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Help! Unlawful practice of Unclaimed Moneys Act 370 withholding millions

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asked on May 21, 2018 at 11:07
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edited on Jun 4, 2018 at 01:33
 
Here's my letter to Jabatan Akauntan Negara.  Before I send to them,

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."
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6 Answers

answered on May 21, 2018 at 15:48
by  
Which law firm are you from?
............................................
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answered on May 22, 2018 at 00:13
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edited May 22, 2018 at 00:19
by   khoocal
I’m not from any law firm. Just a secretarial firm helping my clients claim their unclaimed moneys. I did my homework after being rejected by the department of unclaimed moneys many times, and I believe that what they practice is actually against their own law.

I went and argued with them but the civil servants acting and thinking that people should always listen to them just basically said, “this is our SOP”!  I called up their penasihat undang-undang, and the civil servant said I can’t say anything to you, I have to refer to ministry of finance! And so the never ending game of referals begin.. is this how governments shut Rakyats down? By referring them to departments after departments?

I’m determined to fight them but before I do, I just want to seek some confirmation and advise here. 

Thanks.
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answered on May 22, 2018 at 00:42
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What is your job title in the secretarial firm?
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answered on May 22, 2018 at 11:02
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I’m one of the directors. Is there any advise for my case? Thanks
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answered on May 22, 2018 at 17:35
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edited Jun 4, 2018 at 01:34
 
EPF also doesn't allow agents to assist in withdrawal.
Selongor State Government also don't allow third party to pay quit rent ( cukai tanah ).
Allowing agents may give rise to higher incidence of fraud.
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answered on May 23, 2018 at 14:01
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edited Jun 4, 2018 at 01:35
 
With all due respect, citing the practice of other departments does not answer the concern of malpractice by civil servants.  I'll give you the reasons:

1. The law takes precedence to SOPs.  If a certain SOP is set for a reason (i.e. prevent fraud etc.), and goes against the law of the day, then they must first review and repeal the law, subject to a judicial review and passing of motion at the parliament.  Otherwise, any civil servant or department can set SOPs that go against the law based on their subjective reasoning.  There is a reason for the separation of powers - legislative, executive, and judiciary branches.  The executive branch should not act as the legislative or judiciary and break the law of the day.

2. EPF and unclaimed moneys fall under a different Act.  The unclaimed Moneys Act specifically states that agents are allowed to make claims on behalf of the owner.

3. Selangor State government allows agents to make unclaimed moneys claims on behalf of the owners.  We have been doing that for years.

4. If you know the process for claiming unclaimed moneys, the process is actually quite "fraud" proof.  In additional to the many supporting documents that need to be submitted, at the end of the process, the unclaimed moneys is credited directly into the account of the owner, and not through the agents.
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