Contract Formation via Email: The Position in Malaysia

By Rokiah A. Kadir.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper aspires to offer some analysis with regard to the applicable rules to electronic mail acceptances under the Contracts Act of 1950 and the Electronic Commerce Act of 2006. The 2006 act was aimed to encourage electronic commerce, however the extent to which the Act resolves formation issues in the context of Internet contracting remains to be seen. Despite that the Contracts Act was passed decades ago, the paper discovers that the formation rules are not absolutely free of doubts. This paper is focused on formation of contracts through electronically mailed acceptance. The Electronic Commerce Act of 2006 did not remove the uncertainty arising from the mixed system with regard to electronic mail acceptances. This is because the 2006 act does not prescribe whether it is dispatch or receipt which governs acceptance via any given method of communication; instead, it merely defines the meaning of dispatch and receipt. Until the uncertainty is resolved, the rule for electronically mailed acceptance remains unclear as far as the Malaysian law is concerned and this may not facilitate the environmentally friendly e-commerce that the Electronic Commerce Act of 2006 sought to promote.

Keywords: Acceptance, Postal Rule, Section 4(2)

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.13-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 178.382KB).

Rokiah A. Kadir

Lecturer, Department of Accounting and Finance, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Malaysia

Lecturer, Department of Accounting and Finance, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu