Contracts
1
LAWS OF MALAYSIA
REPRINT
Act 136
CONTRACTS ACT 1950
Incorporating all amendments up to 1 January 2006
PUBLISHED BY
THE COMMISSIONER OF LAW REVISION, MALAYSIA
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE REVISION OF LAWS ACT 1968
IN COLLABORATION WITH
PERCETAKAN NASIONAL MALAYSIA BHD
2006
2
CONTRACTS ACT 1950
First enacted ... ... ... ... ... ...
1950 (F.M. Ordinance
No. 14 of 1950)
Revised
... ... ... ... ... ... ...
1974 (Act 136 w.e.f.
1 July 1974)
PREVIOUS REPRINTS
First Reprint
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...
...
...
...
1997
Second Reprint ...
...
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2000
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LAWS OF MALAYSIA
Act 136
CONTRACTS ACT 1950
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Section
1.
Short title
2.
Interpretation
PART II
OF THE COMMUNICATION, ACCEPTANCE AND
REVOCATION OF PROPOSALS
3.
Communication, acceptance and revocation of proposals
4.
Communication, when complete
5.
Revocation of proposals and acceptances
6.
Revocation how made
7.
Acceptance must be absolute
8.
Acceptance by performing conditions, or receiving consideration
9.
Promises, express and implied
PART III
OF CONTRACTS, VOIDABLE CONTRACTS AND
VOID AGREEMENTS
10.
What agreements are contracts
11.
Who are competent to contract
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ACT 136
Section
12.
What is a sound mind for the purposes of contracting
13.
"Consent"
14.
"Free consent"
15.
"Coercion"
16.
"Undue influence"
17.
"Fraud"
18.
"Misrepresentation"
19.
Voidability of agreements without free consent
20.
Power to set aside contract induced by undue influence
21.
Agreement void where both parties are under mistake as to matter of fact
22.
Effect of mistake as to law
23.
Contract caused by mistake of one party as to matter of fact
24.
What considerations and object are lawful, and what not
Void Agreements
25.
Agreements void if considerations and objects unlawful in part
26.
Agreement without consideration, void, unless--
(a) it is in writing and registered;
(b) or is a promise to compensate for something done;
(c) or is a promise to pay a debt barred by limitation law
27.
Agreement in restraint of marriage void
28.
Agreement in restraint of trade void
Exception 1--Saving of agreement not to carry on business of which
goodwill is sold;
Exception 2--of agreement between partners prior to dissolution;
Exception 3--or during continuance of partnership
29.
Agreements in restraint of legal proceedings void
Exception 1--Saving of contract to refer to arbitration dispute that may
arise
Exception 2--Saving of contract to refer questions that have already
arisen
30.
Agreements void for uncertainty
31.
(1) Agreements by way of wager void
(2) Exception in favour of certain prizes for horse racing
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PART IV
OF CONTINGENT CONTRACTS
Section
32.
"Contingent contract"
33.
Enforcement of contracts contingent on an event happening
34.
Enforcement of contracts contingent on an event not happening
35.
When event on which contract is contingent to be deemed impossible, if
it is the future conduct of a living person
36.
(1) When contracts become void which are contingent on happening of
specified event within fixed time
(2) When contracts may be enforced which are contigent on specified
event not happening within fixed time
37.
Agreement contingent on impossible events void
PART V
OF THE PERFORMANCE OF CONTRACTS
Contracts which must be Performed
38.
Obligation of parties to contracts
39.
Effect of refusal to accept offer of performance
40.
Effect of refusal of party to perform promise wholly
By whom Contracts must be Performed
41.
Person by whom promise is to be performed
42.
Effect of accepting performance from third person
43.
Devolution of joint liabilities
44.
(1) Any one of joint promisors may be compelled to perform
(2) Each promisor may compel contribution
(3) Sharing of loss by default in contribution
45.
Effect of release of one joint promisor
46.
Devolution of joint rights
Time and Place for Performance
47.
Time for performance of promise where no application is to be made and
no time is specified
48.
Time and place for performance of promise where time is specified and
no application to be made
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Section
49.
Application for performance on certain day to be at proper time and place
50.
Place for performance of promise where no application to be made and
no place fixed
51.
Performance in manner of at time prescribed or sanctioned by promisee
Performance of Reciprocal Promises
52.
Promisor not bound to perform unless reciprocal promisee ready and
willing to perform
53.
Order of performance of reciprocal promises
54.
Liability of party preventing event on which contract is to take effect
55.
Effect of defaults as to that promise which should be first performed, in
contract consisting of reciprocal promises
56.
(1) Effect of failure to perform at fixed time, in contract in which time
is essential
(2) Effect of failure when time is not essential
(3) Effect of acceptance of performance at time other than that agreed
upon
57.
(1) Agreement to do impossible act
(2) Contract to do act afterwards becoming impossible or unlawful
(3) Compensation for loss through non-performance of act known to be
impossible or unlawful
58.
Reciprocal promise to do things legal, and also other things illegal
59.
Alternative promise, one branch being illegal
Appropriation of Payments
60.
Application of payment where debt to be discharged is indicated
61.
Application of payment where debt to be discharged is not indicated
62.
Application of payment where neither party appropriates
Contracts which need not be Performed
63.
Effect of novation, rescission and alteration of contract
64.
Promisee may dispense with or remit performance of promise
65.
Consequences of rescission of voidable contract
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Section
66.
Obligation of person who has received advantage under void agreement,
or contract that becomes void
67.
Mode of communicating or revoking rescission of voidable contract
68.
Effect of neglect of promisee to afford promisor reasonable facilities for
performance
PART VI
OF CERTAIN RELATIONS RESEMBLING THOSE
CREATED BY CONTRACT
69.
Claim for necessaries supplied to person incapable of contracting, or on
his account
70.
Reimbursement of person paying money due by another, in payment of
which he is interested
71.
Obligation of person enjoying benefit of non-gratuitous act
72.
Responsibility or finder of goods
73.
Liability of person to whom money is paid, or thing delivered, by mistake
or under coercion
PART VII
OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF BREACH OF CONTRACT
74.
(1) Compensation for loss or damage caused by breach of contract
(2) Compensation for failure to discharge obligation resembling those
created by contract
75.
Compensation for breach of contract where penalty stipulated for
76.
Party rightfully rescinding contract entitled to compensation
PART VIII
OF INDEMNITY AND GUARANTEE
77.
"Contract of indemnity"
78.
Rights of indemnity holder when sued
79.
"Contract of guarantee", "surety", "principal debtor", and "creditor"
80.
Consideration for guarantee
81.
Surety's liability
82.
"Continuing guarantee"
83.
Revocation of continuing guarantee
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ACT 136
Section
84.
Revocation of continuing guarantee by surety's death
85.
Liability of two persons, primarily liable, not affected by arrangement
between them that one shall be surety on other's default
86.
Discharge of surety by variance in terms of contract
87.
Discharge of surety by release or discharge of principal debtor
88.
Discharge of surety when creditor compounds with, gives time to, or
agrees not to sue principal debtor
89.
Surety not discharged when agreement made with third person to give
time to principal debtor
90.
Creditor's forbearance to sue does not discharge surety
91.
Release of one co-surety does not discharge others
92.
Discharge of surety by creditor's act or omission impairing surety's
eventual remedy
93.
Rights of surety on payment or performance
94.
Surety's right to benefit of creditor's securities
95.
Guarantee obtained by misrepresentation invalid
96.
Guarantee obtained by concealment invalid
97.
Guarantee on contract that creditor shall not act on it until co-surety joins
98.
Implied promise to indemnify surety
99.
Co-sureties liable to contribute equally
100.
Liability of co-sureties bound in different sums
PART IX
OF BAILMENT
101.
"Bailment", "bailor" and "bailee"
102.
Delivery to bailee how made
103.
Bailor's duty to disclose faults in goods bailed
104.
Care to be taken by bailee
Bailee when not liable for loss, etc., of thing bailed
105.
106.
Termination of bailment by bailee's act inconsistent with conditions
107.
Liability of bailee making unauthorized use of goods bailed
108.
Effect of mixture, with bailor's consent, of his goods with bailee's
109.
Effect of mixture, without bailor's consent, when the goods can be
separated
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Section
110.
Effect of mixture, without bailor's consent, when the goods cannot be
separated
111.
Repayment by bailor of necessary expenses
112.
Restoration of goods lent gratuitously
113.
Return of goods bailed, on expiration of time or accomplishment of
purpose
114.
Bailee's responsibility when goods are not duly returned
115.
Termination of gratuitous bailment by death
116.
Bailor entitled to increase or profit from goods bailed
117.
Bailor's responsibility to bailee
118.
Bailment by several joint owners
119.
Bailee not responsible on re-delivery to bailor without title
120.
Right of third person claiming goods bailed
121.
Right of finder of goods; may sue for specific reward offered
122.
When finder of thing commonly on sale may sell it
123.
Bailee's particular lien
124.
General lien of bankers, factors, wharfingers, advocates and policy
brokers
Bailments of Pledges
125.
"Pledge", "pawnor" and "pawnee"
126.
