.

SELF-CHECK 10.1
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. What is the meaning of partnership? How do you determine the existence of partnership in absence of a partnership agreement? Does joint tenancy and tenancy in common create a partnership between the tenants? Does sharing of gross returns in a business between two persons establish a partnership? Sharing of business profit by a person is prima facie evidence of partnership. Is the presumption rebuttable? Is partnership a legal persona? What is the effect of a partnership formed for unlawful purposes? Can a minor become partner in a partnership business? What is the importance of a partnership agreement? Must a partnership be registered? Why?

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ACTIVITY 10.1
Discuss the following questions: (a) The partnership business plans to engage Niza to manage the business and one of the terms is that Niza will receive remuneration from the profit of the business. Is Niza a partner? Discuss. S lends a sum of RM5,000 to firm Y and receives repayment by 12 monthly instalments of RM500 per repayment from the profits of the firm. Does that make S a partner of firm Y? Discuss. T and H has entered into an agreement whereby H would lend a sum of RM1,000 to T and as a consideration, H would receive RM50 a week from the profit of T's business. H would also assist in the administration of the firm and was given certain authority to manage the business of the firm. Is H a partner of T? Discuss. R and F are partners of a restaurant business. They intend to expand their business and make a loan from G. G will receive 20% from the nett profit of the business. Is G a partner of R and F? Discuss.

(b)

(c)

(d)

10.3 RELATIONSHIP OF PARTNERS AND OUTSIDERS (THIRD PARTIES)
The agency principle is significant in the relationship of partners to outsiders because a partner is an agent for the firm. When a partner carries out activities within the ordinary course of the partnershipÊs business, his act will bind the other partners, so long as he has the authority to act and does not act beyond the authority given.

10.3.1

Partner's Authority to Bind the Firm

A partner has an authority to bind the firm if he carries out the partnership business within his scope of authority. Section 7 of the Partnership Act 1961 provides that every partner is an agent for the firm and other partners for the purpose of the business of partnership. This means any act done by a partner in the course of the partneship business binds the firm and other partners; unless the partner has no authority or is unauthorised to act for the firm; and the third party

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knows that the partner has no authority or does not know or believe him to be a partner. Therefore, for a partner to bind the firm and other partners, his act must have been carried out within his scope of authority and in the usual way of the partnership business. Consequently, outsiders or third parties dealing with the partner may assume that the partner has the authority to do such acts usually done by partners in that particular kind of business. This is an implied authority of a partner as an agent for the firm, as illustrated in the following cases: In Mercantile Credit Ltd. v. Garrod [1962] 3 All ER 1103, P and G were partners in a garage business. One of the terms of their partnership agreement prohibited the partners from buying and selling cars. Without the knowledge of G, P sold a car to Mercantile Credit for a sum of £700 and the money was deposited into the firmÊs account. When Mercantile Credit initiated a suit to claim the money back, the Court held that G was liable to the plaintiff. Even though P was prohibited by the partnership agreement to engage in buying and selling cars, the act of P was usually done by those who engaged in a garage business.

In another case, Chan King Yue v. Lee & Wong [1962] 28 MLJ 379, the plaintiff lent RM35,000 to her husband who was a partner in a firm. The husband issued a receipt under the firmÊs name and used the money to pay the firmÊs debt. The plaintiff took an action to recover her money but other partners refused to pay on the grounds that the plaintiffÊs husband had no authority to borrow money. The Court held that the act of borrowing money by the plaintiffÊs husband was important for the firmÊs continuous business. Therefore, the firm was liable.

Section 7 also provides that the partner who has no authority or is unauthorised to act for the firm will not bind the firm if the third party knows that the partner has no authority or does not know or believe him to be a partner. For example, A has been informed about B's limited authority and B was unauthorised to order goods exceeding RM15,000. A made a contract with B for the supply of electrical goods worth of RM17,000 to the firm. The firm was not bound by the contract. According to Section 8 of the Partnership Act 1961, an act or instrument relating to the business of the firm and done or executed in the firmÊs name, or in any other

170  TOPIC 10 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART I)

manner showing an intention to bind the firm, by any person thereto authorised, whether a partner or not, is binding on the firm and all the partners. In the case of Hock Hin Chan v. Ng Kee Woo [1966] 1 MLJ 223, H gave a loan to one of the partners in a firm. As a security, a bill of sale was issued bearing the signature and seal „by Ng Teng Tuan, a partner to Wan Lee Chan, for and on behalf of Wan Lee Chan⁄‰. The issue that arose was whether the bill of sale issued by the firm was valid and binding on the firm. The Court held that a partner in a firm had an implied authority to issue a bill of sale on behalf of other partners. Therefore, the bill of sale was valid and binding on the firm.

According to Section 9 of the Partnership Act 1961, where one partner pledges the credit of the firm for a purpose apparently not connected with the firm's ordinary course of business, the firm is not bound, unless he is, in fact, specially authorised by the other partners. However, this section does not affect any personal liability incurred by an individual partner. This means, a partner cannot misuse the trust given to him by the firm to make debt which is not connected with the firm's business. The partner who misuses the trust shall be personally liable unless he has been given the express authority to do as such. For instance, A and B are partners carrying on the business of printing and selling „batik‰. A, without the knowledge of B bought a dishwasher under the firmÊs name. The supplier requested payment from the firm. In this case, B may deny liability under Section 9 and A would be personally liable. In other words, A cannot bind the firm because his act was not carried out within the usual course of the partnership business. Another example where a firm will not be liable is where a partner issues the firm's cheque for the purpose of settling personal debt.

10.3.2

Liability of Partners

As far as liability of partners is concerned, under the Partnership Act 1961, there are several types of liabilities (see Figure 10.2) namely contractual liability, tortious liability, liability for improper use of trust property and for holding out, criminal liability and liability of incoming and retiring partners.

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Figure 10.2: Types of partnership liabilities (a) Contractual Liability According to Section 11 of the Partnership Act 1961, „every partner in a firm is liable jointly with the other partners for all debts and obligations of the firm incurred while he is a partner; and after his death, his estate is also severally liable in a due course of administration for such debts and obligations, so far as they remain unsatisfied but subject to the prior payment of his separate debts.‰ In the case of Osman b. Haji Mohamed Usop v. Chang Kang Swi (1924) 4 FMSLR 292, a partnership has been formed by six partners including the appellant. Three of the partners borrowed RM10,000 from a third party by effecting a promissory note. The loan was guaranteed by the respondent (Chan Kang Swi). Later, the firm failed to pay the debt and Chan was called to pay for the debt on his own account. He then initiated action against the six partners for recovery of his money and five partners accepted their liability, except the appellant. The Court decided that the debt was a firmÊs debt and was obtained for the purpose of partnership. The partners who signed the promissory note had acted for the firm and they were authorised to do so. Therefore, the firm or the six partners were liable.

The examples of tortious acts are nuisance. If A. the firm is liable therefore to the same extent as the partner so acting or omitting to act. B and C are partners carrying out business of repairing electrical equipment. C repaired a washing machine for a customer but due to his negligence. the deceased partner is jointly liable for the firmÊs debt incurred during his term as a partner of the firm. or any penalty is incurred. In Hamlyn v. However. trespass and negligence. Houston & Co [1903] 2 KB 82. as the partner. the firm and other partners were liable to the customer. In this case. loss or injury is caused to any person not being a partner in the firm. The Court held that H. C was negligent in performing his work and therefore. . Hence.172  TOPIC 10 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART I) Section 11 provides joint liability of partners in matters concerning contracts entered into by the firm with third parties. In partnership. H bribed a clerk of another firm to get secret information on contracts and tenders of the said firm.” Tort is a civil wrong. B and C shall be jointly liable for the payment of the sum. tort may occur in the following situation.000 by credit. The joint liability under this section means that every partner is liable for all debts and obligations of the firm. payment to the creditor is subject to the settlement of the deceased partnerÊs personal debt. Section 11 also provides the liability of a deceased partner. H and S were partners in a firm. A. This means if a creditor sues the firm for the firmÊs debt but fails to recover full satisfaction of his claim. he can recover from the administrator of the estates of the deceased partner. B and C who are partners in a printing business bought a printing machine worth RM15. For instance A. the customer was electrocuted when using the washing machine. (b) Tortious Liability Section 12 of the Partnership Act 1961 provides for liability of firm for wrongs or tortious liability of partners: ”Where. if any. Under the provision. by any wrongful act or omission of any partner acting in the ordinary course of the business of the firm or with the authority of his copartners. defamation. the firm was liable for his act. had done illegitimately that which was part of his business to do legitimately.

However. Other partners. When the firm became bankrupt. A who has been appointed as a trustee. a father and sons were partners in a firm. if B and C have notice of a breach of trust. being a trustee.TOPIC 10 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART I)  173 In the above case. improperly employs trust property in the business or on the account of the partnership. (c) Liability for improper use of trust property Liability for improper employment of trust property for partnership purposes is provided under Section 15 of the Partnership Act 1961. improperly uses the trust property in the business. It provides that: „If a partner. they cannot avoid liability and the trust money may be recovered from the firm if it is still in possession and under the control of the firm. In Ex parte Heaton (1819) Buck 386. no other partner is liable for the trust property to the persons beneficially interested therein: Provided as follows: (i) (ii) this section shall not affect any liability incurred by any partner by reason of his having notice of a breach of trust. and nothing in this section shall prevent trust money from being followed and recovered from the firm. B and C are partners of a firm. if still in its possession or under its control. He will therefore be liable like a partner to the persons who give credit to the firm. Section 16 of the Partnership Act 1961 provides: . B and C are not liable for the trust property. the Court held that the money which had been misappropriated could not be recovered from the partnership property because the father had no knowledge of the breach of trust committed by his sons. A.‰ For example. The sons used the trust property for the purpose of the firmÊs business. the firm was liable because the bribe was part of the firmÊs money and such information was for the purpose of the partnership business and would have been legitimate if obtained by proper means. (d) Liability for holding out A person who is not a partner of a firm may become liable for the firmÊs debt if he represents himself or allow himself to be represented as a partner in the firm.

Relying on CÊs representation. A is entrusted to look after the account of the firm while B is in charge of the administration of the firm. came to the saloon. C was a partner by holding out and is liable for the payment of the product supplied to the firm. if the holding out or representation is made without the knowledge or consent from the real partner. In such situation. In the case of Re Buchanan & Co. the person is estopped from denying or contradicting the statement. the partnership business is continued in the old firmÊs name. they employ C as the customer relations officer. A and B are partners of a saloon business. (1876) 4 QSCR 202. or who knowingly suffers himself to be represented as a partner in a particular firm. For instance. C. When a person makes a representation that induces third party to believe and rely on such representation that he is a partner. Whether A and B are jointly liable with C depends on their knowledge of the transaction. the continued use of that name or of the deceased partner's name as part thereof shall not of itself make his executor's or administrator's estate or effects liable for any partnership debts contracted after his death. then the firm or partners would be jointly liable for the payment of the product to D.‰ The liability is based on the principle of estoppel. given credit to the firm. If the firm or the partners knew about CÊs contract on behalf of the firm and did not deny it in due course. and introduced a slimming product. then C would be personally liable as a partner for holding out. D. a salesman. One day.174  TOPIC 10 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART I) „Everyone who. During the course of the business. represents himself. who was at the saloon introduced himself as a partner and expressed his interest in the product. But if they have no knowledge about the contract. only the person holding out as a partner shall be liable to the third party acting in reliance of the representation. after a partner's death. D agreed to sell the product on credit to C. . is liable as a partner to any one who has. on the faith of any such representation. by words spoken or written or by conduct. whether the representation has or has not been made or communicated to the person so giving credit by or with the knowledge of the apparent partner making the representation or suffering it to be made: Provided that where.

A retiring partner may only be discharged from liabilities by a novation agreement between himself. as provided under Section 19(2) of the Act. „a partner who retires from a firm does not thereby cease to be liable for partnership debts or obligations incurred before retirement‰. Brewer (1848) 2 Car. . In the case of Duke v. it was held that for a new incoming partner.TOPIC 10 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART I)  175 Section 16 of the Partnership Act 1961 further states that. two partners in a firm had used a trade name („Texwood‰) that belonged to another company on their products. In the case of Chung Shin Kian & Anor v. (f) Liability of incoming and outgoing (retiring) partners A person who is admitted as a partner into a firm is not liable for liabilities incurred before he became a partner. „a person who is admitted as a partner into an existing firm does not thereby become liable to the creditors of the firm for anything done before he became a partner‰. then he shall be liable for the same. the appeal of the second appellant was allowed. „where. the new firm and the creditors. the partnership business is continued in the old firm-name. Thus. There was no evidence to prove that the second appellant was involved in the crime. after a partner's death. 828. This means the use of the deceased partnerÊs name for the partnership business does not constitute holding out. & Ker. (e) Liability for criminal offences Any partner who commits criminal offences shall be personally liable. Pendakwaraya [1980] 2 MLJ 246. except as to become a partner in the business. He remains liable for the partnership debts incurred before his retirement. the continued use of that name or of the deceased partner's name as part thereof shall not of itself make his executor's or administrator's estate or effects liable for any partnership debts contracted after his death‰. According to Section 19(1) of the Partnership Act 1961. he is not free from liabilities before his retirement. if the liability was for a continuous contract (which was made before he became a partner and continue to exist after he became a partner). For a person retiring from the firm. Other partners shall not be liable unless there is evidence to prove their participation in the commission of the crime.

2 1. Dewi has bought oil amounting to RM15. 7.176  TOPIC 10 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART I) SELF-CHECK 10. How can a partner bind the firm for his act? What is the liability of a partner in contracts? Are partners jointly liable in tortious liability? What is the liability of a partner in the case of improper use of trust property in a firm? What is the effect of holding out by a person who is not a partner? What are the liabilities of incoming and outgoing partners? Will a partner be liable for the criminal offence committed by other partners? ACTIVITY 10. 4. 2.000 from RiverinOil Company and has also bought a second-hand car on his own account but in the name of the firm. Advise Chandra on his liability as a partner. The terms of the partnership agreement provide that no partner shall incur any debt exceeding RM10. In the course of running the firm.000 without the consent of the other partner. . 3. 6. and partners must not involve in trading of secondhand goods. Chandra provided the capital and only visits the garage twice a month whereas Dewi works full time for the firm.2 Discuss the following problems: (a) Chandra and Dewi are partners in a garage business. 5. partners must purchase oil only from RushOil Company.

