1. Is my interpretation of the law in the letter correct?
2. What else can I do besides write in to them? (i.e. judicial review etc.)
3. What's the best method to fight any misinterpretation of the law by civil servants themselves?
Appreciate all your help!
"I refer to the above subject and my telephone conversation with the officer Ms. Siaw Chooi Chin of Unit Undang-Undang of Jabatan Akauntan Negara on the 15th of May.
I draw upon the new-found courage bestowed upon so many Malaysians such as myself since 9th May to bring to YBhg Datuk’s attention that the Standard Operation Procedure of the Registrars of Unclaimed Moneys stating that no agent can act on behalf of the owner of unclaimed moneys is in direct contradiction, and hence breaking the law in respect of Clause 8 of Act 370, where it specifically states that:
“owner” means the person entitled to any unclaimed moneys and includes his executors, administrators or assigns or, in the case of a company within the meaning of the Companies Act 1965, its liquidators, or his or their lawful attorney or agent in Malaysia.
The unlawful SOP only causes additional work and hassle for the claimants of unclaimed moneys who wish, based on their own justification and business practice, to outsource such work to third party agents. As a result of such unlawful SOP, millions of ringgit of unclaimed moneys has been deliberately withheld by the Registrar of Unclaimed Moneys from their rightful owners.
The law of the day should not be subject to any whimsical and convenient interpretation by the officers of Jabatan Akauntan Negara, but should be subject to the proper definition by 1. the literal sense of the word, 2. common sense, and 3. can stand the scrutiny of cross reference to other Acts and Laws established in the country. There should not be a different definition to the word “agent” in Act 370 than that of “agent” as defined in Act 156 - Contracts Act 1950, where it states in clause 135 that:
An “agent” is a person employed to do any act for another or to represent another in dealings with third persons.
I wish to seek from YBhg Datuk and Jabatan Akauntan Negara, not just a clarification of the above, but also if affirmed by YBhg Datuk, the subsequent and immediate steps of correcting the unlawful Standard Operating Procedure set by the Registrars of Unclaimed Moneys.
I sincerely hope that the fate of this letter will not be like the RMS Titanic, sunk at the bottom of the pile of other matters deemed easier to handle by the department.
Should a meeting be required to discuss the above I will be readily available at YBhg Datuk’s given time and schedule.
I look forward to YBhg Datuk’s swift response. Your attention in this matter is much appreciated."