Pawnee's right of retainer
127.
Pawnee not to retain for debt or promise other than that for which goods
pledged. Presumption in case of subsequent advances
128.
Pawnee's right as to extraordinary expenses incurred
129.
Pawnee's right where pawnor makes default
130.
Defaulting pawnor's right to redeem
131.
Pledge by possessor of goods, or of documentary title to goods
132.
Pledge where pawnor has only a limited interest
Suits by Bailees or Bailor againts Wrongdoers
133.
Suit by bailor or bailee against wrongdoer
134.
Apportionment of relief or compensation obtained by such suits
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ACT 136
PART X
AGENCY
Appoinment and Authority of Agents
Section
135.
"Agent" and "principal"
136.
Who may employ agent
137.
Who may be an agent
138.
Consideration not necessary
139.
Agent's authority may be expressed or implied
140.
Definitions of express and implied authority
141.
Extent of agent's authority
142.
Agent's authority in an emergency
Sub-agents
143.
When agent cannot delegate
144.
"Sub-agent"
145.
(1) Representation of principal by sub-agent properly appointed
(2) Agent's responsibility for sub-agent
(3) Sub-agent's responsibility
146.
Agent's responsibility for sub-agent appointed without authority
147.
Relation between principal and person duly appointed by agent to act in
business of agency
148.
Agent's duty in naming such person
Ratification
149.
Right of person as to acts done for him without his authority. Effect of
ratification
150.
Ratification may be expressed or implied
151.
Knowledge requisite to valid ratification
152.
Effect of ratifying unauthorized act forming part of a transaction
153.
Ratification of unauthorized act cannot injure third person
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Revocation of Authority
Section
154.
Termination of agency
155.
Termination of agency, where agent has an interest in subject-matter
156.
When principal may revoke agent's authority
157.
Revocation where authority has been partly exercised
158.
Compensation for revocation by principal or renunciation by agent
159.
Notice of revocation or renunciation
160.
Revocation and renunciation may be expressed or implied
161.
When termination of agent's authority takes effect as to agent, and as to
third persons
162.
Agent's duty on termination of agency by principal's death or insanity
163.
Termination of sub-agent's authority
Agent's duty to Principal
164.
Agent's duty in conducting principal's business
165.
Skill and diligence required from agent
166.
Agent's accounts
167.
Agent's duty to communicate with principal
168.
Right of principal when agent deals, on his own account, in business of
agency without principal's consent
169.
Principal's right to benefit gained by agent dealing on his own account
in business of agency
170.
Agent's right of retainer out of sums received on principal's account
171.
Agent's duty to pay sums received for principal
172.
When agent's remuneration becomes due
173.
Agent not entitled to remuneration for business misconducted
174.
Agent's lien on principal's property
Principal's duty to Agent
175.
Agent to be indemnified against consequences of lawful acts
176.
Agent to be indemnified against consequences of acts done in good faith
177.
Non-liability of employer of agent to do a criminal act
178.
Compensation to agent for injury caused by principal's neglect
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ACT 136
Effect of Agency on Contract with Third Persons
Section
179.
Enforcement and consequences of agent's contracts
180.
Principal how far bound when agent exceeds authority
181.
Principal not bound when excess of agent's authority is not separable
182.
Consequences of notice given to agent
183.
Agent cannot personally enforce, nor be bound by, contracts on behalf of
principal
Presumption of contract to contrary
184.
Rights of parties to a contract made by agent not disclosed
185.
Performance of contract with agent supposed to be principal
186.
Right of person dealing with agent personally liable
187.
Consequence of inducing agent or principal to act on belief that principal
or agent will be held exclusively liable
188.
Liability of pretended agent
189.
Person falsely contracting as agent not entitled to performance
190.
Liability of principal inducing belief that agent's unauthorized acts were
authorized
191.
Effect, on agreement, of misrepresentation or fraud by agent
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LAWS OF MALAYSIA
Act 136
CONTRACTS ACT 1950
An Act relating to contracts.
[Kuala Lumpur, Johore, Kedah, Kelantan,
Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis,
Selangor and Terengganu--23 May 1950;
Malacca, Penang, Sabah and Sarawak--1 July 1974]
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title
1. (1) This Act may be cited as the *Contracts Act 1950.
(2) Nothing herein contained shall affect any written law or any
usage or custom of trade, or any incident of any contract, not
inconsistent with this Act.
Interpretation
2.  In this Act the following words and expressions are used in the
following senses, unless a contrary intention appears from the
context:
(a) when one person signifies to another his willingness to do
or to abstain from doing anything, with a view to obtaining
the assent of that other to the act or abstinence, he is said
to make a proposal;
(b) when the person to whom the proposal is made signifies
his assent thereto, the proposal is said to be accepted: a
proposal, when accepted, becomes a promise;
*NOTE--See Appendix--Contracts (Amendment) Act 1976 [Act A329] with respect to Scholarship
Agreements.
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ACT 136
(c) the person making the proposal is called the "promisor"
and the person accepting the proposal is called the
"promisee";
(d) when, at the desire of the promisor, the promisee or any
other person has done or abstained from doing, or does or
abstains from doing, or promises to do or to abstain from
doing, something, such act or abstinence or promise is
called a consideration for the promise;
(e) every promise and every set of promises, forming the
consideration for each other, is an agreement;
(f) promises which form the consideration or part of the
consideration for each other are called reciprocal promises;
(g) an agreement not enforceable by law is said to be void;
(h) an agreement enforceable by law is a contract;
(i) an agreement which is enforceable by law at the option of
one or more of the parties thereto, but not at the option of
the other or others, is a voidable contract; and
(j) a contract which ceases to be enforceable by law becomes
void when it ceases to be enforceable.
PART II
OF THE COMMUNICATION, ACCEPTANCE AND
REVOCATION OF PROPOSALS
Communication, acceptance and revocation of proposals
3.  The communication of proposals, the acceptance of proposals,
and the revocation of proposals and acceptances, respectively, are
deemed to be made by any act or omission of the party proposing,
accepting, or revoking, by which he intends to communicate the
proposal, acceptance, or revocation, or which has the effect of
communicating it.
Communication, when complete
4. (1) The communication of a proposal is complete when it comes
to the knowledge of the person to whom it is made.
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(2) The communication of an acceptance is complete--
(a) as against the proposer, when it is put in a course of
transmission to him, so as to be out of the power of the
acceptor; and
(b) as against the acceptor, when it comes to the knowledge of
the proposer.
(3) The communication of a revocation is complete--
(a) as against the person who makes it, when it is put into a
course of transmission to the person to whom it is made, so
as to be out of the power of the person who makes it; and
(b) as against the person to whom it is made, when it comes to
his knowledge.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A proposes, by letter, to sell a house to B at a certain price.
The communication of the proposal is complete when B receives the
letter.
(b) B accepts A's proposal by a letter sent by post.
The communication of the acceptance is complete--
as against A, when the letter is posted;
as against B, when the letter is received by A.
(c) A revokes his proposal by telegram.
The revocation is complete as against A when the telegram is
despatched. It is complete as against B when B receives it.
(d) B revokes his acceptance by telegram.
B's revocation is complete as against B when the telegram is
despatched, and as against A when it reaches him
Revocation of proposals and acceptances
5 . ( 1 ) A proposal may be revoked at any time before the
communication of its acceptance is complete as against the proposer,
but not afterwards.
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ACT 136
(2) An acceptance may be revoked at any time before the
communication of the acceptance is complete as against the acceptor,
but not afterwards.
ILLUSTRATION
A proposes, by a letter sent by post, to sell his house to B.
B accepts the proposal by a letter sent by post.
A may revoke his proposal at any time before or at the moment when B posts
his letter of acceptance, but not afterwards.
B may revoke his acceptance at any time before or at the moment when the
letter communicating it reaches A, but not afterwards.
Revocation how made
A proposal is revoked--
6.
(a) by the communication of notice of revocation by the
proposer to the other party;
(b) by the lapse of the time prescribed in the proposal for its
acceptance, or, if no time is so prescribed, by the lapse of
a reasonable time, without communication of the acceptance;
(c) by the failure of the acceptor to fulfil a condition precedent
to acceptance; or
(d) by the death or mental disorder of the proposer, if the fact
of his death or mental disorder comes to the knowledge of
the acceptor before acceptance.
Acceptance must be absolute
7.  In order to convert a proposal into a promise the acceptance
must--
(a) be absolute and unqualified;
(b) be expressed in some usual and reasonable manner, unless
the proposal prescribes the manner in which it is to be
accepted. If the proposal prescribes a manner in which it
is to be accepted, and the acceptance is not made in that
manner, the proposer may, within a reasonable time after
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the acceptance is communicated to him, insist that his
proposal shall be accepted in the prescribed manner, and
not otherwise; but, if he fails to do so, he accepts the
acceptance.
Acceptance by performing conditions, or receiving consideration
8.  Performance of the conditions of a proposal, or the acceptance
of any consideration for a reciprocal promise which may be offered
with a proposal, is an acceptance of the proposal.
Promises, express and implied
9.  So far as the proposal or acceptance of any promise is made in
words, the promise is said to be express. So far as the proposal or
acceptance is made otherwise than in words, the promise is said to
be implied.
PART III
OF CONTRACTS, VOIDABLE CONTRACTS AND VOID
AGREEMENTS
What agreements are contracts
10. (1) All agreements are contracts if they are made by the free
consent of parties competent to contract, for a lawful consideration
and with a lawful object, and are not hereby expressly declared to be
void.
(2) Nothing herein contained shall affect any law by which any
contract is required to be made in writing or in the presence of
witnesses, or any law relating to the registration of documents.
Who are competent to contract
11.  Every person is competent to contract who is of the age of
majority according to the law to which he is subject, and who is of
sound mind, and is not disqualified from contracting by any law to
which he is subject.
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ACT 136
What is a sound mind for the purposes of contracting
12. (1) A person is said to be of sound mind for the purpose of
making a contract if, at the time when he makes it, he is capable of
understanding it and of forming a rational judgment as to its effect
upon his interests.
(2) A person who is usually of unsound mind, but occasionally of
sound mind, may make a contract when he is of sound mind.
(3) A person who is usually of sound mind, but occasionally of
unsound mind, may not make a contract when he is of unsound mind.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A patient in a mental hospital, who is at intervals of sound mind, may
contract during those intervals.
(b) A sane man, who is delirious from fever, or who is so drunk that he
cannot understand the terms of a contract, or form a rational judgment as to its
effect on his interests, cannot contract whilst such delirium or drunkenness
lasts.
"Consent"
13.  Two or more persons are said to consent when they agree upon
the same thing in the same sense.
"Free consent"
Consent is said to be free when it is not caused by--
14.
(a) coercion, as defined in section 15;
(b) undue influence, as defined in section 16;
(c) fraud, as defined in section 17;
(d) misrepresentation, as defined in section 18; or
(e) mistake, subject to sections 21, 22 and 23.
Consent is said to be so caused when it would not have been given
but for the existence of such coercion, undue influence, fraud,
misrepresentation, or mistake.
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"Coercion"
15.  "Coercion" is the committing, or threatening to commit any
act forbidden by the Penal Code, or the unlawful detaining or
threatening to detain, any property, to the prejudice of any person
whatever, with the intention of causing any person to enter into an
agreement.
Explanation--It is immaterial whether the Penal Code is or is not in force
in the place where the coercion is employed.
ILLUSTRATION
A, on board an English ship on the high seas, causes B to enter into an
agreement by an act amounting to criminal intimidation under the Penal Code.
A afterwards sues B for breach of contract at Taiping.
A has employed coercion, although his act is not an offence by the law of
England, and although section 506 of the Penal Code was not in force at the
time when or place where the act was done.
"Undue influence"
16. (1) A contract is said to be induced by "undue influence" where
the relations subsisting between the parties are such that one of the
parties is in a position to dominate the will of the other and uses that
position to obtain an unfair advantage over the other.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the
foregoing principle, a person is deemed to be in a position to
dominate the will of another--
(a) where he holds a real or apparent authority over the other,
or where he stands in a fiduciary relation to the other; or
(b) where he makes a contract with a person whose mental
capacity is temporarily or permanently affected by reason
of age, illness, or mental or bodily distress.
(3) (a) Where a person who is in a position to dominate the will
of another, enters into a contract with him, and the transaction
appears, on the face of it or on the evidence adduced, to be
unconscionable, the burden of proving that the contract was not
induced by undue influence shall lie upon the person in a position to
dominate the will of the other.
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(b) Nothing in this subsection shall affect section 111 of the
Evidence Act 1950 [Act 56].
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A having advanced money to his son, B, during his minority, upon B's
coming of age, obtains, by misuse of parental influence, a bond from B for a
greater amount than the sum due in respect of the advance. A employs undue
influence.
(b) A, a man enfeebled by disease or age, is induced, by B's influence over
him as his medical attendant, to agree to pay B an unreasonable sum for his
professional services. B employs undue influence.
(c) A, being in debt to B, the moneylender of his village, contracts a fresh
loan on terms which appear to be unconscionable. It lies on B to prove that the
contract was not induced by undue influence.
(d) A applies to a banker for a loan at a time when there is stringency in the
money market. The banker declines to make the loan except at an unusually
high rate of interest. A accepts the loan on these terms. This is a transaction in
the ordinary course of business, and the contract is not induced by undue
influence.
"Fraud"
17.  "Fraud" includes any of the following acts committed by a
party to a contract, or with his connivance, or by his agent, with
intent to deceive another party thereto or his agent, or to induce him
to enter into the contract:
(a) the suggestion, as to a fact, of that which is not true by one
who does not believe it to be true;
(b) the active concealment of a fact by one having knowledge
or belief of the fact;
(c) a promise made without any intention of performing it;
(d) any other act fitted to deceive; and
(e) any such act or omission as the law specially declares to be
fraudulent.
Explanation--Mere silence as to facts likely to affect the willingness of a
person to enter into a contract is not fraud, unless the circumstances of the case
are such that, regard being had to them, it is the duty of the person keeping
silence to speak, or unless his silence is, in itself, equivalent to speech.
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ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A sells, by auction, to B, a horse which A knows to be unsound. A says
nothing to B about the horse's unsoundness. This is not fraud in A.
(b) B is A's daughter and has just come of age. Here, the relation between
the parties would make it A's duty to tell B if the horse is unsound.
(c) B says to A, "If you do not deny it, I shall assume that the horse is
sound." A says nothing. Here, A's silence is equivalent to speech.
(d) A and B, being traders, enter upon a contract. A has private information
of a change in prices which would affect B's willingness to proceed with the
contract. A is not bound to inform B.
"Misrepresentation"
"Misrepresentation" includes--
18.
(a) the positive assertion, in a manner not warranted by the
information of the person making it, of that which is not
true, though he believes it to be true;
(b) any breach of duty which, without an intent to deceive,
gives an advantage to the person committing it, or anyone
claiming under him, by misleading another to his prejudice,
or to the prejudice of anyone claiming under him; and
(c) causing, however innocently, a party to an agreement to
make a mistake as to the substance of the thing which is the
subject of the agreement.
Voidability of agreements without free consent
19. (1) When consent to an agreement is caused by coercion, fraud,
or misrepresentation, the agreement is a contract voidable at the
option of the party whose consent was so caused.
(2) A party to a contract, whose consent was caused by fraud or
misrepresentation, may, if he thinks fit, insist that the contract shall
be performed, and that he shall be put in the position in which he
would have been if the representations made had been true.
Exception--If such consent was caused by misrepresentation or by silence,
fraudulent within the meaning of section 17, the contract, nevertheless, is not
voidable, if the party whose consent was so caused had the means of discovering
the truth with ordinary diligence.
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ACT 136
Explanation--A fraud or misrepresentation which did not cause the consent
to a contract of the party on whom the fraud was practised, or to whom the
misrepresentation was made, does not render a contract voidable.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A, intending to deceive B, falsely represents that five hundred gantangs
of indigo are made annually at A's factory, and thereby induces B to buy the
factory. The contract is voidable at the option of B.
(b) A, by a misrepresentation, leads B erroneously to believe that five
hundred gantangs of indigo are made annually at A's factory. B examines the
accounts of the factory, which show that only four hundred gantangs of indigo
have been made. After this B buys the factory. The contract is not voidable on
account of A's misrepresentation.
(c) B, having discovered a vein of ore on the estate of A, adopts means to
conceal, and does conceal, the existence of the ore from A. Through A's
ignorance B is enabled to buy the estate at an undervalue. The contract is
voidable at the option of A.
(d) A is entitled to succeed to an estate at the death of B; B dies; C, having
received intelligence of B's death, prevents the intelligence reaching A, and
thus induces A to sell him his interest in the estate. The sale is voidable at the
option of A.
Power to set aside contract induced by undue influence
20.  When consent to an agreement is caused by undue influence,
the agreement is a contract voidable at the option of the party whose
consent was so caused. Any such contract may be set aside either
absolutely or, if the party who was entitled to avoid it has received
any benefit thereunder, upon such terms and conditions as to the
court may seem just.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A's son has forged B's name to a promissory note. B, under threat of
prosecuting A's son, obtains a bond from A for the amount of the forged note.
If B sues on this bond, the court may set the bond aside.
(b) A, a moneylender, advances RM100 to B, an agriculturist, and, by undue
influence, induces B to execute a bond for RM200 with interest at 6 per cent per
month. The court may set the bond aside, ordering B to repay the RM100 with
such interest as may seem just.
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23
Agreement void where both parties are under mistake as to
matter of fact
21.  Where both the parties to an agreement are under a mistake as
to a matter of fact essential to the agreement, the agreement is void.
Explanation--An erroneous opinion as to the value of the thing which forms
the subject-matter of the agreement is not to be deemed a mistake as to a matter
of fact.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A agrees to sell B a specific cargo of goods supposed to be on its way
from England to Kelang. It turns out that, before the day of the bargain, the ship
conveying the cargo had been cast away and the goods lost. Neither party was
aware of the facts. The agreement is void.
(b) A agrees to buy from B a certain horse. It turns out that the horse was
dead at the time of the bargain, though neither party was aware of the fact. The
agreement is void.
(c) A, being entitled to an estate for the life of B, agrees to sell it to C. B was
dead at the time of the agreement, but both parties were ignorant of the fact. The
agreement is void.
Effect of mistake as to law
22.  A contract is not voidable because it was caused by a mistake
as to any law in force in Malaysia; but a mistake as to a law not in
force in Malaysia has the same effect as a mistake of fact.
ILLUSTRATION
A and B make a contract grounded on the erroneous belief that a particular
debt is barred by limitation: the contract is not voidable.
Contract caused by mistake of one party as to matter of fact
23.  A contract is not voidable merely because it was caused by one
of the parties to it being under a mistake as to a matter of fact.
What considerations and objects are lawful, and what not
The consideration or object of an agreement is lawful, unless--
24.
(a) it is forbidden by a law;
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(b) it is of such a nature that, if permitted, it would defeat any
law;
(c) it is fraudulent;
(d) it involves or implies injury to the person or property of
another; or
(e) the court regards it as immoral, or opposed to public
policy.
In each of the above cases, the consideration or object of an
agreement is said to be unlawful. Every agreement of which the
object or consideration is unlawful is void.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A agrees to sell his house to B for RM10,000. Here, B's promise to pay
the sum of RM10,000 is the consideration for A's promise to sell the house, and
A's promise to sell the house is the consideration for B's promise to pay the
RM10,000. These are lawful considerations.
(b) A promises to pay B RM1,000 at the end of six months, if C, who owes
that sum to B, fails to pay it. B promises to grant time to C accordingly. Here
the promise of each party is the consideration for the promise of the other party,
and they are lawful considerations.
(c) A promises, for a certain sum paid to him by B, to make good to B the
value of his ship if it is wrecked on a certain voyage. Here A's promise is the
consideration for B's payment, and B's payment is the consideration for A's
promise, and these are lawful considerations.
(d) A promises to maintain B's child, and B promises to pay A RM1,000
yearly for the purpose. Here the promise of each party is the consideration for
the promise of the other party. They are lawful considerations.
(e) A, B and C enter into an agreement for the division among them of gains
acquired, or to be acquired, by them by fraud. The agreement is void, as its
object is unlawful.
(f) A promises to obtain for B an employment in the public service, and B
promises to pay RM1,000 to A. The agreement is void, as the consideration for
it is unlawful.
(g) A, being agent for a landed proprietor, agrees for money, without the
knowledge of his principal, to obtain for B a lease of land belonging to his
principal. The agreement between A and B is void, as it implies a fraud by
concealment, by A, on his principal.
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25
(h) A promises B to drop a prosecution which he has instituted against B for
robbery, and B promises to restore the value of the things taken. The agreement
is void, as its object is unlawful.
(i) A's estate is sold for arrears of revenue under a written law, by which
the defaulter is prohibited from purchasing the estate. B, upon an understanding
with A, becomes the purchaser, and agrees to convey the estate to A upon
receiving from him the price which B has paid. The agreement is void, as it
renders the transaction, in effect, a purchase by the defaulter, and would so
defeat the object of the law.
(j) A, who is B's advocate, promises to exercise his influence, as such, with
B in favour of C, and C promises to pay RM1,000 to A. The agreement is void,
because it is immoral.
(k) A agrees to let her daughter to hire to B for concubinage. The agreement
is void, because it is immoral, though the letting may not be punishable under
the Penal Code.
Void Agreements
Agreements void if considerations and objects unlawful in part
25.  If any part of a single consideration for one or more objects, or
any one or any part of any one of several considerations for a single
object, is unlawful, the agreement is void.
ILLUSTRATION
A promises to superintend, on behalf of B, a legal manufacture of indigo, and
an illegal traffic in other articles. B promises to pay to A a salary of RM10,000
a year. The agreement is void, the object of A's promise and the consideration
for B's promise, being in part unlawful.
Agreement without consideration, void, unless--
An agreement made without consideration is void, unless--
26.
it is in writing and registered
(a) it is expressed in writing and registered under the law (if
any) for the time being in force for the registration of such
documents, and is made on account of natural love and
affection between parties standing in a near relation to
each other;
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or is a promise to compensate for something done
(b) it is a promise to compensate, wholly or in part, a person
who has already voluntarily done something for the promisor,
or something which the promisor was legally compellable
to do; or
or is a promise to pay a debt barred by limitation law
(c) it is a promise, made in writing and signed by the person
to be charged therewith, or by his agent generally or
specially authorized in that behalf, to pay wholly or in part
a debt of which the creditor might have enforced payment
but for the law for the limitation of suits.
In any of these cases, such an agreement is a contract.
Explanation 1--Nothing in this section shall affect the validity, as between
the donor and donee, of any gift actually made.
Explanation 2--An agreement to which the consent of the promisor is freely
given is not void merely because the consideration is inadequate; but the
inadequacy of the consideration may be taken into account by the court in
determining the question whether the consent of the promisor was freely given.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A promises, for no consideration, to give to B RM1, 000. This is a void
agreement,
(b) A, for natural love and affection, promises to give his son, B, RM1, 000.
A puts his promise to B into writing and registers it under a law for the time
being in force for the registration of such documents. This is a contract.
(c) A finds B's purse and gives it to him. B promises to give A RM50. This
is a contract.
(d) A supports B's infant son. B promises to pay A's expenses in so doing.
This is a contract.
(e) A owes B RM1,000, but the debt is barred by limitation. A signs a
written promise to pay B RM500 on account of the debt. This is a contract.
(f) A agrees to sell a horse worth RM1,000 for RM10. A's consent to the
agreement was freely given. The agreement is a contract notwithstanding the
inadequacy of the consideration.
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27
(g) A agrees to sell a horse worth RM1,000 for RM10. A denies that consent
to the agreement was freely given.
The inadequacy of the consideration is a fact which the court should take
into account in considering whether or not A's consent was freely given.
Agreement in restraint of marriage void
27.  Every agreement in restraint of the marriage of any person,
other than a minor during his or her minority, is void.
Agreement in restraint of trade void
28.  Every agreement by which anyone is restrained from exercising
a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind, is to that extent
void.
Saving of agreement not to carry on business of which goodwill is sold
Exception 1--One who sells the goodwill of a business may agree with the
buyer to refrain carrying on a similar business, within specified local limits, so
long as the buyer, or any person deriving title to the goodwill from him, carries
on a like business therein:
Provided that such limits appear to the court reasonable, regard being had
to the nature of the business.
of agreement between partners prior to dissolution
Exception 2--Partners may, upon or in anticipation of a dissolution of the
partnership, agree that some or all of them will not carry on a business similar
to that of the partnership within such local limits as are referred to in exception
1.
or during continuance of partnership
Exception 3--Partners may agree that some one or all of them will not carry
on any business, other than that of the partnership, during the continuance of
the partnership.
Agreements in restraint of legal proceedings void
29.  Every agreement, by which any party thereto is restricted
absolutely from enforcing his rights under or in respect of any
contract, by the usual legal proceedings in the ordinary tribunals, or
which limits the time within which he may thus enforce his rights,
is void to that extent.
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Saving of contract to refer to arbitration dispute that may arise
Exception 1--This section shall not render illegal a contract by which two
or more persons agree that any dispute which may arise between them in
respect of any subject or class of subjects shall be referred to arbitration, and
that only the amount awarded in the arbitration shall be recoverable in respect
of the dispute so referred.
Saving of contract to refer questions that have already arisen
Exception 2---Nor shall this section render illegal any contract in writing,
by which two or more persons agree to refer to arbitration any question between
them which has already arisen, or affect any law as to references to arbitration.
*Exception 3--Nor shall this section render illegal any contract in writing
between the Government and any person with respect to an award of a
scholarship by the Government wherein it is provided that the discretion
exercised by the Government under that contract shall be final and conclusive
and shall not be questioned by any court.
In this exception, the expression "scholarship" includes any bursary to be
awarded or tuition or examination fees to be defrayed by the Government and
the expression "Government" includes the Government of a State.
Agreements void for uncertainty
30.  Agreements, the meaning of which is not certain, or capable of
being made certain, are void.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A agrees to sell to B "a hundred tons of oil". There is nothing whatever
to show what kind of oil was intended. The agreement is void for uncertainty.
(b) A agrees to sell to B one hundred tons of oil of a specified description,
known as an article of commerce. There is no uncertainty here to make the
agreement void.
(c) A, who is a dealer in coconut oil only, agrees to sell to B "one hundred
tons of oil". The nature of A's trade affords an indication of the meaning of the
words, and A has entered into a contract for the sale of one hundred tons of
coconut oil.
(d) A agrees to sell to B "all the grain in my granary at Ipoh". There is no
uncertainty here to make the agreement void.
*NOTE--See Appendix­Contracts (Amendment) Act 1976 [Act 32a] with respect to Scholarship
Agreements.