Noor did not admit the said liability and decided to walk away from the partnership. Joint tenancy. A partnership is not a legal persona but a label used by a number of individuals trading under that particular name. establish a partnership. The said loan was guaranteed by Azmin. However. Malik made a friendly loan amounting to RM8.          Formation of partnership entails certain obligations and liabilities for the partners. Malik invited Jefri as a new partner to replace Noor. The firm failed to pay the loan and Azmin had to pay instead.000. of itself. Payment of a debt out of profits of the business to a creditor by instalments does not make the creditor a partner in the business.000 from Aiman as capital for the business. Malik and Noor. the firm failed to pay the loan. joint property. Then. In helping to settle the debt.TOPIC 10 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART I)  177 (b) Malik and Noor were partners in a firm operating a Cyber Café business. However. After Noor withdrew from the partnership. Mr Zuki. Remuneration to a servant or an agent of the business from the profit of their employer's business does not make the servant or the agent a partner. of itself. Azmin took a civil action against both partners. Believing the representation made by Jefri. Discuss the liabilities of all parties involved by referring to the Partnership Act 1961 and the relevant case-laws. . to recover his money. the bank agreed to approve the loan amounting to RM50. a well-known businessman and introduced his brother as one of the partners in the firm. form a partnership. Payment of an annuity to a widow or child of a deceased partner does not make the widow or the child a partner in the business. Jefri intended to get a bank loan for the firm. A partnership is the relation which subsists between persons carrying on a business in common with a view of profit. In dealing with the bank. or part ownership does not. tenancy in common. he brought along his brother. The sharing of gross returns from a business does not. Payment to a seller of the goodwill of a business in the form of a share of the profits of the business does not make the seller a partner.

& Vohrah. Any partner who commits criminal offences shall be personally liable. A partner has an authority to bind the firm if he carries out the partnership business within his scope of authority. Bhd. of sound mind and has not lost capacity to enter into contracts under any laws. . (2007). Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia. Partnership agreement may be in the form of oral or written agreement.A.   Articles of partnership Business in common Contractual liability Criminal liability Incoming and outgoing partner Misappropriation Partnership Profit Registration Tortious liability Text Books: Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. Rahman.). (2000). Wu M. The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed.178  TOPIC 10 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART I)       A partnership must be formed for a lawful purpose. A person who is admitted as a partner into a firm is not liable for liabilities incurred before he became a partner. B. A person who is not a partner of a firm may become liable for the firms debt if he represents himself or allow himself to be represented as a partner in the firm. A partner is competent to contract if he is an adult. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn. Selangor: Pearson and Longman. Every partner in a firm is liable jointly with the other partners for all debts and obligations of the firm incurred while he is a partner.

Badeley v. Re Buchanan & Co. Duke v. Mohamed Kassim & Ors [1931-32] FMSLR 19. Coulson (1916) 114 LT 599.TOPIC 10 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART I)  179 Cases:                  Abdul Gaffoor v. Hamlyn v. Commissioners of Inland Revenue v. (Malaya) Ltd v. Re Young Ex p Jones (1896) 75 LT 278. Davis v. (1876) 4 QSCR 202. Chan King Yue v. LebusÊs Trustees [1964] 1 All ER 475. Cox v. Haji Mohamed Usop v. 828. Davis (1894) 70 LT 265. William Jacks & Co. v. . Chang Kang Swi (1924) 4 FMSLR 292. Osman b. Pendakwaraya [1980] 2 MLJ 246. Chung Shin Kian & Anor v. Ex parte Heaton (1819) Buck 386. Ng Kee Woo [1966] 1 MLJ 223. Consolidated Bank (1888) 38 ChD 238. Chan & Yong Trading Co (1964) MLJ 105. Rawlinson v. Clarke (1860) 15 M&M 292. & Ker. Garrod [1962] 3 All ER 1103. Mercantile Credit Ltd. Hock Hin Chan v. Brewer (1848) 2 Car. Lee & Wong [1962] 28 MLJ 379. Houston & Co [1903] 2 KB 82.

the rules on formation of partnership. Explain the rights. and Explain the consequences of dissolution of partnership. . the relations of partners to outsiders and the liabilities of partners to third parties. As a continuation.  5.Topic  11 Law of Partnership (Part II) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic. duties and liabilities of partners. the assignment of a partner's share in the partnership property. Describe the grounds for dissolution of partnership. you should be able to: 1. the liabilities of incoming and outgoing partners. Discuss the rules on partnership property. 4. 2. the important characteristics of partnership. this topic focuses on:      the relation of partners to one another. the mutual rights and duties of the partners. 3. List the obligations of partners to one another.  INTRODUCTION The previous topic discusses and explains the meaning of partnership. and the dissolution of partnership.

The Court rejected the appeal on the ground that the respondentÊs action in the defence was an act to protect the firmÊs assets.50. whereby: (a) Every partner is entitled to equal share of capital and profits of the business. (b) .1. The appellant refused to pay and went for appeal. he was entitled to be indemnified from the firm's assets. division of capital and profits of each partner.1 Mutual Rights and Duties of Partners In the absence of a specific partnership agreement between the partners. the following provisions relating to rights and duties of partners are found in Section 26 of the Partnership Act 1961. In the case of Kok Hok Leong & Anor v. 11. the appellant and respondent were partners in a firm which has been sued for breach of contract and ordered to pay for damages of RM4. the principle of utmost good faith towards each other is implicit in the partnership agreement. When the partnership was dissolved. The provisions contained in Part IV (Sections 21 to 33) of the Partnership Act 1961 will only apply where partners did not provide the terms of partnership in their partnership agreement. and must contribute equally to losses.1 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARTNERS The relationship between partners may be regulated by a partnership agreement made by the partners which outlines the rights and duties and other terms relating to business management. the court ordered the legal fees incurred by the respondent to be paid out of the partnership assets. Above all. may be varied by the consent of all the partners and such consent may be either expressed or inferred from a course of dealing.246. The respondent engaged a solicitor and managed to reduce the payment of damages in the legal suit. Seow Kah Cheng & Anor (1950) 16 MLJ 87. and Every partner who made any payment and incurred personal liabilities in the course of the firmÊs business is entitled to be indemnified by the firm.TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II)  181 11. etc. Section 21 of the Partnership Act 1961 provides that the mutual rights and duties of partners. whether ascertained by agreement or defined by the Act. Therefore.

Thus. No partner is entitled to interest on capital before the ascertainment of profits. K and T had entered into a partnership agreement verbally whereby they agreed to involve in the business of buying horses from Australia. (d) In Rishton v. is entitled to 8% interest per annum from the date of the payment of the advance. In this case. (f) No partner is entitled to remuneration for acting in the partnership business. any partner who is assigned to manage the business is duty bound to exercise such duty for the interest of the partnership. (e) Every partner may participate in the management of the firm. the Court held that a principal in a business was not entitled to the interest on capital until the employees and the agentsÊ remuneration has been ascertained. (g) No partner may introduce another (new) partner without the consent of other existing partners. beyond the capital amount he subscribed. . TÊs participation in the management of the partnership was denied by the agreement of both parties. By the said agreement. T would provide the capital while K was entrusted to manage the business. The partners are not entitled to any salary or wages because they are performing their duties as partners in the course of the partnership business. Grissell (1868) LR 5 Eq 326. Reason being is the existence of the fiduciary relationship between partners. In Kelly v.182  TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II) (c) Every partner who made any advance for the purpose of the firm's business. Tucker (1907) 5 CLR 1. to be sold in South Africa.

Thus. the defendant and Goh were partners in a share-brokerage firm. the firm suffered unexpected losses and when the firm was dissolved. The court dismissed the application on the ground that the dispute or disagreement between partners is usual in a partnership business. majority agreement is sufficient to resolve the dispute.000 in consideration of the firm taking him as a partner. the plaintiff claimed for the return of RM20. carrying on business in worsted clothes.TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II)  183 In Wong Peng Yuen v. Two of the partners agreed to train one of the partner's son in the business. Therefore. the plaintiff had no right to claim his money back. (h) The majority partners may decide any differences as to ordinary matters connected with the firm's business but the changes in the nature of the firm's business must be made with consent of all the existing partners. Tan joined the partnership as a new partner and on 30 April 1959 the plaintiff paid the defendant a sum of RM20. they signed a partnership agreement whereby Goh transferred part of his interests in the partnership to his two children who were minors. there were three partners in a firm. Later. Senanayake [1962] 1 MLJ 204. Walker (1910) 26 TLR 685. The Court held that there was evidence to show that Tan's consent had been obtained and that consent from GohÊs children was not necessary. In Highley v. The agreement signed on 26 March 1959 was only a transfer of GohÊs interests in the partnership but not his right as a partner in the firm. The plaintiff then acted as if he was a partner in the firm. On 26 March 1959. . The plaintiff opposed to the agreement and applied to the court for an injunction to prevent the two partners from proceeding with their plan. On 3 April 1959.000 he had paid on the ground that he was not a partner because Tan and the children of Goh had never agreed to take him as a partner in the firm.

or at the principal place if there is more than one place of business. every partner is obliged to render true accounts and full information on all things affecting the partnership. otherwise the sale of the shares may be set aside. in the case of Tham Kok Cheong & Ors v. In the existence of the partnership agreement. (a) Under Section 30. Tan Jin Luan [1939] MLJ 286. the above provisions are not applicable. The right can be exercised through an authorised agent appointed by the partners. (i) The partnership books are to be kept at the place of partnership business. It is important to note that Section 26 of the Partnership Act 1961 is only applicable in the absence of the partnership agreement between the partners. The Court held that the partner who had the information must disclose it.000. 31 and 32 of the Partnership Act 1961. 11. In Gan Khuan v. In Law v. a partner transferred part of his shares to another partner for £21. Further obligations of partners in a firm are provided in the following provisions: Section 30. Law (1904) All ER 526. Low Pui Heng [1966] 2 MLJ 52. .184  TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II) However. The partner who bought the shares knew that the partnership assets comprised securities and charges but concealed the facts from the partner's knowledge. the Court held that the right to examine and make copies of the partnership books is not limited to partners. second and third partners who sold the partnership business to a company without informing the fourth partner was invalid. the Court held that the act of the first.1.2 Obligations of Partners to Act in Utmost Good Faith Every partner must act honestly because the relationship between partners is based on the principle of uberrimae fidei (utmost good faith).

(c) Section 32 covers the obligation of a partner not to compete with the firm in business of the same nature without consent of the other partners. if a partner opens a competing business without the consent of other partners. In Pathirana v. In Ass v. Benham [1891] 2 Ch 244. or involve in any transaction concerning the partnership. the defendant entered into a new agency contract with Caltex under his own name. every partner who uses the partnership property. He was then appointed a director in the said company and received a salary in consideration for the services he rendered. Ariya Pathirana [1967] 1 AC 233. must account to the firm for any secret profit or benefit derived by him. The Court held that other partners had no right to claim for the benefit since the ship building business was of a different nature from the ship-brokerage business. However. a dispute arose between two partners who were the marketing agents for Caltex Ceylon company. Thus. without the consent of other partners.TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II)  185 (b) According to Section 31. he must account for and render all profits made by him to the firm. before the period of the notice ended. name or business connection. Other partners claimed for the benefit to be given to the firm. The defendant gave three monthsÊ notice to terminate the partnership. The Court held that the profit gained by the defendant from the agency contract belonged to the firm because the defendant had used the firmÊs goodwill to obtain the new contract before the partnership was dissolved. . a partner in a ship-brokerage firm assisted in the incorporation of a ship building company using information he obtained from the firm's business.

186  TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II)

11.2

INCOMING AND OUTGOING (RETIRING) PARTNERS

A partner takes up the liability as a partner upon joining an existing firm. However, he will not be liable before he became a partner, as provided under Section 19(1) of the Partnership Act 1961 whereby "a person who is admitted as a partner into an existing firm does not thereby become liable to the creditors of the firm for anything done before he became a partner". The incoming partner will only be liable to the creditors of the firm under a contract of novation whereby the creditors agree to accept the liability of the incoming partners. On the other hand, a partner who retires from the firm continues to be liable for the partnership debt incurred before he retires, as provided under Section 19(2) of the Partnership Act 1961, whereby: "A partner who retires from a firm does not thereby cease to be liable for partnership debts or obligations incurred before his retirement." (Also refer to Topic 10, sub-topic 10.3.2). After a partner retires, he is still liable to any person who deals with the firm after a change in its constitution unless he has given express notice to the person that he is no longer a partner. According to Section 38(1) of the Partnership Act 1961, "where a person deals with a firm after a change in its constitution, he is entitled to treat all apparent members of the old firm as still being members of the firm until he has notice of the change". Further in Section 38(2), "an advertisement as to a firm in the Federal Gazette, Sabah Gazette or Sarawak Gazette shall be notice to persons who had no dealings with the firm before the date of dissolution or changed so advertised".

TOPIC 11

LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II)

 187

In the case of Re Siew Inn Steamship Co. [1934] MLJ 180, a retired partner had inserted a notice of his retirement in several issues of a newspaper to which certain old customers were proved to be regular subscribers. After his retirement, these old customers lent money to the firm on the security of promissory notes executed by the remaining partners. One of the lenders later sued the retired partner on these notes, denying having actually seen notice of his retirement in the papers. The Court held that the retired partner was liable on the notes, actual notice being necessary so far as old customers were concerned.

In relation to dismissal under Section 27, the majority partners cannot expel any partner unless the power to do so has been conferred by express agreement between the partners.

11.3

ASSIGNMENT OF SHARE

Under Section 33(1) of the Partnership Act, 1961, a partner may assign his share if there is no agreement among the partners prohibiting the assignment. However, the assignee is not entitled to interfere in the management of the partnership business or to require any accounts of the partnership transactions or to inspect the partnership books. The assignee is only entitled to receive the share of profits to which the assigning partner would be entitled. In Ong Kian Loo v. Hock Wah Trading Co. & Ors [1990] 1 MLJ 315, Ong contended that he was a partner in the defendant's firm after taking over all his mother's shares in the partnership. Thus, he had the right to interfere in the administration of the partnershipÊs business. The defendant denied it on the ground that Ong was only an assignee of his motherÊs shares and he had no locus standi to contend as such. The Court decided that Section 33(1) of the Partnership Act 1961 was applicable in this case. Ong was only an assignee to the share of his mother in the firm. Therefore, he had no right to interfere in the administration of the partnership including the right to inspect the partnership books.

