Authored by Dylan Chong. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
The age of majority in Malaysia is 18 years old. Under section 2 of the Age of Majority Act 1971 (AOMA 1971), the minority of all males and females shall cease and every such male and female attaining that age shall be of the age of majority.
How do we calculate the age of majority?
Based on section 3 of AOMA 1971, the age is calculated based on the Gregorian calendar which is a solar calendar with 12 months of 28-31 days each. Unlike in Chinese culture, whereby the age of the fetus is calculated from the moment the fetus is being develops inside the mother’s womb, Malaysia follows the threshold of section 2 of AOMA 1971.
What is the difference between a minority age and a majority age?
In the case of estate administration, the minor cannot become a trustee or administrator. The minor can be a beneficiary, but the assets can only be transfer to the minor beneficiary when he or she reaches the age of majority at 18 years old.
Further, the court must appoint a trustee to hold the assets of the deceased until the minor reaches the age of majority to be entitled for the deceased’s assets. In the case of a trust wills, the trustee will hold the deceased’s asset until the minor reaches the timeline and period as determined under the trust deed
A minor cannot execute a Memorandum of Transfer as transferor
Most of the time, the process of transferring property (with title) is done via a Memorandum of Transfer or via sale and purchase agreement. A minor cannot enter into a contract to sell off his property as this is prohibited under section 11 of the Contracts Act which provides a person is competent to contract if he attained the age of majority.
A minor can become a recipient and this is usually done via a deed of gift. There is no consideration involved and it is a transfer done via a relation of love and affection. The law recognizes this position as most of the time, parent will transfer property to the offspring in order for them to inherit their assets.
What happens if a minor entered into a contract?
In Malaysia, the court has decided that a contract entered into by a minor is void ab initio. The court will treat as if the contract entered into between the minor and any party as never exists.
What if the guardian signed an agreement on behalf of the minor?
If the guardian signed a sale and purchase agreement to sell of the asset of the minor hold on trust, under section 15 of the Guardianship Act 1961, the guardian needs to seek a leave of court.
Failure to obtain a leave of the court will render the contract to be voidable. In the case of the agreement being co-signed between the guardian and the co-minor, it will be treated as never existed or void ab initio.
Recommended reading : https://jc-law.my/wills-drafting/
When the minor turns 18 years old
The minor reaches the age of majority can then enter into agreement and contract:
- Contract of employment
- Power of Attorney
- Sale and Purchase Agreement
- Share Sale Agreement
- Wills / Trust Deed
- Becoming director (section 196(2) of the Companies Act 2016)
Authored by Dylan Chong
The contents of this publication are given as general information for reference purposes only and do not constitute the firm’s legal advice. For any specific matter or legal issue, please do not rely on this publication but make sure to consult a legal adviser. We would be delighted to answer your questions, if any.