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29
(e) A agrees to sell to B "one thousand gantangs of rice at a price to be fixed
by C". As the price is capable of being made certain, there is no uncertainty here
to make the agreement void.
(f) A agrees to sell to B "my white horse for five hundred ringgit or one
thousand ringgit". There is nothing to show which of the two prices was to be
given. The agreement is void.
Agreements by way of wager void
31. (1) Agreements by way of wager are void; and no suit shall be
brought for recovering anything alleged to be won on any wager, or
entrusted to any person to abide the result of any game or other
uncertain event on which any wager is made.
Exception in favour of certain prizes for horse racing
(2) This section shall not be deemed to render unlawful a subscription
or contribution, or agreement to subscribe or contribute, made or
entered into for or toward any plate, prize, or sum of money, of the
value or amount of five hundred ringgit or upwards, to be awarded
to the winner or winners of any horse race.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to legalise any
transaction connected with horse racing forbidden by any written
law.
PART IV
OF CONTINGENT CONTRACTS
"Contingent contract"
32.  A "contingent contract" is a contract to do or not to do
something, if some event, collateral to the contract, does or does not
happen.
ILLUSTRATION
A contracts to pay B RM10,000 if B's house is burnt. This is a contingent
contract.
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Enforcement of contracts contingent on an event happening
33. (a) Contingent contracts to do or not to do anything if an
uncertain future event happens cannot be enforced by law unless and
until that event has happened.
(b) If the event becomes impossible, such contracts become void.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A makes a contract with B to buy B's horse if A survives C. This contract
cannot be enforced by law unless and until C dies in A's lifetime.
(b) A makes a contract with B to sell a horse to B at a specified price, if C,
to whom the horse has been offered, refuses to buy him. The contract cannot
be enforced by law unless and until C refuses to buy the horse.
(c) A contracts to pay B a sum of money when B marries C. C dies without
being married to B. The contract becomes void.
Enforcement of contracts contingent on an event not happening
34.  Contingent contracts to do or not to do anything if an uncertain
future event does not happen can be enforced when the happening of
that event becomes impossible, and not happening.
ILLUSTRATION
A agrees to pay B a sum of money if a certain ship does not return. The ship
is sunk. The contract can be enforced when the ship sinks.
When event on which contract is contingent to be deemed
impossible, if it is the future conduct of a living person
35.  If the future event on which a contract is contingent is the way
in which a person will act at an unspecified time, the event shall be
considered to become impossible when such person does anything
which renders it impossible that he should so act within any definite
time, or otherwise than under further contingencies.
ILLUSTRATION
A agrees to pay B a sum of money if B marries C.
C marries D. The marriage of B to C must now be considered impossible,
although it is possible that D may die and that C may afterwards marry B.
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31
When contracts become void which are contingent on happening
of specified event within fixed time
36. (1) Contingent contracts to do or not to do anything if a
specified uncertain event happens within a fixed time become void
if, at the expiration of the time fixed, the event has not happened, or
if, before the time fixed, the event becomes impossible.
When contracts may be enforced which are contingent on specified
event not happening within fixed time
(2) Contingent contracts to do or not to do anything if a specified
uncertain event does not happen within a fixed time may be enforced
by law when the time fixed has expired and the event has not
happened, or, before the time fixed has expired, if it becomes certain
that the event will not happen.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A promises to pay B a sum of money if a certain ship returns within a
year. The contract may be enforced if the ship returns within the year, and
becomes void if the ship is burnt within the year.
(b) A promises to pay B a sum of money if a certain ship does not return
within a year. The contract may be enforced if the ship does not return within
the year, or is burnt within the year.
Agreement contingent on impossible events void
37.  Contingent agreements to do or not to do anything, if an
impossible event happens, are void, whether the impossibility of the
event is known or not to the parties to the agreement at the time when
it is made.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A agrees to pay B RM1,000 if two straight lines should enclose a space.
The agreement is void.
(b) A agrees to pay B RM1,000 if B will marry A's daughter C. C was dead
at the time of the agreement. The agreement is void.
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PART V
OF THE PERFORMANCE OF CONTRACTS
Contracts which must be Performed
Obligation of parties to contracts
38. (1) The parties to a contract must either perform, or offer to
perform, their respective promises, unless the performance is dispensed
with or excused under this Act, or of any other law.
(2) Promises bind the representatives of the promisors in case of
the death of the promisors before performance, unless a contrary
intention appears from the contract.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A promises to deliver goods to B on a certain day on payment of
RM1,000. A dies before that day. A's representatives are bound to deliver the
goods to B, and B is bound to pay the RM1000 to A's representatives.
(b) A promises to paint a picture for B by a certain day, at a certain price.
A dies before the day. The contract cannot be enforced either by A's
representatives or by B.
Effect of refusal to accept offer of performance
39. (1) Where a promisor has made an offer of performance to the
promisee, and the offer has not been accepted, the promisor is not
responsible for non-performance, nor does he thereby lose his rights
under the contract.
(2) Every such offer must fulfil the following conditions:
(a) it must be unconditional;
(b) it must be made at a proper time and place, and under such
circumstances that the person to whom it is made may have
a reasonable opportunity of ascertaining that the person by
whom it is made is able and willing there and then to do the
whole of what he is bound by his promise to do; and
(c) if the offer is an offer to deliver anything to the promisee,
the promisee must have a reasonable opportunity of seeing
that the thing offered is the thing which the promisor is
bound by his promise to deliver.
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33
(3) An offer to one of several joint promisees has the same legal
consequences as an offer to all of them.
ILLUSTRATION
A contracts to deliver to B at his warehouse, on the 1st of March, 100 bales
of cotton of a particular quality. In order to make an offer of a performance with
the effect stated in this section, A must bring the cotton to B's warehouse, on
the appointed day, under such circumstances that B may have a reasonable
opportunity of satisfying himself that the thing offered is cotton of the quality
contracted for, and that there are 100 bales.
Effect of refusal of party to perform promise wholly
40.  When a party to a contract has refused to perform, or disabled
himself from performing, his promise in its entirety, the promisee
may put an end to the contract, unless he has signified, by words or
conduct, his acquiescence in its continuance.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A, a singer, enters into a contract with B, the manager of a theatre, to sing
at his theatre two nights in every week during the next two months, and B
engages to pay her RM100 for each night's performance. On the sixth night A
wilfully absents herself from the theatre. B is at liberty to put an end to the
contract.
(b) A, a singer, enters into a contract with B, the manager of a theatre, to sing
at his theatre two nights in every week during the next two months, and B
engages to pay her at the rate of RM100 for each night. On the sixth night A
wilfully absents herself. With the assent of B, A sings on the seventh night. B
has signified his acquiescence in the continuance of the contract, and cannot
now put an end to it, but is entitled to compensation for the damage sustained
by him through A's failure to sing on the sixth night.
By whom Contracts must be Performed
Person by whom promise is to be performed
41.  If it appears from the nature of the case that it was the intention
of the parties to any contract that any promise contained in it should
be performed by the promisor himself, such promise must be
performed by the promisor. In other cases, the promisor or his
representatives may employ a competent person to perform it.
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ACT 136
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A promises to pay B a sum of money. A may perform this promise, either
by personally paying the money to B, or by causing it to be paid to B by another;
and, if A dies before the time appointed for payment, his representatives must
perform the promise, or employ some proper person to do so.
(b) A promises to paint a picture for B. A must perform this promise
personally.
Effect of accepting performance from third person
4 2 .  W h e n a promisee accepts performance of the promise
from a third person, he cannot afterwards enforce it against the
promisor.
Devolution of joint liabilities
43.  When two or more persons have made a joint promise, then,
unless a contrary intention appears by the contract, all such persons,
during their joint lives, and, after the death of any of them, his
representative jointly with the survivor, and, after the death of the
last survivor, the representatives of all jointly, must fulfil the
promise.
Any one of joint promisors may be compelled to perform
44. (1) When two or more persons make a joint promise, the
promisee may, in the absence of express agreement to the contrary,
compel any one or more of the joint promisors to perform the whole
of the promise.
Each promisor may compel contribution
(2) Each of two or more joint promisors may compel every
other joint promisor to contribute equally with himself to the
performance of the promise, unless a contrary intention appears
from the contract.
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35
Sharing of loss by default in contribution
(3) If any one of two or more joint promisors makes default in the
contribution, the remaining joint promisors must bear the loss
arising from the default in equal shares.
Explanation--Nothing in this section shall prevent a surety from recovering
from his principal payments made by the surety on behalf of the principal, or
entitle the principal to recover anything from the surety on account of payments
made by the principal.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A, B and C jointly promise to pay D RM3, 000. D may compel either A
or B or C to pay him RM3, 000.
(b) A, B and C jointly promise to pay D the sum of RM3,000. C is compelled
to pay the whole. A is insolvent, but his assets are sufficient to pay one-half of
his debts. C is entitled to receive RM500 from A's estate, and RM1,250 from
B.
(c) A, B and C are under a joint promise to pay D RM3,000. C is unable to
pay anything, and A is compelled to pay the whole. A is entitled to receive
RM1,500 from B.