188  TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II)

SELF-CHECK 11.1
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. What is the important underlying principle inherent in all partnership agreements? What is the distribution of share of each partner in the capital, profits and losses in the business? Is a partner entitled to be indemnified by the firm for his personal liabilities? What is the right of a partner who gives advance to the firm for its business? Can a partner participate in the management of the business and receive wages or salary? What is the consequence of a partner who uses the partnership property, name or business connection to make secret profit for himself? What is the liability of a partner who competes with the firm in business of the same nature without the consent of other partners? Can a partner assign his share to other persons?

7.

8.

TOPIC 11

LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II)

 189

ACTIVITY 11.1
Discuss the following problem by applying the principle of law on partnership: Car Universal Partners (CUP) was registered in 2004 to carry out the business of the trading of national cars. The partners of the firm are Mark, Cathy and Sarah. The firm managed to acquire a handsome profit due to the national campaign which encouraged people to buy national cars. In the year 2006, the firm agreed to sell their branch at Beruntung since the business was not doing well. Sarah offered to purchase the business in Beruntung as she has knowledge that the state government intended to develop the place as a mass housing project and there was the opportunity to have a good market for cartrading. Sarah purchased the branch and withdrew from being the partner of CUP. The fact that Sarah has been very successful in Beruntung and with the development in Beruntung itself, has come to the knowledge of all other partners in CUP. The partners claimed that Sarah has not disclosed the information to the firm with the intention to get the sole profit for herself. Advise Mark and Cathy.

11.4

PARTNERSHIP PROPERTY

It is important to determine whether the property used in the course of the firm's business is the property of partnership or the individual partnerÊs property. Section 22 and 23 of the Partnership Act, 1961 provide the rules on this issue. Section 22(1) states that, "all property and rights and interests in property originally brought into the partnership stock or acquired, whether by purchase or otherwise, on account of the firm or for the purposes and in the course of the partnership business, are called in this Act as partnership property and must be held and applied by the partners exclusively for the purposes of the partnership and in accordance with the partnership agreement....". According to Section 23, unless the contrary intention appears, property bought using firmÊs money is deemed to have been bought on account of the firm.

190  TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II)

From the statutory provisions and the decided case-laws, the following conclusions may be made: (a) Whether the property brought into the firm is a partnership property or property of an individual partner depends on the partnership agreement between the partners. In Miles v. Clark [1953] 1WLR 537, a photographer who carried out his own business brought in a new partner who had many business contacts. There was no clear agreement between the partners. Later, a dispute arose between them and the partnership was dissolved. The Court decided that since there was no clear agreement pertaining to the use of the assets in the partnership, the assets were not partnership properties but owned individually by the partners who brought them into the firm. (b) If there is no agreement provided for the partnership property, the partners must have the intention to regard the property as a partnership property. The property is intended to be a partnership property when it is purchased using the partnership money, even though it was purchased under a partnerÊs name. The property remains as a partnership property even though it is not used for the partnership business.

In the case of Murtagh v. Castello (1881) T LR Ir 428, it was held that a property bought using partnership asset, although not used in the business, was regarded as a partnership property.

If the property is obtained using an individual partner's money, the property will remain the individual partner's property.

however. such asset is regarded as partnership property. he cannot seize all the partnership property. (d) (e) Consequently. However. Therefore. The facts of every case will be considered in ascertaining whether the property is a partnership property or property of an individual partner. But if a creditor obtains judgement against an individual partner only. the creditor is entitled to obtain an order of court charging that partner's interest in the partnership property (Section 25(1)(2)).TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II)  191 In Ponnukon v. a creditor who has obtained judgement against a firm may seize partnership property. in the execution of judgement. the intention of the firm was to develop the land and not necessarily the land must be owned by the firm to carry out its business. In the absence of specific provisions or proof to show that the property is intended for the partnership. Jebaratnam [1980] 1 MLJ 283. The court. the said land was owned by the respondent as his personal property and was not regarded as a partnership property. dismissed the application on the following grounds:    there was no agreement between the parties that the land was purchased or owned as a partnership property. (c) If certain asset is acquired for the firm. then the property is regarded as the property of an individual partner. and the respondent personally financed the purchase of the land and did not use any partnership money. . However. efforts to get the bank to purchase the land failed and the respondent decided to purchase the land using his money. the appellant had formed a partnership with the respondent to develop a land into a housing area. The appellant applied for a court declaration that the respondent held the land as a trustee to the partnership.

Section 37(a) When a partner is lunatic.192  TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II) 11. except the obligations of the partners to continue to do the necessaries for purpose of dissolution and completing the incomplete activities. Section 37(d) When a partner wilfully or persistently commits a breach of the partnership agreement. or of permanently unsound mind. Section 35 Subject to any agreement between the partners. or by any partner giving notice to the other of his intention to dissolve the partnership. This means all the firm's business cease to operate upon dissolution of a partnership. Section 37(b) When a partner becomes permanently incapable of performing his part in the partnership contract.1: Dissolution of Partnership By expiration of term or notice Section 34 Subject to any agreement between the partners. Section 37(c) When a partner has been guilty of any conduct which affect prejudicially the carrying on of the business.1 below: Table 11. A partnership may also be dissolved if any partner suffers his share of the partnership property to be charged under this Act for his separate debt. By death.5 DISSOLUTION OF PARTNERSHIP A firm ceases to exist when it is dissolved. every partnership is dissolved by the death or bankruptcy of any partner. By supervening illegality Section 36 A partnership is dissolved by the happening of any event which makes it unlawful for the business of the firm to be carried on or for the members of the firm to carry it on in partnership. a partnership is dissolved by the expiration of the term fixed. Section 37(e) When the partnership business can only be carried on at a loss. bankruptcy. Section 37(f) Whenever any circumstance arises that renders it just and equitable (in the opinion of the court) for the partnership to be dissolved. There are several ways in which a partnership may be terminated as shown in the Table 11. charge By court order . or by the termination of an adventure or undertaking. or conducts himself in a manner that is not reasonably practicable for the other partner/s to carry on the business in partnership with him.

2 below: Table 11.2 1. is the property regarded as a partnership property? If a property is obtained using an individual partnerÊs money. Paying debts and liabilities of the firm to non-partners.2: Partnership Accounts Settlement Losses (including losses and deficiencies of capital) Assets of the firm (including sums contributed by the partners to make up for losses or deficiencies of capital) To be paid first out of: 1. 4. the rules to settle the partnership accounts after dissolution are provided in Section 46 of the Partnership Act 1961. Capital. By the partners individually according to their proportion in the sharing of profits. 2. 2. Paying each partner rateably what is due from the firm to him for advances (other than the capital). 2. 3. as simplified in Table 11. Profits. 3. in absence of a specific agreement between partners? . What is meant by a partnership property? If a certain asset is acquired for the firm.6 PARTNERSHIP ACCOUNTS SETTLEMENT Except in situations where there is a specific agreement between the partners. Paying each partner rateably what is due from the firm in respect of capital. To be applied in: 1. SELF-CHECK 11. 5. Ultimate residue (if any) to be divided among the partners according to the division of profits. 3.TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II)  193 11. 4. is the property regarded as a partnership property? What are the ways of termination of a partnership? What is the effect of dissolution of partnership? What are the rules for the settlement of a partnership account after dissolution. 6.

2 Discuss the following problems by applying the principle of law on partnership: (a) Gemilang & Co. Wan. On 23 March 1927. Mulan and Sam. is entitled to 8% interest per annum from the date of the payment of the advance. the business and goodwill of the partnership should become an exclusive right of the surviving partner. Decide whether the shop-house is a partnership property. the three surviving partners applied for a court declaration that the shophouse belonged to them. Every partner who made any payment and incurred personal liabilities in the course of the firmÊs business is entitled to be indemnified by the firm. M served a notice of dissolution to D on the stated date. of 24 March 1927. . Why? M and D were partners in a law firm. Mulan signed the transaction with the consent of the other partners. Wan died and his widow took his position as a partner. When Mulan died. Meanwhile M died at 3. The notice only arrived and was received by D on 10am. The partnership was established under Wan's name. Decide whether the partnership dissolved due to the notice or the death of M. and must contribute equally to losses.15am on 24 March 1927. Every partner who made any advance for the purpose of the firm's business. Joyce. is a trading firm comprising four partners. beyond the capital amount he subscribed. In the year 2000. having still carried on the business under the name of Wan. In 2005.194  TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II) ACTIVITY 11. (b)    Every partner is entitled to equal share of capital and profits of the business. the partners bought a shop-house using partnership money. The partnership agreement provided that on the death of a partner during the partnership period.

No partner is entitled to remuneration for acting in the partnership business. The partnership books are to be kept at the place of partnership business or at the principal place if there is more than one place of business. Whether a property brought into a firm is a partnership property depends on the partnership agreement between the partners. supervening illegality or court order. No partner may introduce another (new) partner without the consent of other existing partners. A partner may assign his share if there is no agreement among the partners prohibiting the assignment. Every partner may participate in the management of the firm. death. A partnership may be dissolved by expiration of a partnership term or notice. bankruptcy and charge. The majority partners may decide any differences as to ordinary matters connected with the firm's business but the changes in the nature of the firm's business must be made with consent of all existing partners. All the partnership businesses cease to operate upon dissolution of a partnership.       Assignment of share Dissolution Incoming partner Outgoing (retiring) partner Partnership accounts Partnership property Uberrimae fidei Utmost good faith .TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II)  195      No partner is entitled to interest on capital before the ascertainment of profits. Every partner must act honestly because the relationship between partners is based on the principle of uberrimae fidei (utmost good faith).

Cases:  Ass v. . Walker (1910) 26 TLR 685. Kok Hok Leong & Anor v. Re Siew Inn Steamship Co. Benham [1891] 2 Ch 244. Seow Kah Cheng & Anor (1950) 16 MLJ 87. Ariya Pathirana [1967] 1 AC 233. Kelly v. Bhd.). Tan Jin Luan [1939] MLJ 286. Ong Kian Loo v. (2007). Hock Wah Trading Co. Tucker (1907) 5 CLR 1.               Gan Khuan v. Murtagh v. Rishton v. Law v. Castello (1881) T LR Ir 428. Senanayake [1962] 1 MLJ 204. Grissell (1868) LR 5 Eq 326. Rahman. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia.196  TOPIC 11 LAW OF PARTNERSHIP (PART II) Text Books: Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. & Vohrah. [1934] MLJ 180. B. Wong Peng Yuen v. Ponnukon v. Miles v. Selangor: Pearson and Longman. Clark [1953] 1WLR 537. Tham Kok Cheong & Ors v.A. Jebaratnam [1980] 1 MLJ 283. The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. Pathirana v. (2000). Low Pui Heng [1966] 2 MLJ 52. Law (1904) All ER 526. Wu M. & Ors [1990] 1 MLJ 315. Highley v. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn.

For Sabah and Sarawak.‰ In effect. 5. Define the meaning of goods. Sabah and Sarawak continue to apply principles of English law relating to the sale of goods.Topic  12 Law of Sale of Goods (Part I) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic. and Identify the importance of transfer of property in the goods. 2. The Sale of Goods Act 1957 was enacted based on the English Sale of Goods Act 1893 (which was replaced by the Sale of Goods Act 1979). and to commercial and private sales. Differentiate a contract of sale and an agreement to sell.  INTRODUCTION The Sale of Goods Act 1957 (Revised 1989) is the statute applicable to sale of goods in Peninsular Malaysia. 3. The general law of contract will continue to apply to contracts for the sale of goods as Section 3 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957 expressly provides for the continual application to contracts for the sale of goods of the . It provides that: „The law to be administered shall be the same as would be administered in England in the like case at the corresponding period. wholesale and retail. The Sale of Goods Act 1957 applies to contracts for the sale of all types of goods including second-hand goods. 4. you should be able to: 1. Describe the classification of goods. the law of sale of goods is governed by Section 5(2) of the Civil Law Act 1956. Explain the implied terms in a contract of sale of goods.

goods which form the subject of a contract of sale may be either existing goods or future goods. 1957 means „every kind of movable property other than actionable claims and money and includes stocks and shares. Existing goods are goods already owned or possessed by the seller and may comprise specific or unascertained goods. 12. 12.‰ A contract of sale includes a sale and an agreement to sell. the contract is called a sale.1 DEFINITION OF GOODS Goods under Section 2 of the Sale of Goods Act. Ascertained goods are those unascertained goods which have been identified and appropriated to the contract after the contract has been made.198  TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I) provisions of the Contracts Act 1950 „in so far as they are not inconsistent with the express provision of this Act‰. growing crops. and things attached to or forming part of the land which agreed to be severed before sale or under the contract of sale.     Goods are specific if they are identified and agreed upon at the time a contract of sale is made.‰ In Section 6 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. grass.2 CONTRACT OF SALE A contract of sale is the transfer of ownership of the goods to the buyer for a money consideration. Section 4(1) of the Sale of Goods Act 1957 defines a contract of sale of goods as: „A contract whereby the seller transfers or agrees to transfer the property in goods to the buyer for a price. What is the difference between a sale and an agreement to sell? According to Section 4(3) of the Sale of Goods Act 1957: „Where under a contract of sale the property in the goods is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Unascertained goods are goods not identified and agreed upon at the time a contract of sale is made. Future goods consist of goods to be manufactured or produced or acquired by the seller after the making of the contract of sale. but where the transfer of the .

the seller can sue for the contract price because ownership has passed to the buyer. A contract is a sale when the ownership or the property in the goods passes to the buyer and it is an agreement to sell where the transfer of the property in the goods is to take place at a future time or subject to some condition to be fulfilled. the breach of which gives rise to a right to treat the contract as repudiated. an owner of certain goods may not have the goods in his possession.‰ Under Section 4(4): „An agreement to sell becomes a sale when the time elapses or the conditions are fulfilled subject to which the property in the goods is to be transferred. the buyer has only a personal remedy for damages against the seller. Alternately. Whereas in a sale. In an agreement to sell. if the buyer breaches an agreement to sell. the contract is called an agreement to sell. the seller may sue for unliquidated damages. A condition under Section 12(2) is: „A stipulation essential to the main purpose of the contract. If the seller breaches an agreement to sell.‰ The above provisions distinguished a sale from an agreement to sell in terms of ownership or „the property in the goods‰. Consequently.3 TERM OF CONTRACT The conditions and warranties in contract of sale of goods are provided in Section 12 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957.‰ . An ownership must also be distinguished from possession.TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I)  199 property in the goods is to take place at a future time or subject to some condition thereafter to be fulfilled. the goods still belong to the seller. if the buyer fails to pay. 12. A person who possesses certain goods may not be the owner of the goods.

