eOasis is Rajah & Tann Asia’s legal publications portal, where you can view updates on the latest key legal and regulatory developments in Asia, prepared from a practitioner's viewpoint.

What's New on eOASIS

Singapore and China to Cooperate in the Field of Central Bank Digital Currency
As digital currencies continue to become more commonly used, central banks across the world have begun to explore the implementation of Central Bank Digital Currencies ("CBDC") to replace fiat cash. Mr Ravi Menon, the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, speaking at a financial forum in Shanghai, discussed the intention for cooperation between Singapore and China in relation to CBDCs. The exchange of knowledge and expertise between the two countries would be a significant aid for the respective CBDC programmes and would also open the door for future opportunities for collaboration. In this Update, we take a look at the CBDC efforts in Singapore and China and what this development could mean for their economies.
06 Jul 2020 | Singapore
Large Scale Solar Power Plants – Fourth Competitive Bidding Round (LSS@MEnTARI): Clarification on Foreign Participation

The Energy Commission/Suruhanjaya Tenaga ("ST") recently released its first response to queries received on LSS@MEnTARI regarding the Request for Proposal ("RFP"). Notably, some of the clarifications amount to what appears to be a major shift from the initial position in the RFP on participation by foreign players. The ST has now clarified that participation by foreign players in the bidding entity or any of its corporate shareholders will be permitted, subject to certain conditions. This represents a fundamental change in approach on the matter and it is expected that this would give rise to a significant increase in foreign interest in the LSS@MEnTARI programme.

03 Jul 2020 | Malaysia
Cebu City Under Enhanced Community Quarantine; Makati City Allows Payment of Realty and Business Taxes Online

Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and pursuant to Resolution No. 46-A of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease, the local government of Cebu City, through Cebu City Executive Order No. 082 dated 17 June 2020 (“Order”), has imposed an enhanced community quarantine (“ECQ”) over its territory. Pursuant to the Order, a mandatory stay-at-home order is enforced for all residents. Travel and movement outside homes of residents of Cebu City shall be limited only to accessing basic necessities and services. Only one member of the household is allowed to leave the home. The travel and movement restrictions do not apply to several groups of residents including medical practitioners and health workers, emergency personnel, and authorised national and local government officials and employees.

In another development, the local government of Makati City announced on 17 June 2020 that the second-quarter payments for real property taxes and business taxes can be made online through this website: https://makationlinepayments.com/.

01 Jul 2020 | Philippines
RGC Updates Subsidies for Employees during the Employment Suspension

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has issued two notifications dated 23 June 2020 and 25 June 2020 updating the amount of the subsidy provided by the Royal Government of Cambodia for the garment and tourism sectors annexed to the notification via Wing (Cambodia) Limited Specialised Bank in Khmer Riel ("KHR"). The amount of subsidy varies with the suspension period.

30 Jun 2020 | Cambodia
COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 Extended to Leases/Rental Agreements for Commercial Equipment and Commercial Vehicles
The COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 ("Act") provides for, among other things, targeted and temporary reliefs for individuals and businesses that are unable to perform certain contracts due to the uncertainties brought about by COVID-19. These temporary relief measures apply for six months from 20 April 2020 to 19 October 2020.

On 20 June 2020, the Act was amended to (1) extend the temporary relief measures under the Act to leases or rental agreements for commercial equipment and commercial vehicles; and (2) give effect to part of the changes set out in the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Amendment) Act 2020. These changes aim to enhance the temporary relief measures for an inability to perform a scheduled contract specified in the Act.

This Update provides a summary of the changes to the Act that took effect on 20 June 2020.
29 Jun 2020 | Singapore
Amendment to Mining Law: Resolution at Last?

The official text of the amendment to Indonesia's Mining Law (Law No. 4 of 2009) was made available to the public last week as Law No. 3 of 2020. This amendment, consisting of 93 pages, covers a host of flashpoints in Indonesia's mining sectors such as centralisation of authorities, conversion of COW (kontrak karya or contract of work) and CCOW (perjanjian karya pengusahaan pertambangan batu bara or coal contract of work) and IUP (Mining Business Permit) transfer.

29 Jun 2020 | Indonesia
The National Economic Recovery Plan: Employment Reliefs and Incentives

In our previous Update on the Recovery Movement Control Order, previous update on the Recovery Movement Control Order, we have highlighted some of the initiatives implemented by the Government of Malaysia under the National Economic Recovery Plan ("PENJANA"). Further guidance on the initiatives relating to employment have since been released by the relevant regulatory bodies and government agencies.