(d) A, B and C are under a joint promise to pay D RM3,000, A and B being
only sureties for C. C fails to pay. A and B are compelled to pay the whole sum.
They are entitled to recover it from C.
Effect of release of one joint promisor
45.  Where two or more persons have made a joint promise, a
release of one of such joint promisors by the promisee does not
discharge the other joint promisor or joint promisors; neither does
it free the joint promisor so released from responsibility to the other
joint promisor or joint promisors.
Devolution of joint rights
46. When a person has made a promise to two or more persons
jointly, then, unless a contrary intention appears from the contract,
the right to claim performance rests, as between him and them, with
them during their joint lives, and, after the death of any of them, with
the representative of the deceased person jointly with the survivor
or survivors, and after the death of the last survivor, with the
representatives of all jointly.
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ACT 136
ILLUSTRATION
A, in consideration of RM5,000 lent to him by B and C, promises B and C
jointly to repay them that sum with interest on a day specified. B dies. The right
to claim performance rests with B's representative jointly with C during C's
life, and after the death of C with the representatives of B and C jointly.
Time and Place for Performance
Time for performance of promise where no application is to be
made and no time is specified
47.  Where, by the contract, a promisor is to perform his promise
without application by the promisee, and no time for performance is
specified, the engagement must be performed within a reasonable
time.
Explanation--The question "what is a reasonable time" is, in each particular
case, a question of fact.
Time and place for performance of promise where time is
specified and no application to be made
48.  When a promise is to be performed on a certain day, and the
promisor has undertaken to perform it without application by the
promisee, the promisor may perform it at any time during the usual
hours of business on the day and at the place at which the promise
ought to be application performed.
ILLUSTRATION
A promises to deliver goods at B's warehouse on the 1st of January. On that
day A brings the goods to B's warehouse, but after the usual hour for closing
it, and they are not received. A has not performed his promise.
Application for performance on certain day to be at proper time
and place
49.  When a promise is to be performed on a certain day, and the
promisor has not undertaken to perform it without application by the
promisee, it is the duty of the promisee to apply for performance at
a proper place and within the hours of business.
Explanation-- The question "what is a proper time and place" is, in each
particular case, a question of fact.
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37
Place for performance of promise where no application to be
made and no place fixed
50.  When a promise is to be performed without application by the
promisee, and no place is fixed for the performance of it, it is the
duty of the promisor to apply to the promisee to appoint a reasonable
place for the performance of the promise, and to perform it at that
place.
ILLUSTRATION
A undertakes to deliver a thousand gantangs of rice to B on a fixed day. A
must apply to B to appoint a reasonable place for the purpose of receiving it,
and must deliver it to him at that place.
Performance in manner or at time prescribed or sanctioned by
promisee
51.  The performance of any promise may be made in any manner,
or at any time which the promisee prescribes or sanctions.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) B owes A RM2,000. A desires B to pay the amount to A's account with
C, a banker. B, who also banks with C, orders the amount to be transferred from
his account to A's credit, and this is done by C. Afterwards, and before A knows
of the transfer, C fails. There has been a good payment by B.
(b) A and B are mutually indebted. A and B settle an account by setting off
one item against another, and B pays A the balance found to be due from him
upon such settlement. This amounts to a payment by A and B, respectively, of
the sums which they owed to each other.
(c) A owes B RM2,000. B accepts some of A's goods in reduction of the
debt. The delivery of the goods operates as a part payment.
(d) A desires B, who owes him RM100, to send him a note for RM100 by
post. The debt is discharged as soon as B puts into the post a letter containing
the note duly addressed to A.
Performance of Reciprocal Promises
Promisor not bound to perform unless reciprocal promisee
ready and willing to perform
5 2 .  W h e n a contract consists of reciprocal promises to be
simultaneously performed, no promisor need perform his promise
unless the promisee is ready and willing to perform his reciprocal
promise.
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ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A and B contract that A shall deliver goods to B to be paid for by B on
delivery.
A need not deliver the goods unless B is ready and willing to pay for the
goods on delivery.
B need not pay for the goods unless A is ready and willing to deliver them
on payment.
(b) A and B contract that A shall deliver goods to B at a price to be paid by
instalments, the first instalment to be paid on delivery.
A need not deliver unless B is ready and willing to pay the first instalment
on delivery.
B need not pay the first instalment unless A is ready and willing to deliver
the goods on payment of the first instalment.
Order of performance of reciprocal promises
53.  Where the order in which reciprocal promises are to be performed
is expressly fixed by the contract, they shall be performed in that
order; and, where the order is not expressly fixed by the contract,
they shall be performed in that order which the nature of the
transaction requires.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A and B contract that A shall build a house for B at a fixed price. A's
promise to build the house must be performed before B's promise to pay for it.
(b) A and B contract that A shall make over his stock-in-trade to B at a fixed
price, and B promises to give security for the payment of the money. A's
promise need not be performed until the security is given, for the nature of the
transaction requires that A should have security before he delivers up his stock.
Liability of party preventing event on which contract is to take
effect
54.  When a contract contains reciprocal promises, and one party to
the contract prevents the other from performing his promise, the
contract becomes voidable at the option of the party so prevented;
and he is entitled to compensation from the other party for any loss
which he may sustain in consequence of the non-performance of the
contract.
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39
ILLUSTRATION
A and B contract that B shall execute certain work for A for RM1,000. B is
ready and willing to execute the work accordingly, but A prevents him from
doing so. The contract is voidable at the option of B; and, if he elects to rescind
it, he is entitled to recover from A compensation for any loss which he has
incurred by its non-performance.
Effect of default as to that promise which should be first
performed, in contract consisting of reciprocal promises
5 5 .  W h e n a contract consists of reciprocal promises, such
that one of them cannot be performed, or that its performance
cannot be claimed till the other has been performed, and the promisor
of the promise last mentioned fails to perform it, the promisor
cannot claim the performance of the reciprocal promise, and must
make compensation to the other party to the contract for any loss
which the other party may sustain by the non-performance of the
contract.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A hires B's ship to take in and convey, from Kelang to Singapore, a
cargo to be provided by A, B receiving a certain freight for its conveyance. A
does not provide any cargo for the ship. A cannot claim the performance of B's
promise, and must make compensation to B for the loss which B sustains by the
non-performance of the contract.
(b) A contracts with B to execute certain builders' work for a fixed price,
B supplying the scaffolding and timber necessary for the work. B refuses to
furnish any scaffolding or timber, and the work cannot be executed. A need not
execute the work, and B is bound to make compensation to A for any loss caused
to him by the non-performance of the contract.
(c) A contracts with B to deliver to him, at a specified price, certain
merchandise on board a ship which cannot arrive for a month, and B engages
to pay for the merchandise within a week from the date of the contract. B does
not pay within the week. A's promise to deliver need not be performed, and B
must make compensation.
(d) A promises B to sell him one hundred bales of merchandise, to be
delivered next day, and B promises A to pay for them within a month. A does
not deliver according to his promise. B's promise to pay need not be
performed, and A must make compensation.
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ACT 136
Effect of failure to perform at fixed time, in contract in which
time is essential
56. (1) When a party to a contract promises to do a certain thing at
or before a specified time, or certain things at or before specified
times, and fails to do any such thing at or before the specified time,
the contract, or so much of it as has not been performed, becomes
voidable at the option of the promisee, if the intention of the parties
was that time should be of the essence of the contract.
Effect of failure when time is not essential
(2) If it was not the intention of the parties that time should be of
the essence of the contract, the contract does not become voidable
by the failure to do the thing at or before the specified time; but the
promisee is entitled to compensation from the promisor for any loss
occasioned to him by the failure.
Effect of acceptance of performance at time other than that
agreed upon
(3) If, in case of a contract voidable on account of the promisor's
failure to perform his promise at the time agreed, the promisee
accepts performance of the promise at any time other than that
agreed, the promisee cannot claim compensation for any loss occasioned
by the non-performance of the promise at the time agreed, unless, at
the time of the acceptance, he gives notice to the promisor of his
intention to do so.
Agreement to do impossible act
57. (1) An agreement to do an act impossible in itself is void.
Contract to do act afterwards becoming impossible or unlawful
(2) A contract to do an act which, after the contract is made,
becomes impossible, or by reason of some event which the promisor
could not prevent, unlawful, becomes void when the act becomes
impossible or unlawful.
Contracts
41
Compensation for loss through non-performance of act known
to be impossible or unlawful
(3) Where one person has promised to do something which he
knew, or, with reasonable diligence, might have known, and which
the promisee did not know, to be impossible or unlawful, the
promisor must make compensation to the promisee for any loss
which the promisee sustains through the non-performance of the
promise.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A agrees with B to discover treasure by magic. The agreement is void.
(b) A and B contract to marry each other. Before the time fixed for the
marriage, A goes mad. The contract becomes void.
(c) A contracts to marry B, being already married to C, and being forbidden
by the law to which he is subject to practise polygamy. A must make compensation
to B for the loss caused to her by the non-performance of his promise.
(d) A contracts to take in cargo for B at a foreign port. A's Government
afterwards declares war against the country in which the port is situated. The
contract becomes void when war is declared.