in a case where the contract is for specific goods and the property has passed to the buyer. Therefore. The kind of terms implied by statute for the contract of sale of goods are the conditions and warranties provided under the Sale of Goods Act 1957. according to Section 62 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957: „This right. if the usage is to bind both parties to the contract. These conditions and warranties implied in a contract of sale of goods bind the contracting parties. the buyer may waive the condition or elect to treat the breach of the condition as a breach of warranty and not as a ground for treating the contract as repudiated. the buyer cannot reject the goods and repudiate the contract.‰ This means the parties to a contract of sale may exclude the implied terms by the express agreement or by previous dealings or by usage. or by usage.‰ There are circumstances which permit the buyer to treat a breach of condition as a breach of warranty. the breach of which give rise to a claim for damages but not a right to reject the goods and treat the contract as repudiated. Similarly. The stipulation may be a condition. 12. as provided in Section 13(1) of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. are generally accepted incidents of the contract and therefore imported by the courts. duty or liability that would arise under a contract of sale by implication of law may be negatived or varied by express agreement or by the course of dealings between the parties. However.4 IMPLIED TERMS Implied terms are those conditions and warranties implied by the statute into particular contracts. under Section 13(2). though not expressly found in the contract. It provides that: „Where a contract of sale is subject to any condition to be fulfilled by the seller. the buyer and the seller.‰ According to Section 12(4): „Whether a stipulation in a contract of sale is a condition or a warranty depends in each case on the construction of the contract.‰ However. the breach of condition must be treated as a breach of warranty. . though called a warranty in the contract. The terms.200  TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I) A warranty under Section 12(3) is: „A stipulation collateral to the main purpose of the contract. where a contract is not severable and the buyer has accepted the goods or part thereof.

the plaintiff discovered that it was a stolen car and he had to return it to the true owner.TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I)  201 12. the plaintiff bought a car from the defendant. According to the provision. 12. After using the car for four months. In the case of Rowland v Divall [1923] 2 KB 500. An implied warranty that the goods shall be free from any charge or encumbrance in favour of any third party not declared or known to the buyer before or at the time when the contact is made.1 Title Section 14 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957 provides the implied undertaking as to title in a contract of sale. „unless the circumstances of the contract indicate a different intention. he will have a right to sell the goods at the time when the property or ownership is to pass. It provides that: „Where there is a contract for the sale of goods by description.2 Sale of Goods by Description The rule relating to sale of goods by description is provided in Section 15 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. he has a right to sell the goods.‰ . The Court of Appeal held that the defendant had breached the condition as to title and the plaintiff could recover the full price because of total failure of consideration.4. This is because the buyer pays the price of the goods in order to enjoy the ownership as well as the use of the goods. and in the case of an agreement to sell. there is: (a) An implied condition on the part of the seller that in the case of a sale. An implied warranty that the buyer shall have and enjoy quiet possession of the goods.4.‰ (b) (c) A breach of condition entitles the buyer to treat the contract as repudiated and recover the price in full even though he has used the goods. there is an implied condition that the goods shall correspond with the description.

In another case of Beale v. Further flour was ordered. white. goods ordered from a catalogue or if ordered over the counter. 12. even though the total quantity was met. the seller advertised a car as „Herald Convertible.3 Fitness for Purpose and Merchantable Quality Section 16 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957 provides that there is no implied warranty or condition as to the quality or fitness for any particular purpose of goods supplied under a contract of sale except in the following situations: . v Mitsui Bussan Kaisha Ltd (1911) 12 SSLR 67. twin carb⁄‰. Thus. it is not sufficient that the bulk of the goods corresponds with the sample if the goods do not also correspond with the description. Landauer & Co [1921] 2 KB 519. 1961. he discovered that the rear of the car was part of a 1961 Herald Convertible while the front half was part of an earlier model.202  TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I) In addition. In the case of Nagurdas Purshotumdas & Co. The buyer saw the car before he agreed to buy. It was held that it did not comply with the description. by a trade name. previous contracts between the parties for the sale of flour had been sold in bags bearing a well-known trade mark. In the case of Moore & Co v.‰ Sale of goods by description covers all cases where the buyer has not seen the goods but is relying on the description alone. „If the sale is by sample as well as by description. Taylor [1967] 1 WLR 1193. for example. it includes all contracts for the sale of unascertained goods and sale of specific goods which the buyer has not seen prior to the contract. The contract was for 3100 cases of Australian canned fruit packed „30 tins to case‰. the buyers were entitled to reject the goods because half of the cases contained only 24 tins. described as „the same as our previous contract‰.4. Later. It was held that he was entitled to claim damages for breach of the condition. Flour identical in quality was delivered but it did not bear the same well-known trade mark.

The buyer may invoke Section 16(1)(a) if he makes known to the seller the particular purpose for which he acquires the goods and the buyer is relying on the sellerÊs skill and judgement.‰ But in the case of a contract for the sale of a specified article under its patent or other trade name. „Where the buyer. Thus. expressly or by implication. makes known to the seller the particular purpose for which the goods are required. [1939] 1 All ER 685. there is no implied condition as to its fitness for any particular purpose. then it requires no further indication. For example. Otherwise. Goods must be reasonably fit for the buyerÊs purpose. there is an implied condition that the goods shall be reasonably fit for such purpose. Peter Conway Ltd. so as to show that the buyer relies on the sellerÊs skill or judgement. there is no breach of the implied condition if the goods are suitable for their general and normal purpose. they must be bought under their trade name or patent. The above requirements are explained in the following cases: In Griffiths v.TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I)  203   (a) Goods must be reasonably fit for the purpose for which the buyer wants them (Section 16(1)(a)). or Goods must be of merchantable quality (Section 16(1)(b)). She could not claim under this section because the coat would not harm a normal person. If the description of the goods is only for one purpose. a hot water bottle is meant to contain hot boiling water. if it breaks upon filling of hot water. . the buyer must clearly indicate the special purpose for which the goods are to be used. and the goods are of a description which is in the course of the sellerÊs business to supply (whether he is the manufacturer or producer or not). then it is not fit for its purpose. a woman with an abnormally sensitive skin bought a Harris Tweed coat without disclosing to the seller about her abnormality. The goods must also be a description which is in the course of the sellerÊs business to supply and if the goods are specific.

Manganese Bronz and Brass Co Ltd [1934] AC 402. (b) Goods must be of merchantable quality „Where goods are bought by description from a seller who deals in goods of that description (whether he is the manufacturer or producer or not). Hence. the buyer asked the dealer for a car suitable for touring and the dealer recommended a Bugatti car. there is an implied condition that the goods shall be of merchantable quality. there shall be no implied condition as regards defects. . it means the buyer is still relying on the sellerÊs skill. the buyer found that the car was unsuitable for touring. A was held liable for breach of an implied condition since the buyer had informed the seller of the purpose for which he needed the goods and relied on the sellerÊs skill and judgement to provide them. if the buyer purchases goods under its trade name but at the same time relies on the sellerÊs recommendation. Later. there was a contract by A to build a propeller for B in accordance with BÊs specification and to fit a particular ship and its engine. „If the buyer has examined the goods. But if the buyer purchases specific goods under a trade name and gives the impression that he is not relying on the sellerÊs skill. Therefore. which such examination ought to have revealed. they are considered unmerchantable.‰ However.‰ „Merchantable quality‰ means the goods are fit for the particular use in which they were sold. The propeller supplied complied with the specification and design but did not suit the shipÊs engine. The Court of Appeal held that the dealer was liable because the buyer had relied on the dealerÊs judgement in selecting a suitable car for the specific purpose stated by the buyer (even though the car was bought under its trade name). A contract for the sale of the car was made.204  TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I) In the case of Cammell Laird & Co v. Marshall [1925] 1 KB 260. if they are defective for their purpose. then he cannot claim under this section. In Baldry v.

fuel by its trade name ÂCoaliteÊ was ordered from a fuel merchant. It was held that there was an examination and thus the implied condition as to merchantable quality did not apply. Beers & Sons [1913] 1 KB 486. The Court held that the consignment as a whole was unmerchantable. In the proviso to Section 16(1)(b). having defects making it unfit for burning. the buyer had conducted a superficial look at the outside of some barrel of glue. The consignment was contaminated in that a detonator was embedded in the coal. the buyer cannot later complain about the defects which would be revealed by a proper examination. and . In Wilson v.‰ This means if the buyer has conducted some examination before or at the time of the contract. That the buyer shall have reasonable opportunity of comparing the bulk with the sample.TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I)  205 For implied condition as to merchantable quality. The section only requires the goods to be bought by description and bought from a seller dealing with the goods of that description. In the case of Thornett & Fehr v. the implied condition does not apply „where the buyer has examined the goods as regards defects which such examination ought to have revealed. resulting in an explosion in the fire-place when used. Cockerall & Co.4. Ltd [1954] 1 All ER 868. Ricket. there is an implied condition: (a) (b) That the bulk shall correspond with the sample in quality.4 Sale by Sample Section 17 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957 provides that „in a contract for the sale of goods by sample. 12. the buyer need not make known to the seller the particular purpose for which he requires the goods. the implied condition as to merchantable quality is applicable although the implied condition as to fitness is excluded. Where goods are sold under their trade name.

. What is the difference between a sale and an agreement to sell? What are the kind of implied conditions and warranties incorporated in a contract of sale of goods? What is the effect of breach of implied condition and warranty in a contract of sale of goods? Can the party to the contract of sale of goods exclude the implied terms? 2. the buyer is still entitled to reject them. Van Ingen (1887) 12 App.1 1. 3. The three conditions above are independent of one another. future goods. the cloth supplied by the seller was equal to sample previously examined but because of a latent defect not discoverable by a reasonable examination. 4. the Court found the seller in breach of the condition. Cas. 5. In the case of Drummond v. If the bulk corresponds with the sample but there is a latent defect rendering the goods unmerchantable.206  TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I) (c) That the goods shall be free from any defect rendering them unmerchantable which would not be apparent on reasonable examination of the sample. What is the meaning of existing goods. SELF-CHECK 12. specific goods and unascertained goods? Provide examples in your explanation. 284.

After payment. a second-hand car at RM40. Betty was very interested in a sofa set from Italy worth RM15.000 o. Advise Q on her rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1957. After driving the car for almost three months.000. The offer was accepted by B. late 2000‰ model. The car was described as „Toyota.n. were busy shopping for new furniture for their new house. they visited a furniture shop Antique Design. and they agreed to buy the set. brown in colour and consist of one coffee table.000.o. On the day of moving. they were disappointed to see that the sofa set that was delivered was not brown and did not include the coffee table and that the double bed ordered was not of good quality wood. Michael made a payment. a shop selling air conditioners. (b) (c) . After checking the goods and satisfied with their condition. Q responded by offering to buy the car at RM37.000. The seller managed to attract Michael to buy a portable air-conditioner at the price of RM2. Michael and Betty were very disappointed with what had happened and seek your legal advice on what action can be taken on the sellers of the goods. with a guarantee that the air conditioner could be used for the next five years without any problem. the seller promised to deliver the furniture on the day that they were supposed to move into their new house. as he was an expert and experienced in selling furniture. Both the husband and wife also agreed to buy a double bed for their daughters. the portable air conditioner that Michael bought produced a strong noise when it was switched on.1 Discuss the following questions: (a) Michael and his wife Betty. Michael informed the seller that he wanted a double bed made from good quality wood. all of the goods ordered by Michael and Betty were delivered. The set was made from soft leather. Three days before moving. Q now wishes to rescind the contract and seeks your advice on the matter. B placed an advertisement in a local newspaper offering for sale. The seller assured Michael that he would meet MichaelÊs request. Meanwhile. Nevertheless. Q discovered that only the body of the car was of „late 2000‰ model while the engine was from a much earlier model.TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I)  207 ACTIVITY 12. The seller promised to deliver the air conditioner on the day they move to the new house. Michael and Betty also went to Cool Air-Cond.

on the choice of fabric for the dress because she had sensitive skin and was allergic to certain types of fabric.‰ . then the goods are at the buyerÊs risk. Sally engaged a professional tailor to sew the dress suitable for the contest. the goods will remain at the sellerÊs risk until the property in the goods is transferred to the buyer. The transfer of property in the goods is very important because it determines the risk. Sally discovered red spots on her skin. Sally consulted Robin. Sally also claimed for the refund of the cost of the dress from Robin and the medical expenses incurred by her. a well-known fashion designer in town. the goods are at the buyerÊs risk whether delivery has been made or not: Provided that where delivery has been delayed through the fault of either buyer or seller. After the contest. As a general rule. but when the property therein is transferred to the buyer. 12. a contestant in one of the top reality shows in TVReality was preparing for the final contest to become the winner for the new season 2008.5 TRANSFER OF PROPERTY IN THE GOODS AND RISK Property in the goods means title or ownership. When the title or ownership is transferred to the buyer. Thus. Sally went to see Robin and returned the dress because the fabric used for the dress was not fit for the purpose she made known to Robin and caused her skin complaint. the risk passes when the property in the goods passes (notwithstanding whether delivery has been made).000 for the cost of the dress. According to Section 26 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957: „Unless otherwise agreed. Decide whether Sally could claim for the refund of her money from Robin as well as the cost for her medical expenses. Sally paid RM3. the goods remain at the sellerÊs risk until the property therein is transferred to the buyer. the goods are at the risk of the party in fault as regards any loss which might not have occurred but for such fault.208  TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I) (d) Sally. She went to see the doctor and was told that her skin was sensitive to the fabric used for the dress that she had worn for the contest.

where there is a contract for the sale of specific or ascertained goods the property in them is transferred to the buyer at such time as the parties to the contract intend it to be transferred. It is immaterial whether the time of payment of the price or the time of delivery of the goods is postponed. where there is a contract for the sale of specific goods and the seller is bound to do something to the (b) . the general rule is that title passes when the parties to a contract of sale intend it to pass. Unless a different intention appears.1 Effects of the Contract Since the risk passes when the property in the goods passes. where there is an unconditional contract for the sale of specific goods in a deliverable state. is it essential to know when the title passes. 12.5. the goods are at the risk of the party in fault as regards any loss which might not have occurred but for such fault.TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I)  209 This means. the property in the goods passes to the buyer when the contract is made. Section 18 to 23 provide certain rules that determine the time when property in the goods passes to the buyer. the following rules are the rules for ascertaining the intention of the parties as to the time of passing of property in the goods. no property in the goods is transferred to the buyer unless and until the goods are ascertained. A agrees to buy a specific book entitled „Business Law‰ on credit. Under the Sale of Goods Act 1957. (a) Sale of unascertained goods Under Section 18 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. Sale of specific or ascertained goods Under Section 19 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. The title in the book passes to A on the sale even though the payment is postponed. where there is a contract for the sale of unascertained goods. For example. (d) Specific goods to be put into a deliverable state Under Section 21 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. (c) Specific goods in a deliverable state Under Section 20 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. Thus. if delivery has been delayed through the fault of either party.

