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SINGAPORE: Extension of Relief Period for Specified Contracts under the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act

The COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act ("Act") provides temporary relief for parties that are unable to perform their contractual obligations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Amongst its measures, Part 2 of the Act provides relief from certain legal and enforcement measures for prescribed categories of contracts, and Part 8B provides for cost sharing between parties to qualifying construction contracts for additional costs caused by delays.

On 26 March 2021, the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Extension of Prescribed Period) Order 2021 extended the relief period to 19 April 2021 for certain measures relevant to the Built Environment and Real Estate sectors. This is to allow Parliament to consider the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Amendment No. 2) Bill 2021 ("Bill"), which the Ministry of National Development intends to introduce on 5 April 2021. The Bill would further extend the relief period to 30 September 2021 for (a) Part 8B of the Act; and (b) construction contracts or supply contracts, or any performance bond granted thereto, under Part 2 of the Act. It would also extend the relief period to 30 June 2021 for options to purchase and sale and purchase agreements with developers under Part 2 of the Act.

 

Singapore | Building & Construction | 30 March 2021
SINGAPORE: COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act: Re-Align Framework Available from 15 January 2021 and Other Additional Reliefs for Built Environment Sector

The COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act ("Act") has introduced a series of legal reliefs and mechanisms for businesses and individuals to aid them in managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This Update highlights the key features of the latest temporary reliefs: 

  1. The Re-Align Framework, which facilitates the renegotiation of specified contracts for eligible businesses which are significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to be available from 15 January 2021 to 26 February 2021;
  2. Certain additional reliefs for the Built Environment sector have come into operation on 30 November 2020. These include a universal extension of time to the completion date for eligible construction contracts under Part 8A of the Act, and co-sharing of qualifying costs arising from COVID-19 related project delays for eligible construction contracts under Part 8B of the Act; and
  3. The regulations relating to the property tax rebate have been amended to take into account the Rental Relief Framework via the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Transfer of Benefit of Property Tax Remission) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, which was published on 18 December 2020.
Singapore | Building & Construction | 04 January 2021
SINGAPORE: Changes to COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act: Re-align Framework, Additional Reliefs for Built Environment Sector, Fine-tuning Property Tax Rebate Regulations

Amendments to the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act ("Act") were passed in Parliament to supplement the temporary reliefs provided in the Act in the following key aspects:

  1. introducing a new re-align framework for eligible businesses which are significantly affected by COVID-19 to renegotiate specified contracts;
  2. introducing additional reliefs for the Built Environment sector in the forms of: (i) an extension of time to the completion date for eligible construction contracts; (ii) co-sharing of qualifying costs arising from COVID-19 related project delays for eligible construction contracts; and (iii) an avenue for property developers to seek an extension of date of delivery of possession of property and provision of the right for purchasers affected by COVID-19 related delay in delivery of their units; and
  3. fine-tuning the application of the property tax rebate regulations to take into account the rental relief framework provided in Part 2A of the Act.

The Act was enacted in April 2020 to introduce a series of temporary legal reliefs and mechanisms for businesses and individuals to aid them in managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. On 3 November 2020, the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Amendment No. 3) Bill ("Bill") providing changes to the Act was passed in Parliament. The changes have yet to come into force.

This Update highlights the salient features of the key changes to be introduced by the Bill and the issues addressed by these new measures.

Singapore | Building & Construction | 16 November 2020
MALAYSIA: Movement Control Order - Construction Industry: Update on "Critical Works"

On 23 March 2020, the Malaysian Ministry of Works ("KKR") issued an update to its list of Frequently Asked Questions ("FAQ2") in efforts to provide clarity and clear communication to address the queries affecting the construction industry arising from the implementation of the Malaysian Movement Control Order. A key highlight of the FAQ2 is that, in acknowledgment of the importance of ensuring the safety and cleanliness at the construction site during Restriction Period, KKR has revised the examples of “critical works” previously listed in its Frequently Asked Questions issued on 18 March 2020 (FAQ1).

Malaysia | Building & Construction | 24 March 2020
MALAYSIA: Movement Control Order – How Does It Affect the Construction Sector?

Since 16 March 2020, Malaysia has been abuzz following the announcement by the Prime Minister of the implementation of a Movement Control Order ("MCO"). The MCO restricts the movement of anyone to, fro and within an infected area. Following the announcement, the Government of Malaysia has gazetted the Prevention and Control (Measures Within the Infected Areas) Regulations 2020 ("Regulations") which shall take effect from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020 ("Restriction Period"). Under the Regulations, the whole of Malaysia has been defined as an infected area.

Following the Prime Minister's announcement, the different sectors of the construction industry have sought clarification and guidance as to whether the type of construction, operation and/or maintenance work that they perform are classified or may be construed within the purview of Essential Services and/or be considered as critical works. To provide clarity, the Ministry of Works has made a further announcement that all construction work shall be subject to the MCO. Accordingly, all construction and maintenance work must stop. Only critical works are allowed to continue.

This FAQ strives to provide answers to the pertinent questions, addressing the perspective from both the public and private sectors, of the construction industry in general and a brief commentary on specific industry(ies) consequent upon the MCO, its impact and what steps need to be taken by these sectors during the Restriction Period.

Malaysia | Building & Construction | 20 March 2020


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