(e) A contracts to act at a theatre for six months in consideration of a sum
paid in advance by B. On several occasions A is too ill to act. The contract to
act on those occasions becomes void.
Reciprocal promise to do things legal, and also other things
illegal
58.  Where persons reciprocally promise, firstly, to do certain
things which are legal, and, secondly, under specified circumstances,
to do certain other things which are illegal, the first set of promises
is a contract, but the second is a void agreement.
ILLUSTRATION
A and B agree that A shall sell B a house for RM10,000, but that, if B uses
it as a gambling house, he shall pay A RM50,000 for it.
The first set of reciprocal promises, namely, to sell the house and to pay
RM10,000 for it, is a contract.
The second set is for an unlawful object, namely, that B may use the house
as a gambling house, and is a void agreement.
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ACT 136
Alternative promise, one branch being illegal
59.  In the case of an alternative promise, one branch of which is
legal and the other illegal, the legal branch alone can be enforced.
ILLUSTRATION
A and B agree that A shall pay B RM1,000 for which B shall afterwards
deliver to A either rice or smuggled opium.
This is a valid contract to deliver rice, and a void agreement as to the opium.
Appropriation of Payments
Application of payment where debt to be discharged is indicated
60.  Where a debtor, owing several distinct debts to one person,
makes a payment to him, either with express intimation, or under
circumstances implying that the payment is to be applied to the
discharge of some particular debt, the payment, if accepted, must be
applied accordingly.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A owes B, among other debts, RM1,000 upon a promissory note, which
falls due on the 1st of June. He owes B no other debt of that amount. On the
1st of June A pays to B RM1,000. The payment is to be applied to the discharge
of the promissory note.
(b) A owes to B, among other debts, the sum of RM567. B writes to A and
demands the payment of this sum. A sends to B RM567. This payment is to be
applied to the discharge of the debt of which B had demanded payment.
Application of payment where debt to be discharged is not
indicated
61.  Where the debtor has omitted to intimate, and there are no
other circumstances indicating to which debt the payment is to be
applied, the creditor may apply it at his discretion to any lawful debt
actually due and payable to him from the debtor, whether its
recovery is or is not barred by the law in force for the time being as
to the limitation of suits.
Contracts
43
Application of payment where neither party appropriates
62.  Where neither party makes any appropriation the payment
shall be applied in discharge of the debts in order of time, whether
they are or are not barred by the law relating to the limitation of suits.
If the debts are of equal standing, the payment shall be applied in
discharge of each proportionably.
Contracts which need not be Performed
Effect of novation, rescission and alteration of contract
63. If the parties to a contract agree to substitute a new contract for
it, or to rescind or alter it, the original contract need not be performed.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A owes money to B under a contract. It is agreed between A, B and C that
B shall henceforth accept C as his debtor, instead of A. The old debt of A to B
is at an end, and a new debt from C to B has been contracted.
(b) A owes B RM10,000. A enters into an arrangement with B, and gives B
a mortgage of his (A's) estate for RM5,000 in place of the debt of RM10,000.
This is a new contract and extinguishes the old.
(c) A owes B RM1,000 under a contract. B owes C RM1,000. B orders A to
credit C with RM1,000 in his books, but C does not assent to the agreement. B
still owes C RM 1,000, and no new contract has been entered into.
Promisee may dispense with or remit performance of promise
64. Every promisee may dispense with or remit, wholly or in part,
the performance of the promise made to him, or may extend the time
for such performance, or may accept instead of it any satisfaction
which he thinks fit.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A promises to paint a picture for B. B afterwards forbids him to do so.
A is no longer bound to perform the promise.
(b) A owes B RM5, 000. A pays to B, and B accepts, in satisfaction of the
whole debt, RM2, 000 paid at the time and place at which the RM5,000 were
payable. The whole debt is discharged.
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ACT 136
(c) A owes B RM5,000. C pays to B RM1,000 and B accepts them, in
satisfaction of his claim on A. This payment is a discharge of the whole claim.
(d) A owes B under a contract, a sum of money, the amount of which has not
been ascertained. A, without ascertaining the amount, gives to B, and B, in
satisfaction thereof, accepts the sum of RM2,000. This is a discharge of the
whole debt, whatever may be its amount.
(e) A owes B RM2,000, and is also indebted to other creditors. A makes an
arrangement with his creditors, including B, to pay them a composition of fifty
cents in the dollar upon their respective demands. Payment to B of RM1,000
is a discharge of B's demand.
Consequences of rescission of voidable contract
65.  When a person at whose option a contract is voidable rescinds
it, the other party thereto need not perform any promise therein
contained in which he is promisor. The party rescinding a voidable
contract shall, if he has received any benefit thereunder from
another party to such contract, restore the benefit, so far as may be,
to the person from whom it was received.
Obligation of person who has received advantage under void
agreement, or contract that becomes void
66.  When an agreement is discovered to be void, or when a
contract becomes void, any person who has received any advantage
under the agreement or contract is bound to restore it, or to make
compensation for it, to the person from whom he received it.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A pays B RM1,000 in consideration of B's promising to marry C, A's
daughter. C is dead at the time of the promise. The agreement is void, but B
must repay A the RM1,000.
(b) A contracts with B to deliver to him 250 gantangs of rice before the
1st of May. A delivers 130 gantangs only before that day, and none later. B
retains the 130 gantangs after the 1st of May. He is bound to pay A for them.
(c) A, a singer, contracts with B, the manager of a theatre, to sing at his
theatre for two nights in every week during the next two months, and B engages
to pay her RM100 for each night's performance. On the sixth night A wilfully
absents herself from the theatre, and B, in consequence, rescinds the contract.
B must pay A for the five nights on which she had sung.
Contracts
45
(d) A contracts to sing for B at a concert for RM1,000, which are paid in
advance. A is too ill to sing. A is not bound to make compensation to B for the
loss of the profits which B would have made if A had been able to sing, but must
refund to B the RM1,000 paid in advance.
Mode of communicating or revoking rescission of voidable
contract
67.  The rescission of a voidable contract may be communicated or
revoked in the same manner, and subject to the same rules, as apply
to the communication or revocation of a proposal.
Effect of neglect of promisee to afford promisor reasonable
facilities for performance
68.  If any promisee neglects or refuses to afford the promisor
reasonable facilities for the performance of his promise, the promisor
is excused by the neglect or refusal as to any non-performance
caused thereby.
ILLUSTRATION
A contracts with B to repair B's house.
B neglects or refuses to point out to A the places in which his house requires
repair.
A is excused for the non-performance of the contract if it is caused by such
neglect or refusal.
PART VI
OF CERTAIN RELATIONS RESEMBLING THOSE CREATED BY
CONTRACT
Claim for necessaries supplied to person incapable of contracting,
or on his account
69.  If a person, incapable of entering into a contract, or anyone
whom he is legally bound to support, is supplied by another person
with necessaries suited to his condition in life, the person who has
furnished such supplies is entitled to be reimbursed from the property
of such incapable person.
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ACT 136
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A supplies B, a mentally disordered person, with necessaries suitable to
his condition in life. A is entitled to be reimbursed from B's property.
(b) A supplies the wife and children of B, a mentally disordered person,
with necessaries suitable to their condition in life. A is entitled to be reimbursed
from B's property.
Reimbursement of person paying money due by another, in
payment of which he is interested
70.  A person who is interested in the payment of money which
another is bound by law to pay, and who therefore pays it, is entitled
to be reimbursed by the other.
ILLUSTRATION
A, the owner of a holding situated within a Town Board area, allows the
assessment due thereon to fall into arrear. The Chairman of the Town Board
seizes movable property found on the holding with a view to its sale by public
auction under the Town Boards Enactment [F. M. S. Cap. 137]. B having an
interest in the movable property pays the arrear. A is bound to make good to B
the amount so paid.
Obligation of person enjoying benefit of non-gratuitous act
71.  Where a person lawfully does anything for another person, or
delivers anything to him, not intending to do so gratuitously, and
such other person enjoys the benefit thereof, the latter is bound to
make compensation to the former in respect of, or to restore, the
thing so done or delivered.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A, a tradesman, leaves goods at B's house by mistake. B treats the goods
as his own. He is bound to pay A for them.
(b) A saves B's property from fire. A is not entitled to compensation from
B, if the circumstances show that he intended to act gratuitously.
Responsibility of finder of goods
72.  A person who finds goods belonging to another and takes them
into his custody, is subject to the same responsibility as a bailee.
Contracts
47
Liability of person to whom money is paid, or thing delivered, by
mistake or under coercion
73.  A person to whom money has been paid, or anything delivered,
by mistake or under coercion, must repay or return it.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A and B jointly owe RM100 to C. A alone pays the amount to C, and B,
not knowing this fact, pays RM100 over again to C. C is bound to repay the
amount to B.
(b) A railway company refuses to deliver up certain goods to the consignee,
except upon the payment of an illegal charge for carriage. The consignee pays
the sum charged in order to obtain the goods. He is entitled to recover so much
of the charge as was illegally excessive.