where there is a contract for the sale of unascertained or future goods by description and goods of that description and in a deliverable state are unconditionally appropriated to the contract. (e) Specific goods in a deliverable state when the seller has to do anything thereto in order to ascertain price Under Section 22 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. (f) Sale of unascertained goods and appropriation Under Section 23 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. For example. separating or weighing from a bulk by the buyer or the seller. but the seller is bound to weigh. Section 23(2) of the Sale of Goods Act 1957 provides that where (in pursuance of the contract) the seller delivers the goods to the buyer or to a . either by the seller with the assent of the buyer or by the buyer with the assent of the seller. A agrees to sell to B all the flour contained in a specific sack for RM3 per kilogram. The title does not pass to B until A weighs the flour and B knows that the flour has been weighed. Appropriation may involve the act of selecting. test. the property does not pass until such act or thing is done and the buyer has notice thereof. Further. The assent may be expressed or implied and may be given either before or after the appropriation is made. and it must be approved by the other party. or do some other act or thing with reference to the goods for the purpose of ascertaining the price. the property in the goods thereupon passes to the buyer. A contract for the sale of unascertained goods is an agreement to sell and not a sale. the property does not pass until such thing is done and the buyer has notice thereof. A agrees to sell a specific computer to B and promises to install the specific software in the disk.210  TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I) goods for the purpose of putting them into a deliverable state. The appropriation must be unconditional and it should pass property in the goods without further requirements (such as payment or price). Future goods mean goods to be manufactured or produced or acquired by the seller after the making of the contract of sale. The duty to appropriate may be placed on the buyer or the seller. measure. The ownership in the computer does not pass to B until A installs the specific software as promised and B must know about the fact that A has done the installation. where there is a contract for the sale of specific goods in a deliverable state. For example. „Unconditionally appropriated to the contract‰ in the provision above means a clear act showing the intention to identify certain goods as attached to the contract and without any condition.

if a time has been fixed for the return of goods. But if no time is fixed. The effect is that property in the goods passes to the buyer at the time when the goods are handed over to a carrier (for example. and if no time has been fixed. then property in the goods will not pass until the goods are actually delivered to the buyer. 5. (ii) Under the second situation above. 4. a transportation company such as shipping. then property in the goods passes upon the expiration of the time. the property in the goods passes to the buyer: (i) when the buyer signifies his approval or acceptance to the seller or does any other act adopting the transaction. (g) Goods sent on approval or „on sale or return‰ Under Section 24 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. or if he does not signify his approval or acceptance to the seller but retains the goods without giving notice of rejection. SELF-CHECK 12. 3. 2. on the expiration of such time.TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I)  211 carrier or other bailee for the purpose of transmission to the buyer. property in the goods passes upon the expiration of a reasonable time. on the expiration of a reasonable time. then. The carrier is the buyerÊs agent for the purpose of delivery. 6. if a time is fixed for the return of the goods. he is deemed to have unconditionally appropriated the goods to the contract. or other similar terms. trucking or railway). and does not reserve the right of disposal. What is the meaning of property in the goods? What is the significance of the transfer of title or ownership in the goods? When does the risk pass to the buyer in a contract of sale of goods? How would you determine the time when the property in the goods passes to the buyer? When is the property in the goods transferred to the buyer in a contract for sale of unascertained goods? When is the title or ownership transferred to the buyer in a contract for sale of a specific or ascertained goods? .2 1. when goods are delivered to the buyer on approval or „on sale or return‰. But if the carrier is the agent of the seller.

Mr IsaacÊs godown caught by fire and it destroyed the whole stock of the flour. What distinguishes a sale from an agreement to sell is in terms of ownership or „the property in the goods‰.      . When Mr HansÊ carrier arrived at the godown. A warranty is a stipulation collateral to the main purpose of the contract. Discuss when did the property in the goods pass and who shall bear the loss. the breach of which gives rise to a right to treat the contract as repudiated. Before the loading could commence. Where the transfer of the property in the goods is to take place at a future time or subject to some condition thereafter to be fulfilled. the buyer and the seller.2 Discuss the following question: 500 tonne metric of flour belonging to a vendor were stored in a godown belonging to Mr.212  TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I) ACTIVITY 12. A condition is a stipulation essential to the main purpose of the contract. Mr Isaac had already set aside the 200 tonne metric of the flour. the breach of which give rise to a claim for damages but not a right to reject the goods and treat the contract as repudiated. the contract is called an agreement to sell. Isaac. The carrier handed the delivery order to Mr Isaac who gave instructions for loading to commence. The parties to a contract of sale may exclude the implied terms by the express agreement or by previous dealings or by usage.    A contract of sale is the transfer of ownership of the goods to the buyer for a money consideration. The vendor sold 200 tonne metric of the flour to Mr Hans and gave him a delivery order addressed to Mr Isaac. Where the property in the goods is transferred from the seller to the buyer. the contract is called a sale. The conditions and warranties implied in a contract of sale of goods bind the contracting parties.

   Beale v. Van Ingen (1887) 12 App. there are implied conditions as regards to title. he has a right to sell the goods. 284. Cammell Laird & Co v. A. There is an implied warranty that the buyer shall have and enjoy quiet possession of the goods and that the goods shall be free from any charge or encumbrance in favour of any third party not declared or known to the buyer before or at the time when the contact is made. The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd Ed. Marshall [1925] 1 KB 260.TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I)  213   In a contract of sale of goods. (2007). and in the case of an agreement to sell. . & Vohrah B. Drummond v. there is an implied condition on the part of the seller that in the case of a sale. sample. Wu M. Cas. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia. Unless the circumstances of the contract indicate a different intention. Taylor [1967] 1 WLR 1193. fitness for particular purpose and merchantable quality.). Cases:  Baldry v. description. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn. thus the goods will remain at the sellerÊs risk until the property in the goods is transferred to the buyer. Bhd. (2000). The risk passes when the property in the goods passes. he will have a right to sell the goods at the time when the property or ownership is to pass.   Agreement to sell Fitness for purpose Implied terms Merchantable quality Property in goods Sample Title Sale of goods Transfer of title Text Books: Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. Manganese Bronz and Brass Co Ltd [1934] AC 402. Selangor: Pearson and Longman. Rahman.

214  TOPIC 12 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART I)       Griffiths v. Landauer & Co [1921] 2 KB 519. Ltd [1954] 1 All ER 868. . Beers & Sons [1913] 1 KB 486. Moore & Co v. Cockerall & Co. v Mitsui Bussan Kaisha Ltd (1911) 12 SSLR 67. Thornett & Fehr v. Wilson v. Nagurdas Purshotumdas & Co. Ricket. [1939] 1 All ER 685. Peter Conway Ltd. Rowland v Divall [1923] 2 KB 500.

5. Explain the effect of sale by a person other than the owner.Topic  13 Law of Sale of Goods (Part II) LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic. there are certain circumstances provided by the law in which a sale by a person other than the owner may confer a good title in the goods to a bona fide purchaser. Identify the exceptions to the rule of nemo dat quod non habet. you should be able to: 1. . Describe the rule of nemo dat quod non habet. 3. the rule of nemo dat quod non habet and the exceptions. Subsequently. However. It focuses on the transfer of title. The rule relating to the transfer of title protects the right of ownership whereby the right of the original owner is preserved. 4. the rules relating to the performance of contract of sale of goods are important in determining the rights of the seller and buyer in cases of breach by either party to the contract. and Discuss the remedies available to the seller and buyer for breach of contract of sale of goods. the performance of the contract of sale of goods and the remedies available to the seller and buyer for breach of contract. Explain the rules relating to the performance of contract of sale. 2.  INTRODUCTION This topic is a continuation of the previous topic on the law of sale of goods.

In the case of Lim Chui Lai v.1 TRANSFER OF TITLE BY SELLER WHO IS NOT THE OWNER AND ITS EXCEPTIONS For the purpose of the transfer of title in the contract of sale of goods. the buyer will not acquire a title in the goods he purchases. and who does not sell them under the authority or with the consent of the owner. Consequently. he therefore could not transfer any title to the appellant. The exceptions are provided in the following provisions under the Sale of Goods Act 1957. Under the contract. the buyer acquires no better title to the goods than the seller had. This means the buyer can only acquire a good title in the goods if he purchases from the owner of the goods. . Since Ahmad had no title to the goods or authority to sell them. where goods are sold by a person who is not the owner thereof. They brought the materials for the projects and delivered them to the construction site. However. there are a few exceptions to the rule of nemo dat quod non habet (refer to Figure 13. Later.. When they attempted to sell the materials. Zeno Ltd [1964] 30 MLJ 314. The maxim is nemo dat quod non habet. In an action for conversion. Section 27 provides the rule that no one can transfer a better title than the seller himself. Zeno Ltd would provide Ahmad with all the materials for the culverts construction.‰ This rule protects the right of ownership. The wordings of Section 27 are as follows: „Subject to this Act and of any other law for the time being in force. they discovered that the materials had been sold by Ahmad to Lim Chui Lai. the Federal Court held that Ahmad was merely the bailee and not the owner of the goods at the time he sold them to the appellant. Zeno Ltd entered into an agreement with a contractor named Ahmad who had secured contracts from the Petaling Jaya Authority for construction of culverts. AhmadÊs contracts with Petaling Jaya Authority were cancelled whereupon Zeno Ltd informed the authority that the materials on the site belonged to them. if the buyer purchases the goods from a person who is not the owner of the goods or a person who does not sell the goods under the ownerÊs authority...1. the appellant in this action. The right of the original owner is preserved and the suit for the tort of conversion can be taken against an unauthorised seller and an innocent purchaser.216  TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II) 13.

Wrightcars Ltd [1925] 1 NZLR 77.1 Estoppel The provision for estoppel can be found under Section 27 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957 which states that „.Z. Later. . The parties agreed that the ownership of the car was not to pass until A received the price. B tendered a cheque as payment and was given possession of the car. A agreed to sell a car to B. However. The title had passed to C. the cheque given to A by B was dishonoured and A repossessed the car. Securities & Finance Ltd v. N. C contacted AÊs office and C was informed by AÊs employee that B had paid for the car. C then sued A for conversion and was successful in claiming that A was precluded by his conduct from denying BÊs authority to sell.. B sold the car to C.unless the owner of the goods is by his conduct precluded from denying the sellerÊs authority to sell‰. The following case illustrates the estoppel principle..TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II)  217 Figure 13. This means if the owner of the goods through his conduct makes the buyer believes that the person who sells the goods has the authority to sell.1.1: Exceptions to the rule of nemo dat quad non habet 13. Before the sale to C was finalised.. then the buyer will acquire a good title of the goods..

Tracey sold the refrigerator to a friend of hers (Dewi) who bought it in good faith and did not know that the refrigerator was jointly owned by Tracey and Sheila. According to Section 28: „If one of several joint-owners of goods has the sole possession of them by permission of the co-owners. or to raise money on the security of goods. Also. Sheila and Tracey are joint-owners of one refrigerator which they bought a year ago. any sale made by him when acting in the ordinary course of business of a merchantile agent shall be as valid as if he were expressly authorised by the owner of the goods to make the same. . provided that the buyer acts in good faith and has not. the property in the goods is transferred to any person who buys them in good faith and has no notice at the time of the contract that the seller has no authority to sell. or to consign goods for the purpose of sale. Sheila agreed at the time when she moved out that the refrigerator is to be kept and used by Tracey who will still occupy the house. an auctioneer or a dealer of goods for commission are the examples of merchantile agents. in possession of the goods or of a document of title to the goods.1. at the time of the contract of sale.‰ For example. Later. The ownership of the refrigerator is transferred to Dewi. Mr Justin. The relevant provision is found in the Proviso to Section 27 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957: „Provided that where a merchantile agent is. notice that the seller has no authority to sell.‰ It is important that the merchantile agent must be in possession of the goods or the documents of title to goods at the time of disposition and the possession must be with the consent of the owner. or to buy goods. 13.1. with the consent of the owner. A broker.3 Sale by One of Joint Owners The provision for this exception is found in Section 28 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957.2 Sale by a Merchantile Agent An agent under the agency contract may pass a good title when selling his principalÊs goods provided he is acting within his actual or usual (apparent) authority. A merchantile agent is an agent having in the customary course of business authority either to sell goods. Sheila has just moved out from the house that they both rented from the landlord. the disposition must be made when acting in the ordinary course of business of a merchantile agent and the buyer must not have notice of the agentÊs lack of authority to sell.218  TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II) 13.

fraud.5 Sale by a Seller in Possession After Sale The exception is provided in Section 30(1) of the Sale of Goods Act 1957.1. Under this exception. which states that: „Where a person. Thus. having sold goods. It provides that: „Where the seller of goods has obtained possession under a contract voidable under Section 19 or Section 20 of the Contracts Act 1950. when the consent of the original owner is caused by coercion. but the contract has not been avoided at the time of the sale. pledge or other disposition thereof to any person receiving the same in good faith and without notice of the previous sale shall have the same effect as if the person making the delivery or transfer were expressly authorised by the owner of the goods to make the same‰. the buyer acquires a good title to the goods provided he buys them in good faith and without notice of the sellerÊs defect of title.TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II)  219 13. 13.1. of the goods or documents of title under any sale. but the contract has not been rescinded at the time of the sale. the second buyer gets a good title while the original buyer loses his. misrepresentation or undue influence. a seller who remains in possession of the goods or of the documents of title for the goods which he had sold can pass a good title to a bona fide purchaser. 13.1.‰ Where the seller of goods has obtained possession under a voidable contract.6 Sale by a Buyer in Possession after Sale The exception is provided in Section 30(2) of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. This provision applies to contracts which are voidable. The seller must have sold the goods to the buyer before the original owner rescinded the voidable contract. the buyer acquires a good title to the goods provided he buys them in good faith and without notice of the seller's defect of title.4 Sale under a Voidable Contract Sale by a person in possession of goods under a voidable contract is provided in Section 29 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. continues or is in possession of the goods or of the documents of title to the goods. whereby: . the delivery or transfer by that person or by a mercantile agent acting for him.

