The Doctrine of Ultra Vires under Malaysian Company Law

September 1, 2017 Law

Discuss the philosophy of extremist vires and its consequence in Malayan Company Law.

Harmonizing tos18 Contract Act 1965,every company formed should hold a memoranda printed and divided into paragraph and with the day of the month stated. Ins18 ( B ) Contract Act 1965, it shows that the demand of the Memorandum of Association ( M/A ) required a statement of object clause. The object clause can be used to depict the nature of the concern such as fabrication concern, trading concern or service concern. Besides, it besides show the company power, its intent and the legal capacity of the company. [ 1 ]

Furthermore, the intent of the object of M/A should be lawful as stated ins14 ( 1 ) Company Act 1965. The effect of improper intent and incompatible to peace, public assistance, security, public order, good order or morality in Malaysia will be Registrar of Company will decline for the enrollment of the company every bit followed tos16 ( 8 ) ( a ) Company Act 1965.

As it has been stated that object of M/A map as recognize the legal capacity of the company, in the same clip, it has limited the company which it require the company to move based on the statement. If the operation of the company is different with the object of M/A, extremist vires will be recognized. Ultra means “beyond” whereas vires means “power” where extremist vires happened when an act is against the object clause. Although the company want to sign the act, the act is null at initio. This can be farther explained by the common jurisprudence and statue.

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However, if the company wants to forestall extremist vires, the company must change the object clause. There are certain demand as stateds28 Company Act 1965. Ins28 ( 1 ) Company Act 1965,it stated that change can be made based on a particular declaration. Besides, by keeping this particular declaration, members and unsecured bonds holder of the company should be given 21days of presentment to the particular declaration as harmonizing tos28 ( 2 ) Company Act 1965.

Common Law

The philosophy of extremist vires under common jurisprudence refers to the regulations that company must move within their objects clause that is stated in the memoranda of association. Any activity that is outside from the company capacity is null. Neither the company nor the 3rd party could implement this. In other words, extremist vires act is null and the contract can non be ratified even if the company wishes to. Under common jurisprudence, the company’s contract is null due to internal or external context. Externally, when a 3rd party catching with a company, if the contract was non carry through the objects of company that stated in memoranda of association, so the contract was extremist vires and nothingness. Internally, if the company and the manager enter into an extremist vires contract, the company may instantly halt the act of the manager and claim amendss from the manager who breach his fiducial responsibilities by come ining into the contract which is outside from the company’s capacity. If the company could non carry through the chief object in their memoranda, so they would hold to be wound up.

Harmonizing toAshbury Railway Carriage & A ; Iron Company V Riche ( 1875 ) LR 7HL653, the instance stated that the company’s objects in their memoranda was to do, sell and engage railroad passenger cars. The company entered into contract with Riche and the contract was approved by the stockholders at general meeting, so the company agreed to give Riche and his brother a loan to construct a railroad in Belgium. After that, the company changed their head and refused the understanding. Riche sued the company. The tribunal held that the building of a railroad was extremist vires, because concept a railroad was non stated in their company’s memoranda of association. Therefore, the contract is null because the building of a railroad is outside from the company capacity. Furthermore, since it is outside from the company capacity, so the company could non sign the contract. Therefore, extremist vires exist and the contract is null even if all of the stockholders approved the contract.

From Ashbury Railway Carriage instance, we can see that the company could non action or be sued by the 3rd party for non executing the contract. This is because the contract is void and null. Therefore, the company could avoid for non executing the contract and could non be sued by the 3rd party because it is outside signifier the company’s capacity. Although it seems unjust for the other party but the object clause of a company is available at public for review. The other party should hold checked whether the company has the capacity to come in into contract with them or non. Necessitate to state if company itself can action the manager and SH?

Stockholders pay less concerned on the corporation on how the manager corporate every bit long as the concern generates dividend to them. However this will set the creditor in high hazard. This is because if the creditors recognition gross revenues the goods and services to the peculiar company, and the company has insolvent in subsequently day of the months, the creditor could non claim any debts. Common jurisprudence stated that an extremist vires act is void and nothingness to protect the member or the creditors of the company who has invested the money into the company and anticipate the investing is merely used for the company’s concern.

Harmonizing toCotman V Brougham ( 1918 ) A.C. 514, the objects clause of company contained 30 bomber clauses, nevertheless, the first bomber clause stated the company to develop no-good plantations. In the 4th clause, it empowered the company to cover in any portions of any company. Besides, the memoranda besides stated that each bomber clauses acts as the independent objects for the company. The company underwrote and had allotted to it portions in an oil company. After that, the oil company wound up and their company was on the list of contributories. The inquiry arose is that whether this is intra vires the company’s objects. The tribunal held that the 30 independent object clause in the gum elastic company’s memoranda was an independent. Hence, the power to cover with the portion in an oil company was within the legal power. Therefore, the company is apt for the underwriting.

From the Cotman instance, the company did non clearly stipulate the chief object where fundamental law of Memorandum are non limited by utilizing field concern linguistic communication. Companies could no longer avoid a contract based on the evidences that it was beyond the company objects which they have been done in the traditional extremist vires doctrine. This has increased a wider scope of object clauses in the Memorandum as a consequence of each bomber clause is independent which are non interrelated with the chief clause. Hence, the object are non restricted to reexamine on the chief clause. This has rendered the companies to present a standard type of object clause to render about all possible commercial aims intra vires.

Position under Companies Act 1965

Harmonizing tos20 ( 1 ) of Companies Act 1965, any act or transportation of belongings that made by the company shall non be invalid with the ground that company do n’t hold the power or capacity to make act. The consequence for this subdivision is dealing will go irrelevant with the fact that the company did non hold the capacity to come in into it, even though a certain dealing is otherwise valid. Besides, the company can action or be sued as Acts of the Apostless against its object clause.