In this Update, we discuss in further detail the initiatives introduced under PENJANA to assist employers and employees during this period of recovery of the country's economy.

29 Jun 2020 | Malaysia
Employment Agencies to Comply with New Licence Conditions for Fair Hiring
With effect from 1 October 2020, the Ministry of Manpower will require all employment agencies in Singapore ("EAs") to comply with the fair recruitment requirements set out in the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices ("TGFEP") when recruiting on behalf of their clients. The TGFEP contains fair and merit-based employment guidelines that all Singapore-based organisations are expected to abide by.

These new guidelines will be imposed as new licensing conditions on the EAs, and non-compliance may result in demerit points, suspension or revocation of an EA licence or prosecution.

This Update highlights the new licence conditions that EAs must comply with to ensure fair hiring.
26 Jun 2020 | Singapore
Modalities for Court-to-Court Communication in Cross-Border Insolvency Proceedings
On 19 June 2020, the Singapore Supreme Court issued Registrar's Circular No. 7 of 2020, which implements the Modalities of Court-to-Court Communication ("Modalities") published by the Judicial Insolvency Network. The Modalities serve to supplement the Guidelines for Communication and Cooperation between Courts in Cross-Border Insolvency Matters ("Guidelines"). While the Guidelines deal with court-to-court communication in parallel proceedings, the Modalities prescribe the mechanics for initiating, receiving and engaging in such communication.

This development further enhances the Singapore courts' ability to effectively manage cross-border insolvency proceedings. This Update provides a summary of the key features of the Modalities and the Guidelines.
26 Jun 2020 | Singapore
New IT Platform for Business Registration

The Royal Government of Cambodia has issued Sub-Decree No. 84 ANK.BK on Business Registration through IT Platform dated 10 June 2020. The Business Registration through IT Platform (hereinafter called the "Online Business Registration Portal" or "Single Portal") was officially launched on even date and has been in operation since 15 June 2020. The Single Portal aims to facilitate and modernize the registration procedure for new businesses by requiring the submission of a set of application documents, with a cost-effective and speedy approval process.

26 Jun 2020 | Cambodia
Schedule to Negotiate the Minimum Wage in Textile, Garment and Footwear Sectors for 2021

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued notification No. 019/20 dated 10 June 2020 on the schedule of minimum wage negotiations in the textile, garment and footwear sectors for 2021. 

26 Jun 2020 | Cambodia
BIR Further Extends Deadlines, Suspends Assessment, and Collection of Deficiency Taxes Due to Enhanced Community Quarantine

The Bureau of Internal Revenue has issued several circulars and regulations to, among other things, further extend the deadlines for the filing of documents and payment of taxes, as well as suspend the assessment and collection of deficiency taxes due to the various ongoing quarantine restrictions in the Philippines.

26 Jun 2020 | Philippines
DTI Issues Guidelines on Refund Concessions for Events Affected by the State of Public Health Emergency

The Department of Trade and Industry issued Memorandum Circular No. 2020-30 to provide economic relief to all persons and businesses who scheduled events that were cancelled or scaled-down in view of the public health emergency and social distancing measures imposed by the government.

26 Jun 2020 | Philippines
Adjustment of the Requirements for Cambodian Travellers and Quarantine of Diplomatic Personnel

As part of its efforts to contain COVID-19, the Royal Government of Cambodia (“RGC”) has issued consecutive regulations affecting several sectors of the country to prevent and mitigate the devastation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the RGC has restricted travelling into Cambodia by imposing requirements on both Cambodian and foreign travellers.

25 Jun 2020 | Cambodia
COVID-19 Costs for Testing, Quarantine Facilitation and Treatment

Following notification No. 4898 MEF dated 8 June 2020 issued by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on the Costs of Foreign Travellers for COVID-19 Testing and Health Examination at Public Hospitals, the Ministry of Health issued notification No. 564 dated 11 June 2020 on the payment fees for COVID-19 tests and health examinations.

25 Jun 2020 | Cambodia
RGC Updates Subsidies for Employees during the Employment Suspension

On 16 June 2020, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued two notifications updating the amount of the subsidy provided by the Royal Government of Cambodia for the garment and tourism sectors annexed to the notification via Wing (Cambodia) Limited Specialised Bank in Khmer Riel (“KHR”). The amount of subsidy varies with reference to the suspension period.

25 Jun 2020 | Cambodia