Hence. . Although he was given possession of the car. delivery by instalments. and acceptance of goods. the original buyer was in possession with consent of the plaintiffs. the delivery or transfer by that person or by a mercantile agent acting for him of the goods or documents of title under any sale.‰ This means if a buyer having bought or agreed to buy goods. place of delivery. having bought or agreed to buy goods.220  TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II) „Where a person. Duties of seller and buyer (Section 31) It is the duty of the seller to deliver the goods and of the buyer to accept and pay for them in accordance with the terms of the contract of sale.2 PERFORMANCE OF CONTRACT Chapter IV of the Sale of Goods Act 1957 deals with the performance of contract of sale of goods that covers the rules relating to:       delivery of goods. The Court of Appeal held that A. it was agreed that the property would not pass until the cheque was honoured. delivery to carrier or wharfingers. obtains. Williams [1965] 1 QB 560. pledge. obtains possession of the goods or the documents of title with the consent of the seller. he can pass a good title to a subsequent bona fide purchaser. wrong quantity or mix of goods delivered. with the consent of the seller. 13. possession of the goods or the documents of title to the goods. he could pass a good title to B who then transferred it to the defendant. or other disposition thereof to any person receiving the same in good faith and without notice of any lien or other right of the original seller in respect of the goods shall have effect as if such lien or right did not exist. The plaintiffs attempted to recover the car from the defendant. the plaintiffs sold a car to A who paid by cheque. time of delivery. The cheque was dishonoured and the plaintiffs rescinded the contract but A had sold the car to B who bought it without knowledge of the fact. B then resold the car to the defendant. In the case of Newtons of Wembley Ltd v.

that is to say. What is a reasonable hour is a question of fact. and the buyer shall be ready and willing to pay the price in exchange for possession of the goods. Unless otherwise agreed. the seller of goods is not bound to deliver them until the buyer applies for delivery. delivery of the goods and payment of the price are concurrent conditions. and goods agreed to be sold are to be delivered at the place at which they are at the time of the agreement to sell. or. goods sold are to be delivered at the place at which they are at the time of the sale. the seller shall be ready and willing to give possession of the goods to the buyer in exchange for the price. express or implied. but no time for sending them is fixed. there is no delivery by seller to buyer unless and until such third person acknowledges to the buyer that he holds the goods on his behalf: Provided that nothing in this section shall affect the operation of the issue or transfer of any document of title to goods. Where the goods at the time of sale are in the possession of a third person. Delivery (Section 33) Delivery of goods sold may be made by doing anything which the parties agree shall be treated as delivery or which has the effect of putting the goods in the possession of the buyer or of any person authorised to hold them on his behalf. Apart from any such contract. if not then in existence. between the parties. Buyer to apply for delivery (Section 35) Apart from any express contract. Demand or tender of delivery may be treated as ineffectual unless made at a reasonable hour.TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II)  221 Payment and delivery are concurrent conditions (Section 32) Unless otherwise agreed. Rules as to delivery (Section 36) (a) Whether it is for the buyer to take possession of the goods or for the seller to send them to the buyer is a question depending in each case on the contract. Where under the contract of sale the seller is bound to send the goods to the buyer. the seller is bound to send them within a reasonable time. at the place at which they are manufactured or produced. (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) . the expenses of and incidental to putting the goods into a deliverable state shall be borne by the seller.

delivery of the goods to a carrier. If the buyer accepts the whole of the goods so delivered. (b) Delivery to carrier or wharfingers (Section 39) (a) Where in pursuance of a contract of sale. or whether it is a severable breach giving rise to a claim for compensation but not to a right to treat the whole contract as repudiated. or may reject the whole. or he may reject the whole. for the purpose of transmission to the buyer. the seller is authorised or required to send the goods to the buyer. or delivery of the goods to wharfinger for safe custody. he shall pay for them at the contract rate. This section is subject to any usage of trade. Where the seller delivers to the buyer a quantity of goods larger than he contracted to sell. (b) (c) (d) Instalment deliveries (Section 38) (a) Unless otherwise agreed. special agreement or course of dealing between the parties. whether the breach of contract is a repudiation of the whole contract. is prima facie deemed to be a delivery of the goods to the buyer. Where the seller delivers to the buyer the goods he contracted to sell mixed with goods of a different description not included in the contract. the buyer may accept the goods included in the contract and reject the rest. . but if the buyer accepts the goods so delivered. he shall pay for them at the contract rate. the buyer may reject them. the buyer of goods is not bound to accept delivery thereof by instalments. Where there is a contract for the sale of goods to be delivered by stated instalments which are to be separately paid for. and the seller makes no delivery or defective delivery in respect of one or more instalments. the buyer may accept the goods which are in accordance with the contract and reject the rest.222  TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II) Delivery of wrong quantity (Section 37) (a) Where the seller delivers to the buyer a quantity of goods less than he contracted to sell. whether named by the buyer or not. or the buyer neglects or refuses to take delivery of or pay for one or more instalments. it is a question in each case depending on the terms of the contract and the circumstances of the case.

he retains the goods without intimating to the seller that he has rejected them. . or may hold the seller responsible in damages. on request.TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II)  223 (b) Unless otherwise authorised by the buyer.3 REMEDIES FOR BREACH 13. in circumstances in which it is usual to insure. to accept goods and to pay for the goods. or when the goods have been delivered to him and he does any act in relation to them which is inconsistent with the ownership of the seller. Unless otherwise agreed. after the lapse of a reasonable time. the buyer may decline to treat the delivery to the carrier or wharfinger as a delivery to himself. to afford the buyer a reasonable opportunity of examining the goods for the purpose of ascertaining whether they are in conformity with the contract. and the goods are lost or damaged in course of transit or whilst in the custody of the wharfinger. he is not deemed to have accepted them unless and until he has had a reasonable opportunity of examining them for the purpose of ascertaining whether they are in conformity with the contract.3. Unless otherwise agreed. If the seller omits to do so. the seller shall make such contract with the carrier or wharfinger on behalf of the buyer as may be reasonable having regard to the nature of the goods and the other circumstances of the case. where goods are sent by the seller to the buyer by a route involving sea transit. and if the seller fails to do so. he is bound. 13.1 Breach by the Buyer Breach of contract of sale of goods by the buyer includes the buyerÊs failure to take delivery. when the seller tenders delivery of goods to the buyer. the seller shall give such notice to the buyer as may enable him to insure them during sea transit. or when. (b) Acceptance (Section 42) The buyer is deemed to have accepted the goods when he intimates to the seller that he has accepted them. (c) Buyer's right of examining the goods (Section 41) (a) Where goods are delivered to the buyer which he has not previously examined. the goods shall be deemed to be at his risk during such sea transit.

the seller may sue him for the price of the goods. A seller of goods is deemed to be an unpaid seller within the meaning of the Act and the rights of the unpaid seller are detailed out in the following provisions of the Act. and also for a reasonable charge for the care and custody of the goods: Provided that nothing in this section shall affect the rights of the seller where the neglect or refusal of the buyer to take delivery amounts to a repudiation of the contract. as follows: Unpaid seller defined (Section 45) (a) The seller of goods is deemed to be an "unpaid seller" within the meaning of this Act: (i) when the whole of the price has not been paid or tendered. .224  TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II) Liability of buyer for neglecting or refusing delivery of goods (Section 44) When the seller is ready and willing to deliver the goods and requests the buyer to take delivery. (b) Damages for non-acceptance (Section 56) Where the buyer wrongfully neglects or refuses to accept and pay for the goods the seller may sue him for damages for non-acceptance. within a reasonable time after such request.2 Rights of Unpaid Seller against the Goods (Seller’s Remedies) The Sale of Goods Act 1957 provides remedies to the seller who can sue the buyer for the price of the goods or damages for non-acceptance of the goods. the seller may sue him for the price although the property in the goods has not passed and the goods have not been appropriated to the contract.3. take delivery of the goods. Where under a contract of sale the price is payable on a day certain irrespective of delivery and the buyer wrongfully neglects or refuses to pay such price. 13. he is liable to the seller for any loss occasioned by his neglect or refusal to take delivery. Suit for price (Section 55) (a) Where under a contract of sale the property in the goods has passed to the buyer and the buyer wrongfully neglects or refuses to pay for the goods according to the terms of the contract. and the buyer does not.

(b) The seller may exercise his right of lien notwithstanding that he is in possession of the goods as agent or bailee for the buyer. has. in addition to his other remedies. a right of stopping the goods in transit after he has parted with the possession of them. or is directly responsible for the price. the unpaid seller has. the unpaid seller of goods who is in possession of them is entitled to retain possession of them until payment or tender of the price in the following cases. by implication of law: (i) (ii) a lien on the goods for the price while he is in possession of them. the term "seller" includes any person who is in the position of a seller. but the term of credit has expired. a right of withholding delivery similar to and co-extensive with his rights of lien and stoppage in transit where the property has passed to the buyer. I. the unpaid seller of goods. or (iii) where the buyer becomes insolvent. in case of the insolvency of the buyer. LIEN Seller's lien (Section 47) (a) Subject to this Act. notwithstanding that the property in the goods may have passed to the buyer. an agent of the seller to whom the bill of lading has been endorsed or a consignor or agent who has himself paid. namely: (i) (ii) where the goods have been sold without any stipulation as to credit. as such.TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II)  225 (ii) when a bill of exchange or other negotiable instrument has been received as conditional payment and the condition on which it was received has not been fulfilled by reason of the dishonour of the instrument or otherwise. (b) Where the property in goods has not passed to the buyer. (b) In this topic. Unpaid seller's rights (Section 46) (a) Subject to this Act and of any law for the time being in force. and/or (iii) a right of resale as limited by this Act. . where the goods have been sold on credit. for instance.

II. STOPPAGE IN TRANSIT Right of stoppage in transit (Section 50) Subject to this Act when the buyer of goods becomes insolvent the unpaid seller who has parted with the possession of the goods has the right of stopping them in transit. when the buyer or his agent lawfully obtains possession of the goods. (b) (c) . the transit is at an end and it is immaterial that a further destination for the goods may have been indicated by the buyer. that is to say. does not lose his lien by the only reason that he has obtained a decree for the price of the goods. the transit is at an end. Termination of lien (Section 49) (a) The unpaid seller of goods loses his lien thereon: (i) when he delivers the goods to a carrier or other bailee for the purpose of transmission to the buyer without reserving the right of disposal of the goods. he may exercise his right of lien on the remainder. If the buyer or his agent in that behalf obtains delivery of the goods before their arrival at the appointed destination.226  TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II) Part delivery (Section 48) Where an unpaid seller has made part delivery of the goods. Duration of transit (Section 51) (a) Goods are deemed to be in course of transit from the time when they are delivered to a carrier or other bailee for the purpose of transmission to the buyer. until the buyer or his agent in that behalf takes delivery of them from such carrier or other bailee. he may resume possession of the goods as long as they are in the course of transit. or (ii) (iii) by waiver thereof. and may retain them until payment or tender of the price. the carrier or other bailee acknowledges to the buyer or his agent that he holds the goods on his behalf and continues in possession of them as bailee for the buyer or his agent. (b) The unpaid seller of goods. having a lien thereon. If after the arrival of the goods at the appointed destination. unless such part delivery has been made under such circumstances as to show an agreement to waive the lien.

TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II)  227 (d) If the goods are rejected by the buyer and the carrier or other bailee continues in possession of them. Such notice may be given either to the person in actual possession of the goods or to his principal. When notice of stoppage in transit is given by the seller to the carrier or other bailee in possession of the goods. the transit is not deemed to be at an end. Where the carrier or other bailee wrongfully refuses to deliver the goods to the buyer or his agent in that behalf. or by giving notice of his claim to the carrier or other bailee in whose possession the goods are. by the exercise of reasonable diligence. (b) Effect of sub-sale or pledge by buyer (Section 53) (a) Subject to this Act. then. may communicate it to his servant or agent in time to prevent a delivery to the buyer. he shall redeliver the goods to or according to the directions of the seller. The expenses of such redelivery shall be borne by the seller. When the goods are delivered to a ship chartered by the buyer. the unpaid seller's right of lien or stoppage in transit is not affected by any sale or other disposition of the goods which the buyer may have made unless the seller has assented thereto: Provided that where a document of title to goods has been issued or lawfully transferred to any person as buyer or owner of the goods and that person transfers the document to a person who takes the document in good faith and for consideration. the notice. shall be given at such time and in such circumstances that the principal. the unpaid seller's right of lien or stoppage in transit is (b) . the transit is deemed to be at an end. unless such part delivery has been given in such circumstances as to show an agreement to give up possession of the whole of the goods. to be effectual. even if the seller has refused to receive them back. In the latter case. whether they are in the possession of the master as a carrier or as agent of the buyer. it is a question depending on the circumstances of the particular case. Where part delivery of the goods has been made to the buyer or his agent in that behalf. the remainder of the goods may be stopped in transit. if such last-mentioned transfer was by way of sale. (e) (f) (g) How stoppage in transit is effected (Section 52) (a) The unpaid seller may exercise his right of stoppage in transit either by taking actual possession of the goods.

If such notice is not given. the unpaid seller shall not be entitled to recover such damages and the buyer shall be entitled to the profit. or where the unpaid seller who has exercised his right of lien or stoppage in transit gives notice to the buyer of his intention to resell. the unpaid seller may require the pledgee to have the amount secured by the pledge satisfied in the first instance. if any. Where the seller expressly reserves a right of resale in case the buyer should make default and. as far as possible. notwithstanding that no notice of the resale has been given to the original buyer. but without prejudice to any claim which the seller may have for damages. out of any other goods or securities of the buyer in the hands of the pledgee and available against the buyer. the original contract of sale is thereby rescinded. the unpaid seller's right of lien or stoppage in transit can only be exercised subject to the rights of the transferee. RESALE Sale not generally rescinded by lien or stoppage in transit (Section 54) (a) Subject to this section. if the buyer does not within a reasonable time pay or tender the price. but the buyer shall not be entitled to any profit which may occur on the resale. a contract of sale is not rescinded by the mere exercise by an unpaid seller of his right of lien or stoppage in transit. Where the goods are of a perishable nature. (c) Where the transfer is by way of pledge. the buyer acquires a good title thereto as against the original buyer. as follows: .228  TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II) defeated. if such last-mentioned transfer was by way of pledge or other disposition for value.3 Breach by the Seller and the Buyer’s Remedies The Sale of Goods Act 1957 provides certain remedies to the buyer when the seller breaches the contract of sale of goods. III. resell the goods within a reasonable time and recover from the original buyer damages for any loss occasioned by his breach of contract. on the buyer making default. Where an unpaid seller who has exercised his right of lien or stoppage in transit resells the goods. (b) (c) (d) 13. on the resale. and. resells the goods.3. the unpaid seller may.

the buyer is not by reason only of such breach of warranty entitled to reject the goods. The fact that a buyer has set up a breach of warranty in diminution of the price does not prevent him suing for the same breach of warranty if he has suffered further damage. payment of the price or otherwise. the court may. but he may: (i) (ii) (b) set up against the seller the breach of warranty in diminution or extinction of the price. The decree may be unconditional.TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II)  229 Damages for non-delivery (Section 57) Where the seller wrongfully neglects or refuses to deliver the goods to the buyer. as the court may deem just. by its decree direct that the contract shall be performed specifically. or sue the seller for damages for breach of warranty. Specific performance (Section 58) Subject to Chapter II of the Specific Relief Act 1950. in any suit for breach of contract to deliver specific or ascertained goods. the buyer may sue the seller for damages for non-delivery. on the application of the plaintiff. or upon such terms and conditions as to damages. Remedy for breach of warranty (Section 59) (a) Where there is a breach of warranty by the seller. and the application of the plaintiff may be made at any time before the decree. or where the buyer elects or is compelled to treat any breach of a condition on the part of the seller as a breach of warranty. without giving the defendant the option of retaining the goods on payment of damages. if it thinks fit. .

