Are electronic signatures legal in Malaysia?

Malaysia has legally recognised electronic signatures since 1997, since The Digital Signature Act, and then later with the 2000 Electronic Commerce Act. Which has given businesses the option to use them whilst trading.

 

Legal Model

Malaysia’s legal model is a tiered one. This means that Qualified Electronic Signatures are seen as a legal type of e-signature. This doesn’t mean that a non-QES e-Signature can’t be submitted in court, but it will need extra evidence to support it.

Legal Classification

Malaysia operates a Common Law system, which is based on:

  • Judicial decisions are seen as binding
  • Laws aren’t always of a written structure
  • Few provisions are hinted at into the contract, by law
  • Generally, everything is permitted that isn’t expressly prohibited by law

Few provisions are implied into a contract under the common law system – so it’s important to cover all the terms governing the relationship between the parties to a contract in the contract itself. This usually means that contracts are typically longer than one in a civil law country.

Full Summary

Malaysian law (The Contracts Act 1950 and applicable common law) highlights that a handwritten signature isn’t always needed for a contract to be considered credible, and that contracts can’t be refused for simply being electronic. They can be seen as such as long as legally able individuals have reached an agreement, whether by verbally agreeing, electronically or physically signing something. And The Electronic Commerce Act 2006 states that electronic contracts can’t be dismissed for being electronic.

Disclaimer

The information in the legality guides are for general information purposes only and are not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing electronic signature may change quickly, so Signable cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. If you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.
Last updated on: January 2020