In order to protect the involvement of the stockholders and creditors,s20 ( 2 ) Companies Act 1965has provided the redresss to keep the extremist vires act. Harmonizing to s20 ( 2 ) ( a ) Companies Act 1965, company is apt if a member of the company or the company itself has issued the unsecured bonds are available with a drifting charge. The stockholders and unsecured bond holders can action the company for the taking any action outside the company and they can claimed the compensation from it.

Besides, it besides stated that the alleviation ofs20 Companies Act 1965, the extremist vires merely apply to specific individual and non an foreigner as refer toPamaron Holdings Sdn Bhd v Ganda Holdings Bhd [ 1988 ] 3 MLJ 346.Harmonizing toPamaron Holdings Sdn Bhd v Ganda Holdings Bhdinstance, the Plaintiff and the Defendant entered into an understanding for sale and purchase of portions in a private limited company. The Defendant defaulted in the payment of the purchase monetary value and the complainant applied for drumhead judgement against it. In opposing the application, the suspect proclaim that among the dealing was extremist vires the complainant company. Leting the application, the tribunal held that under s.20 a individual other than a unsecured bond holder or the curate may non raise extremist vires. The suspect being an foreigner and non a unsecured bond holder or the curate had no right under the subdivision. The Defendant was apt for non being able to settle the payment of the purchase monetary value. The Defendant besides did n’t buy any portions or unsecured bonds from the Plaintiff Company, therefore it can non raise extremist vires. Defendant should buy the portions or unsecured bond from the complainant in order for the suspect have the right to raise extremist vires.

From this instance, merely the individual that are sufficient proximate to the company can use extremist vires. Ultra vires is an action

This act will merely available to the contract that has been entered, yet to be completed as refer to theHawkesbury Development Co Ltd V Landmark Finance Pty Ltd ( 1969 ) 2 NSWR 786.Harmonizing toHawkesbury Development Co. Ltd v Ladmark Finance Pty Ltdinstance, Plaintiff holds all of the portions in the Landmark Finance Pty Ltd. Landmark Finance has issued two unsecured bonds to United Dominion Corp ( UDC ) . A petition has been sent to tribunal by Plaintiff about declaring both unsecured bonds to be invalid due that it is a company object extremist vires. Plaintiff besides request that the tribunal to forbid the enforcement of UDC of the unsecured bonds. However, application that petition by the complainant is rejected and the blessing of tribunal to invalidate the declaration of the UDC had failed to be obtained. Due that the complainants are the stockholders of the Landmark Finance, the application should do to Landmark Finance alternatively of UDC is a 3rd party.

If the company is do the act of extremist vires by publishing the unsecured bonds to the foreigners, the stockholders or unsecured bond holders have the right to action the company. However,s20 ( 2 ) ( a ) Companies Act 1965does non given its protection to unsecured bonds holders that secured by float charge and creditors who did non hold any charge.

Harmonizing tos20 ( 2 ) ( B ) Companies Act 1965, officers are personally apt for any action taken by member of the company or the company itself. The stockholders or the company itself can action the officers either former or current that who committed any Ultra Vires minutess which must be completed and realized. However, if any jurisprudence suit against the officer will non impact the cogency as stated ins20 ( 1 ) Calcium 1965, the act will be valid to the land.

Harmonizing tos20 ( 2 ) ( c ) Companies Act 1965, any request that may conducted by the Minister to the tribunal to weave up the company that had committed extremist vires actions. The tribunal will carry on its discretion when the company has changed the concern wholly from its original concern.

Harmonizing tos20 ( 3 ) Companies Act, if any party has suffered any harm or loss due to the unauthorised act or transportation is yet to be performed and to be restrained unders20 ( 2 ) Companies Act 1965, the parties who have sustained the harm can be compensated.

By comparing the common jurisprudence and Companies Act 1965, under the philosophy of extremist vires, it is prefer to travel for common jurisprudence. This is because, under common jurisprudence, the act of extremist vires is void and null, so the company could avoid for non executing the contract which is outside from their capacity. Besides, the company could non action or be sued by others party merely because they did non execute the contract. However, under the Companies Act 1965, it provides completed minutess remain valid as between the company and the 3rd party and both of the party may action each other. Let’s compare the instance ofAshbury Railway Carriage & A ; Iron Company v Richeunder common jurisprudence and the instance ofHawkesbury Development Co Ltd V Landmark Finance Pty Ltdunder Companies Act 1965, we can see that under Ashbury instance, the extremist vires are meant to protect the company by invalidating the contract because it is outside the company’s capacity. The other party could non action the company although they had entered into the contract because extremist vires exist. Whereas, under the Hawkesbury instance, the complainant failed to declare the unsecured bonds to the 3rd party although it is a company object extremist vires because the plantiff are the stockholders of the Landmark Finance and it should do declaration to Landmark Finance alternatively of the 3rd party.


For under the common jurisprudence, the contract entered by the manager of the company or the company itself is extremist vires, the contract is considered nothingnesss due that it is beyond the company ‘s capacity to execute it. If the contract made by the company with the 3rd party is non carry through the objects of the company that stated in memoranda of association besides considered as extremist vires therefore become nothingness. When the contract has become null, the company could non action or be sued by the 3rd party for non executing the contract.

For under the Companies Act 1965, any act that made by the company can non be declared as invalid by utilizing incapable to execute the act as an alibi. The minutess still remain valid between both the company and the 3rd party that they may able to action or be sued by each other. Therefore, both companies and the 3rd party should see the capablenesss of the company to execute the any act from the contract in order to avoid any extremist vires that may go on and do the loss to the creditors, stockholders, unsecured bond holders or any related parties.


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