3. 5 kg of cucumbers and 2 kg of vegetables were completely destroyed when the van used to deliver them skidded into a river. On the sixth day of his business. 30 kg of coconut milk. the remaining 10 kg of coconut milk.1 1. 6. 7. Advise Che Wan and Cik Jah on their legal rights under the contract of sale of goods. 5. a seller specialising in the supply of coconut milk and fresh vegetables.230  TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II) SELF-CHECK 13. Cik Jah agreed to supply Che Wan (on daily basis) with 40 kg of coconut milk. Under the contract. Che Wan refused to pay for all the items to Cik Jah. She entered into a contract with Cik Jah. Che Wan had agreed to this arrangement after being shown samples of the items by an agent of Cik Jah. 4. 8. 15 kg of cucumbers and 10 kg of vegetables. What is the meaning of the maxim nemo dat quod non habet? Can a seller other than the owner transfer an ownership in the goods to a purchaser? What is the effect of a transfer of property in the goods by a seller who is not the owner? Are there any exceptions to the rule of nemo dat quod non habet? Can a buyer acquire a good title to the goods from a seller under a voidable contract? What is meant by a bona fide purchaser? What are the rights of an unpaid seller under the statute? What are the remedies available to the buyer when the seller breaches the contract of sale of goods? ACTIVITY 13. . 10 kg of cucumbers and 8 kg of vegetables were delivered in bad condition and could not be used. 2. Later the same day.1 Discuss the following questions: (a) Che Wan has just started her food catering business and served some common Malaysian specialties.

place and time of delivery and quantity of goods delivered. Advise Samuel on his right to retain the car. or to raise money on the security of goods. or to consign goods for the purpose of sale. A seller who remains in possession of the goods or of the documents of title of the goods can pass a good title to a bona fide purchaser. If a seller of goods obtained possession under a voidable contract. to accept goods and to pay for the goods. or to buy goods. Breach of contract of sale of goods by the buyer includes the buyerÊs failure to take delivery. The performance of contract of sale of goods covers the rules relating to delivery of goods. Sarah wished to obtain the car and went to see Samuel for such purpose. However. Rafique sold a car that he possessed as joint-owner with his wife (Sarah) to Samuel at the price of RM30. the buyer acquires a good title to the goods provided he buys them in good faith and without notice of the sellerÊs defect of title.TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II)  231 (b) Last August. Remedies available to the seller include a suit against the buyer for the price of the goods or damages for non-acceptance of the goods. A buyer who obtains possession of the goods or the documents of title with the consent of the seller can pass a good title to a subsequent bona fide purchaser. Samuel refused to allow Sarah to take the car for the reason that the payment for the car had been given to Rafique and he had no knowledge about Sarah not consenting to the sale.    Nemo dat quod non habet means no one can transfer a better title than he has himself.        .000. A merchantile agent is an agent having in the customary course of business authority either to sell goods. which disappointed her very much. Purchaser will acquire a good title of the goods if the owner of the goods makes the buyer believe that the person who sells the goods has the authority to sell. Purchaser can only acquire a good title in the goods if he purchases from the owner of the goods. The sale was made without the knowledge of Sarah.

. & Vohrah. (2000). The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. N.A. Cases:    Lim Chui Lai v. Williams [1965] 1 QB 560. Wrightcars Ltd [1925] 1 NZLR 77.). Securities & Finance Ltd v. Rahman. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn. Zeno Ltd [1964] 30 MLJ 314. B.232  TOPIC 13 LAW OF SALE OF GOODS (PART II) Delivery Estoppel Lien Performance Remedies Resale Stoppage in transit Nemo dat quod non habet Payment Unpaid seller Text Books: Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. Newtons of Wembley Ltd v. Bhd.Z. (2007). Wu M. Selangor: Pearson and Longman.

Topic  Law of 14 14 Hire-Purchase LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this topic. . 6. Identify the rights and liabilities of owner and hirer. Pawn Brokers Act 1974.  3. Define the meaning of hire-purchase. For instance. Takaful Act 1963 and Cooperative Societies Act 1948. 4. you should be able to: 1. Islamic Banking Act 1983. 5. Describe the formation and nature of hire-purchase agreement. a financial institution) will hire the goods to the hirer (purchaser) and the hirer has an option to return the goods and terminate the contract or buy the goods upon completion of the agreed period. In Malaysia. the hire-purchase transaction is governed by the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. Consumer credits in Malaysia are governed by various statutes depending on the types of goods involved. Describe the parties involved in hire-purchase. regulates the rights and liabilities of the owner and hirer and procedures for repossession of the goods.  INTRODUCTION Hire-purchase is part of consumer credits. Insurance Act 1963. Hire-purchase is basically a purchase through credit in which the hirer purchases by way of instalment. and Explain the procedure for repossession of goods under hire-purchase agreement. 2. Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989. Understand the important terms in hire-purchase agreement. the Moneylenders Act 1957. The owner (for instance. The HirePurchase Act provides for standard form of agreement for hire-purchase.

motor cars (for example taxi cabs and hire cars). motor cycles. Therefore. However. goods vehicles (the maximum permissible laden weight does not exceed 2540 kilograms) and buses (including stage buses). „A letting of goods with an option to purchase and an agreement for the purchase of goods by instalments (whether the agreement describes the instalments as rent or hire or otherwise). and Motor vehicles including invalid carriages. this seller does not offer payment by instalment to the purchaser. before delivery of the goods or at the time of delivery. 14. In hire-purchase. as follows: (a) (b) All consumer goods.‰ (b) The above provision explains that hire-purchase is: (a) (b) Letting of goods with an option to purchase.2 MEANING OF GOODS UNDER THE HIRE PURCHASE ACT 1967 The First Schedule of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 lists down several types of goods that come within the meaning of goods under the Act. or under which the person by whom the goods are being hired or purchased is a person who is engaged in the trade or business of selling goods of the same nature or description as the goods comprised in the agreement. the seller will sell the goods to a finance company which will subsequently hire the goods to the purchaser under the hire-purchase terms. but does not include any agreement: (a) whereby the property in the goods comprised therein passes at the time of the agreement or upon or at any time before delivery of the goods. Thus. property in the goods does not pass at the time of the agreement.1 DEFINITION OF HIRE-PURCHASE In Section 2(1) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. there will be an original sale between a seller and and a finance company and a hire-purchase agreement between a purchaser and a finance company. there would be a seller or dealer who offers the goods for sale to a purchaser. In hirepurchase agreement. . hire-purchase is defined as.234  TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE 14. and An agreement for the purchase of goods by instalments.

the appellantÊs action in taking possession of the tractor when the respondent defaulted in making instalment payments was against the law. In the case of Tractors Malaysia Bhd v Kumpulan Pembinaan Malaysia Sdn. According to the agreement. provided that both the owner and the hirer agreed to be bound by the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. the hire-purchase transaction is a form of contract in which the owner releases the goods to the buyer for hire-purchase with the option given to the buyer whether he wants to return the goods and terminate the contract or opt to purchase upon completion of payment of the said goods. Under common law. The respondent had paid the deposit but it had defaulted in making instalment payments. Therefore. the appellant and the respondent had entered into an agreement to purchase a tractor. The appellant therefore had the right to repossess the tractor on breach of the terms of the agreement by the respondent. Thus. This is due to the fact that the purchase of any other goods which do not fall within the ambit of the First Schedule is controlled by the common law principles. it was clearly the intention of the parties that the property in the tractor was not to pass until full payment is made. [1979] 1 MLJ 129. Consequently. the appellant took possession of the tractor.TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE  235 Can a purchaser purchase the goods according to the hire-purchase agreement under the Act even though the said goods do not fall within the above schedule? The answer is in the affirmative. The respondent contended that the agreement between the respondent and the appellant was not a hire-purchase but an ordinary sale of goods. the hire-purchase agreement shall be governed by the common law principles. The Court held that: On a proper construction of the agreement. .Bhd. The appellant claimed for the balance of the amount the respondent had to pay including costs and damages. The respondent paid all the amount claimed by the appellant and the ownership of the tractor had been transferred to the respondentÊs name. if they do not agree. but the respondent had again defaulted in making payments. the appellant agreed to hire the said tractor to the respondent subject to terms and conditions of the agreement and the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. it was not a sale on instalment terms but rather in the nature of a hire-purchase. The respondent then paid all the instalments due and other incidental costs. On the other hand.

1 Pre-contractual Obligations Section 4(1) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 requires an owner to give a prospective hirer a written statement in accordance with the form set out in the Second Schedule of the 1967 Act.1: Formation of a hire-purchase contract 14.1) covers three different stages. Construction of a hire-purchase agreement. as follows: (a) (b) (c) Pre-contractual obligations. failure to observe the obligations shall render the hire-purchase agreement void. he is not obliged to enter into a transaction and therefore is not bound to make any payment for the preparation or service of such statement.3 FORMATION OF THE HIRE-PURCHASE AGREEMENT The formation of a hire-purchase agreement (refer to Figure 14. Figure 14.3. Under Section 4(3). . In the case of a dealer. and Post-contractual obligations. According to Section 4(4). the schedule requires information on the description of goods and a summary of the financial obligations of the prospective hirer.236  TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE 14.

to the agreement. form or document has been duly completed.TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE  237 14. failure to comply with the above requirements shall render the agreement void. and Address where the goods are kept.‰ According to Section 4B(3) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. if any part of the consideration is in the form of other than cash money. Insurance. Payment for vehicle (if any). the hire-purchase agreement must include a table with the following particulars: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) Cash price of the goods.3. dealer. or on behalf of all parties. Section 4B(1) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 requires a hire-purchase agreement to be signed by. Amount of each instalment. Additionally. Amount of deposit paid in cash and other type of consideration given (other than cash). Time for payment for each instalment. agent or person acting on behalf of the owner shall require or cause any intending hirer or his agent to sign a hire-purchase agreement or any other form or document relating to a hire-purchase agreement unless such hire-purchase agreement. Section 4C(1)(c) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 further provides that the following information shall be included in the hire-purchase agreement and failure to comply with this provision will render the agreement void: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) Date of the commencement of hiring. According to Section 4C(1)(b).2 Construction of a Hire-Purchase Agreement Section 4A(1) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 states that any hire-purchase agreement must be in writing. failure to observe this requirement would render the agreement void and the owner will be guilty of an offence. . Delivery cost. the description of such consideration shall be stated in the agreement. Hence. It is important that the hirer must not sign a blank form as the requirement under Section 4B(1) provides that „No owner. Description of the goods. Number of instalments to be paid by the hirer.

(the balance originally payable under the agreement).1 1.238  TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE (f) (g) (h) (i) (j) Total amount in (a) to (e) above. Section 4D(1) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 requires a separate hire-purchase agreement to be prepared for every item. and Total amount payable. As required under Section 5(3). If there are more than one goods. What is the meaning of hire-purchase? How is a hire purchase agreement different from an ordinary contract of sale of goods? How do you describe the relationship between all parties involved in the hire purchase agreement? What is the importance of hire purchase as one of the consumer credits in Malaysia? What are the types of goods that fall within the First Schedule of the Hire Purchase Act 1967? What are the important requirements for the formation of a hirepurchase agreement? . 6. the owner must serve on the hirer a copy of the insurance payment receipt.3. SELF-CHECK 14. 3. 14. 2. The owner must also serve a copy of the policy within seven days of its receipt. such agreement will be unenforceable by the owner.3 Post-Contractual Obligations Section 5(1) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 requires a copy of the hire-purchase agreement to be sent to the hirer and guarantors (if any) within 14 days after it is made. if any part of the total amount payable consists of an amount paid or to be paid under a policy of insurance. Failure to observe the requirement will render the agreement void under Section 4D(2). less the deposit. according to Section 5(1A). Annual percentage rate for term charges. Term charges. 4. Total amount in (f) and (g). 5. Otherwise.

a hirer shall enjoy rights and protections that are available under the statute. the condition of merchantable quality shall not be implied under the following situations: (i) (ii) Where the hirer has examined the goods or a sample and the examination ought to have revealed the defects. The implied condition as to fitness shall not apply to second-hand goods and where exclusion of the implied conditions and warranties as to fitness is expressly spelt out in the agreement. the implied conditions and warranties are similar to the implied conditions and warranties contained in Sections 14. Those rights and protections derived from the implied conditions and warranties as to the goods hired. In general. The goods sold to the hirer must be of merchantable quality (Section 7(2)).1 Implied Conditions Under the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. (b) (iii) (c) The goods must be fit for the hirerÊs purpose (Section 7(3)). the following implied conditions shall be observed in a hire-purchase agreement: (a) The owner has the right to sell the goods at the time when the property is to pass (Section 7(1)(b)). This is provided in Section 7 of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. However. 14.TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE  239 14. If the goods are used items (second-hand goods) and the agreement contains a statement that the goods are second-hand and all conditions and warranties as to quality are expressly negated. and The owner proves that the hirer has acknowledged in writing that the statement was brought to his notice. There is no definition of merchantable quality under the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 but it means the same as Section 16 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957.4 RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS OF HIRERS Once a hire-purchase agreement has been concluded in accordance with the requirements of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967.4. 15 and 16 of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. .

240  TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE 14. The owner is.6 STATUTORY RIGHTS OF THE HIRER Sections 9 to 15 of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 laid down statutory rights of a hirer under the hire-purchase agreement. The rights are summarised in Table 14. The goods are free from any charge or encumbrance created by the owner in favour of any third party (Section 7(1)(c)).1: . a hirer is also entitled to claim against the owner or any person making misrepresentation in the negotiations leading to the hire-purchase agreement. The remedies which the hirer may claim are the right to sue for damages against the dealer or its agent. (b) 14.5 LIABILITY OF OWNER AND DEALER FOR MISREPRESENTATION Apart from the above rights and protections. entitled to be indemnified by the agent or dealer responsible for a misrepresentation. Similar to Section 14(b) of the Sale of Goods Act 1957. quiet possession includes interference by the seller and interference arising from lawful acts of third parties. This is provided in Section 8 of the HirePurchase Act 1967. however.2 Implied Warranties The implied warranties to be observed in a hire-purchase agreement are as follows: (a) The hirer must enjoy quiet possession of the goods (Section 7(1)(a)). and against the owner. This right of hirer cannot be excluded or limited by any contractual term. the right to rescind the hire-purchase agreement.4. 14.

In such circumstance. Passing of right by operation of law Upon the death of a hirer. and (b) The hirer and the assignee to execute and deliver an assignment whereby the assignee is personally liable to: (i) Pay the balance of the instalments. titles and interests under the hire-purchase agreement shall pass to his personal representative who shall comply with the agreement.TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE  241 Table 14. all his rights. and the payment is insufficient to discharge the total amount due. title and interest under a hire-purchase agreement with the consent of an owner. the owner may require that: (a) All defaults under the agreement be made good. Right to appropriation of payment when more than one agreement A hirer has a right to appropriate payments when he has more than one agreement. payment is to be appropriated to satisfy the payment due. prior to that. Failure of the owner to comply with the provision without reasonable cause will deny the ownerÊs right to enforce the following: (a) The agreement against the hirer. However. Section 10 Section 11 Section 12 Section 13 . Right to apply for an order to remove goods A hirer is obliged to keep the goods in a place mentioned in the agreement. and (iii) Pay reasonable costs incurred by the owner in stamping or registering the assignment agreement. If there is no instruction by the hirer. (b) the amount due to the owner. (ii) Observe all conditions of the hire-purchase agreement. However. if it is unreasonably withheld. and (d) the amount derived from interest on overdue instalments. (b) Any right to recover the goods from the hirer. (c) the amount payable under the hire-purchase agreement. The request must be made in writing and the statement must be supplied by the owner to the hirer within fourteen days after the request is received. or without his consent. a hirer may seek permission to move the goods to another location by applying to a Magistrate for an order to remove the goods to the new place.1: Summary of Statutory Rights of Hirer Section 9 Right to a copy of statement of financial position A hirer has a right to request (in writing) the owner to supply him (within fourteen days) a statement containing the following: (a) the amount paid to the owner by the hirer. a hirer has a right to instruct payment to a particular agreement or make payment to any two or more agreements in such proportion as he thinks fit. Right to assign hirerÊs rights under the agreement A hirer may assign his rights. and (c) Any contract of guarantee relating to the agreement.

and (iii) the statutory rebate for insurance (if any). . or (b) at any other place specified for that purpose in the agreement. the hirer may: (a) Introduce a buyer who will pay in cash at a price agreeable to the owner. Upon termination of the agreement. he may terminate the hire-purchase agreement by returning the goods to the owner: (a) at the ownerÊs usual place of business. Section 15 Right to terminate the agreement If the hirer cannot afford to proceed with the instalment payment. or (b) Recover part of his payments where the value of the goods is more than the balance outstanding under the agreement. (ii) the statutory rebate for term charges. or (c) Must pay the owner the difference in sum. or When the hirer has defaulted in making the last payment.242  TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE Section 14 Right to early completion of agreement A hirer has a right to make early settlement of the full purchase price under the hire-purchase agreement provided that the hirer: (a) (b) Gives a written notice to the owner of his intention. The „net balance‰ due refers to the balance payable under the agreement less: (i) the total amount already paid. The Act lays down certain procedures that require mandatory compliance. or (c) at a place mutually agreed by the parties. if the value of the goods is less than the balance outstanding under the agreement. and Pays the owner the „net balance‰ due under the agreement. the owner has the right to repossess the goods from the hirer under the following events: (a) (b) When the hirer has defaulted in making payments for two consecutive months.7 REPOSSESSION OF GOODS BY THE OWNER According to Section 16 of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. Failure to observe such procedures gives the right to the hirer to challenge the validity of the repossession by the owner. or (d) at a place fixed by the court (upon application by the hirer to the Magistrate). 14.

If the hirer fails to act within the period. the owner has to comply with certain procedures as clearly provided by the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. Exception to the requirement of Fourth Schedule notice. At that time. The notice period must not be less than 21 days after the service of the said notice. . the owner must serve a Fourth Schedule notice to the hirer. The hirer defaulted in making monthly instalments and the KUBB had assigned its agent to repossess the car from the hirer without issuing any 4th Schedule Notice to him.TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE  243 14. under Section 16(1A). Mohamed Nor (1988). the accused was a hirer under the hire-purchase agreement with the Finance Company of KUBB. the hirer was holding a sword and another weapon in his hands. the owner can repossess the goods after there have been four consecutive defaults of payment. Section 43 of the HirePurchase Act 1967 stipulates that the service may be done by way of personal service or registered post to the last written address or by substituted service. The agent introduced himself to the hirer and informed the hirer of his intention but the agent had been forced to leave the house of the hirer. In Public Prosecutor v. In the case of death of the hirer. Before the owner proceeds with the repossession.7. as follows: (a) Service of Fourth Schedule notice (Section 16(1)). Held: The act of KUBB to repossess the car without giving any 4th Schedule Notice was considered as invalid procedure under section 16(1) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. According to Section 16(2) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. the service of the Fourth Schedule notice is not necessary if the owner has reasonable ground to believe that the hirer will conceal or remove the goods to another place unknown to the owner.1 Procedures Prior to Repossession Even though the owner has the right to repossess the goods upon occurrence of any of the above situations. the owner will have the right to repossess.

Failure to issue this notice is an offence under Rule 9 of the Regulation. 14. This notice is intended to inform the intention of the owner to take possession of the goods. Held: The Hire-Purchase Act 1967 did not specify any time limit within which an owner must repossess goods after the service of the notice. After 14 days of the service of the Fourth Schedule notice. the hirer contended that the 4th Schedule Notice under Section 16(1) has ceased to have effect.244  TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE In United Manufacturers Sdn Bhd v. whenever approaching the hirer for repossession. the hirer shall not be liable for the cost of repossession. The notice of repossession has been served two days less of the required notice period under section 16(1) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. (b) Notice under Rule 3 of the Hire-Purchase (Recovery of Possession and Maintenance of Records by Owners) Regulation 1976. (c) Compliance or non-compliance of the hirer to the notice (Section 16A). . a notice under Rule 3 of the Regulation shall be served on the hirer. as follows: (a) Personal service of a document acknowledging receipt of the goods (Section 16(4)). cost incidental to repossession and cost of storage. This was due to the repossession that has been effected only after 2 years after the service of notice to the hirer. the appellant repossessed the car purchased by the respondent through hirepurchase. Lee Aik Seng [1978] 1 MLJ 179. If the hirer returns the goods or voluntarily surrenders the goods within 21 days of the Fourth Schedule notice. In Pang Brothers Motors Sdn Bhd v. The court held that: The notice which was served less than 21 days before repossession was invalid.2 Procedures during Repossession There are certain procedures that the owner must comply with. Sulaiman bin Ahmad &Anor [1989] 1 MLJ 482.7.

The purpose of this notice is to inform the hirer of his rights after repossession. or If the repossession is being carried out by the ownerÊs agent or servant. (b) Rule 4 of the Hire-Purchase (Recovery of Possession and Maintenance of Records by Owners) Regulation 1976. he must produce and show his identity card and provide the name and address of the company. he must prepare a short description of the goods and the date. Restriction of selling or disposal of goods on the owner (Section 17).2): (a) The service of Fifth Schedule notice (Section 16(3)). the owner cannot sell or dispose the goods until the expiration of the 21 days notice in the Fifth Schedule. the owner is required to serve the Fifth Schedule notice on the hirer and every guarantor (if any). Without the consent of the hirer. the hirer may give a written notice to the owner to request the owner to redeliver the goods that have been repossessed. his servant or agent or person who is in possession of the goods. (ii) 14. time and place where the repossession of the goods had taken place. The goods may be redelivered to the hirer upon payment of the amount due by the hirer to the owner or when the hirer had remedied any breach of the agreement or had paid the owner the costs and expenses incurred by the owner in remedying the breach. such an agent or servant must likewise produce and show his identity card and also his authority card to the hirer. Within 21 days of the service of the Fifth Schedule notice. Rule 4 lays down the following procedures to be observed by the owner: (i) If the repossession is being carried out by the owner personally. Recovery of goods by the hirer (Section 18(1)(a)(i)). (b) (c) .TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE  245 After the goods had been repossessed by the owner. to the hirer. body or organisation to which he belongs.3 Procedures after Repossession (Rights of the Hirer after Repossession) The following are the rights of the hirer after repossession (refer to Figure 14. firm. his servant or agent or occupant or person who is in possession of the goods.7. Within 21 days after repossession.

2: Timeline for the normal procedure of repossession by owner. (e) (f) (g) Figure 14. the owner has to take the insurance cover in the name of the hirer for the goods under the hirepurchase agreement. For motor vehicles.8 INSURANCE According to Section 26(1) of the Hire-Purchase Act 1967.246  TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE (d) Introduction of cash buyer (Section 18(1)(a)(ii)). The hirer shall be given an option to purchase where the owner intends to sell the goods repossessed otherwise than by public auction. Notice of auction (Section 18(4)(a)). 14. a hirer must inform the owner that he has renewed the policy not less than 14 days before its expiry (Section 26(5)). The hirer has the right to recover the difference in sum where the value of the goods repossessed exceeds the money owed. the hirer is under the duty to insure (Section 26(2)). the cover is taken out throughout the duration of the goods remain under hire-purchase. Option to purchase (Section 18(4)(b)). If the . For renewal of motor vehicle insurance. The hirer can require the owner to sell the goods to a cash buyer introduced by the hirer by giving written notice to the owner. A notice must be given to the hirer if the owner intends to sell the goods repossessed through public auction. For other goods. Recovery of part of hirerÊs payment (Section18(b)). at a price less than the ownerÊs estimated value. For the following years. the obligation of the owner to take insurance cover is for the first year of the agreement.

the owner may proceed to insure the motor vehicle and the hirer must bear the cost (Section 26(6)). 8. 7.TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE  247 hirer fails to renew the policy. SELF-CHECK 14. 6. 5.2 1. 3. 4. 2. 9. What are the implied terms contained in a hire-purchase agreement? Under what situation is a condition of merchantable quality not implied in hire-purchase? What are the rights of a hirer against a dealer or an owner who makes a misrepresentation? What are the statutory rights of a hirer under the hire-purchase agreement? What are the situations that give the right to the owner to repossess goods under hire-purchase? Can the owner repossess goods from the hirer without giving notice? Why? Is the service of notice of repossession under the Fourth and Fifth Schedule mandatory? What are the rights of a hirer after repossession? What is the effect of non-compliance of the repossession procedures laid down under the Hire-Purchase Act 1967? .

Since then. „Get out or youÊll die‰. Discuss whether Ashraf has the right to evict JJ. Zakri. JJ was sent by Jimat Kira Finance to AshrafÊs house to repossess his car. without any notice. Unfortunately. a clerk was terminated from his company two months ago. One day. he was informed by the financier that his car had already been sold to Ali. Discuss the legality of the repossession and the sale of the car to Ali. Due to his financial difficulty. Ashraf has defaulted in making two monthly instalments for the car. Zakri was shocked and immediately surrendered the keys of the car to the three men. while Zakri was driving his car. showed JJ his „parang‰ and said. Ashraf.248  TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE ACTIVITY 14. As a result of the default in payment.1 Discuss the following questions: (a) Explain the procedures for the repossession of goods under a hire purchase agreement as provided in the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. when he was retrenched. Ashraf had no problem paying the instalment of the car until the end of February 2007. he had to settle the instalment arrears with the financier. he bought a car from Citra Merdeka Cycle & Carriage and for the purpose of financing. Three months before he was terminated. Zakri had no other financial means and was unable to pay the monthly instalments for his Myvi car. Zakri managed to borrow money from his friend for the settlement of the arrears. in upholding his right. Ashraf obtained a loan from Jimat Kira Finance Berhad. Ashraf has just started working with a new company after his employment was terminated from the previous company for reason of retrenchment. They claimed that they were instructed by ZakriÊs financier to repossess the car due to his failure to pay the monthly instalments. three men stopped him. The three men told Zakri that if he wanted to claim his car. (b) (c) .

Default in payment of instalment by the hirer gives the owner the right to repossess the goods. Conditions Dealer Goods Hirer Hirer-purchase Owner Repossession Warranties . The hirer must enjoy quiet possesssion of the hire-purchase goods. The owner must have right to sell the hire-purchase goods at the time when the property is to pass. Not all types of goods fall under a hire-purchase agreement. Repossession of goods in hire-purchase requires certain procedures to be followed by the owner.TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE  249                The hire-purchase transaction in Malaysia is governed by the Hire-Purchase Act 1967. The hire-purchase goods must be free from any charge or encumbrance. The hire-purchase goods sold to the hirer must be of merchantable quality. A copy of the hire-purchase agreement must be served on the hirer and guarantor within 14 days after it is made. A hire-purchase agreement must be in writing. The hire-purchase goods must be fit for the hirerÊs purpose. A hirer is entitled to the statutory rights under the Hire-Purchase Act 1967 once a hire-purchase agreement is concluded. A hirer can sue for damages and rescind the hire-purchase agreement in cases of misrepresentation by the owner and dealer. There are certain formalities and procedures to be observed in constructing a valid hire-purchase agreement. There are conditions and warranties implied in a hire-purchase agreement.

). Bhd. B. Bhd.A. Selangor: Kumpulan Usahawan Muslim Sdn. v Sulaiman bin Ahmad & Anor [1989] . The Commercial Law of Malaysia (2nd ed. Undang-Undang Perniagaan Malaysia. & Vohrah. Selangor: Pearson and Longman.250  TOPIC 14 LAW OF HIRE-PURCHASE Text Books:  Harlina Mohamed On & Rozanah Ab. [1979] 1 MLJ 129 United Manufacturers Sdn. v Lee Aik Seng [1978] 1 MLJ 179 Public Prosecutor v Mohamed Nor [1988] 3 MLJ 119 Tractors Malaysia Bhd v Kumpulan Pembinaan Malaysia Sdn. (2007).Bhd. Cases:     Pang Brothers Motors Sdn Bhd.  Wu M. (2000). Rahman.

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