PART VII
OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF BREACH OF CONTRACT
Compensation for loss or damage caused by breach of contract
74. (1) When a contract has been broken, the party who suffers by
the breach is entitled to receive, from the party who has broken the
contract, compensation for any loss or damage caused to him
thereby, which naturally arose in the usual course of things from the
breach, or which the parties knew, when they made the contract, to
be likely to result from the breach of it.
(2) Such compensation is not to be given for any remote and
indirect loss or damage sustained by reason of the breach.
Compensation for failure to discharge obligation resembling
those created by contract
(3) When an obligation resembling those created by contract has
been incurred and has not been discharged, any person injured by the
failure to discharge it is entitled to receive the same compensation
from the party in default as if the person had contracted to discharge
it and had broken his contract.
Explanation-- In estimating the loss or damage arising from a breach of
contract, the means which existed of remedying the inconvenience caused by
the non-performance of the contract must be taken into account.
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ACT 136
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A contracts to sell and deliver 50 gantangs of saltpetre to B, at a certain
price to be paid on delivery. A breaks his promise. B is entitled to receive from
A, by way of compensation, the sum, if any, by which the contract price falls
short of the price for which B might have obtained 50 gantangs of saltpetre of
like quality at the time when the saltpetre ought to have been delivered.
(b) A hires B's ship to go to Telok Anson, and there take on board, on the
1st of January, a cargo, which A is to provide, and to bring it to Port Dickson,
the freight to be paid when earned. B's ship does not go to Teluk Intan, but A
has opportunities of procuring suitable conveyance for the cargo upon terms as
advantageous as those on which he had chartered the ship. A avails himself of
those opportunities, but is put to trouble and expense in doing so. A is entitled
to receive compensation from B in respect of the trouble and expense.
(c) A contracts to buy of B, at a stated price, 50 gantangs of rice, no time
being fixed for delivery. A afterwards informs B that he will not accept the rice
if tendered to him. B is entitled to receive from A, by way of compensation the
amount, if any, by which the contract price exceeds that which B can obtain for
the rice at the time when A informs B that he will not accept it.
(d) A contracts to buy B's ship for RM60,000, but breaks his promise. A
must pay to B, by way of compensation, the excess, if any, of the contract price
over the price which B can obtain for the ship at the time of the breach of
promise.
(e) A, the owner of a boat, contracts with B to take a cargo of tin to
Singapore, for sale at that place, starting on a specified day. The boat, owing
to some avoidable cause, does not start at the time appointed, whereby the
arrival of the cargo at Singapore is delayed beyond the time when it would have
arrived if the boat had sailed according to the contract. After that date, and
before the arrival of the cargo, the price of tin falls. The measure of the
compensation payable to B by A is the difference between the price which B
could have obtained for the cargo at Singapore, at the time when it would have
arrived if forwarded in due course, and its market price at the time when it
actually arrived.
(f) A contracts to repair B's house in a certain manner, and receives
payment in advance. A repairs the house, but not according to contract. B is
entitled to recover from A the cost of making the repairs conform to the
contract.
(g) A contracts to let his ship to B for a year, from the 1st of January, for a
certain price. Freights rise, and, on the 1st of January, the hire obtainable for
the ship is higher than the contract price. A breaks his promise. He must pay to
B, by way of compensation, a sum equal to the difference between the contract
price and the price for which B could hire a similar ship for a year on and from
the 1st of January.
Contracts
49
(h) A contracts to supply B with a certain quantity of iron at a fixed price,
being a higher price than that for which A could procure and deliver the iron.
B wrongfully refuses to receive the iron. B must pay to A, by way of
compensation, the difference between the contract price of the iron and the sum
for which A could have obtained and delivered it.
(i) A delivers to B, a carrier, a machine, to be conveyed, without delay, to
A's mill, informing B that his mill is stopped for want of the machine. B
unreasonably delays the delivery of the machine, and A, in consequence, loses
a profitable contract with the Government. A is entitled to receive from B, by
way of compensation, the average amount of profit which would have been
made by the working of the mill during the time that delivery of it was delayed,
but not the loss sustained through the loss of the Government contract.
(j) A, having contracted with B to supply B with 1,000 tons of iron at
RM100 a ton, to be delivered at a stated time, contracts with C for the purchase
of 1,000 tons of iron at RM80 a ton, telling C that he does so for the purpose
of performing his contract with B. C fails to perform his contract with A, who
cannot procure other iron, and B, in consequence, rescinds the contract. C must
pay to A RM20,000, being the profit which A would have made by the
performance of his contract with B.
(k) A contracts with B to make and deliver to B, by a fixed day, for a
specified price, a certain piece of machinery. A does not deliver the piece of
machinery at the time specified, and, in consequence of this, B is obliged to
procure another at a higher price than that which he was to have paid to A, and
is prevented from performing a contract which B had made with a third person
at the time of his contract with A (but which had not been then communicated
to A), and is compelled to make compensation for breach of that contract. A
must pay to B, by way of compensation, the difference between the contract
price of the piece of machinery and the sum paid by B for another, but not the
sum paid by B to the third person by way of compensation.
(l) A, a builder, contracts to erect and finish a house by the 1st of January,
in order that B may give possession of it at that time to C, to whom B has
contracted to let it. A is informed of the contract between B and C. A builds the
house so badly that, before the 1st of January, it falls down and has to be rebuilt
by B, who in consequence, loses the rent which he was to have received from
C, and is obliged to make compensation to C for the breach of his contract. A
must make compensation to B for the cost of rebuilding the house, for the rent
lost and for the compensation made to C.
(m) A sells certain merchandise to B, warranting it to be of a particular
quality, and B, in reliance upon this warranty, sells it to C with similar
warranty. The goods prove to be not according to the warranty, and B becomes
liable to pay C a sum of money by way of compensation. B is entitled to be
reimbursed this sum by A.
(n) A contracts to pay a sum of money to B on a day specified. A does not
pay the money on that day. B, in consequence of not receiving the money on
that day, is unable to pay his debts and is totally ruined. A is not liable to make
good to B anything except the principal sum he contracted to pay, together with
interest up to the day of payment.
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ACT 136
(o) A contracts to deliver 50 gantangs of saltpetre to B on the 1st of January,
at a certain price. B afterwards, before the 1st of January, contracts to sell the
saltpetre to C at a higher price than the market price of the 1st of January. A
breaks his promise. In estimating the compensation payable by A to B, the
market price of the 1st of January, and not the profit which would have arisen
to B from the sale to C, is to be taken into account.
(p) A contracts to sell and deliver 500 bales of cotton to B on a fixed day.
A knows nothing of B's mode of conducting his business. A breaks his promise,
and B, having no cotton, is obliged to close his mill. A is not responsible to B
for the loss caused to B by the closing of the mill.
(q) A contracts to sell and deliver to B, on the 1st of January, certain cloth
which B intends to manufacture into caps of a particular kind, for which there
is no demand, except at that season. The cloth is not delivered till after the
appointed time, and too late to be used that year in making caps. B is entitled
to receive from A, by way of compensation, the difference between the contract
price of the cloth and its market price at the time of delivery, but not the profits
which he expected to obtain by making caps, nor the expenses which he has
been put to in making preparation for the manufacture.
(r) A, a shipowner, contracts with B to convey him from Kelang to Sydney
in A's ship, sailing on the 1st of January, and B pays to A, by way of deposit,
one-half of his passage-money. The ship does not sail on the 1st of January, and
B, after being, in consequence, detained in Kelang for some time, and thereby
put to some expense, proceeds to Sydney in another vessel, and, in consequence,
arriving too late in Sydney, loses a sum of money. A is liable to repay to B his
deposit, with interest, and the expense to which he is put by his detention in
Kelang, and the excess, if any, of the passage-money paid for the second ship
over that agreed upon for the first, but not the sum of money which B lost by
arriving in Sydney too late.
Compensation for breach of contract where penalty stipulated
for
75.  When a contract has been broken, if a sum is named in the
contract as the amount to be paid in case of such breach, or if the
contract contains any other stipulation by way of penalty, the party
complaining of the breach is entitled, whether or not actual damage
or loss is proved to have been caused thereby, to receive from the
party who has broken the contract reasonable compensation not
exceeding the amount so named or, as the case may be, the penalty
stipulated for.
Explanation--A stipulation for increased interest from the date of default
may be a stipulation by way of penalty.
Contracts
51
Exception--When any person enters into any bail-bond, recognizance, or
other instrument of the same nature, or, under the provisions of any law, or
under the orders of the Federal Government or the Government of any State,
gives any bond for the performance of any public duty or act in which the public
are interested, he shall be liable, upon breach of the condition of any such
instrument, to pay the whole sum mentioned therein.
Explanation-- A person who enters into a contract with Government does
not necessarily thereby undertake any public duty, or promise to do an act in
which the public are interested.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A contracts with B to pay B RM1,000, if he fails to pay B RM500 on a
given day. A fails to pay B RM500 on that day, B is entitled to recover from A
such compensation, not exceeding RM1,000, as the court considers
reasonable.
(b) A contracts with B that, if A practises as a surgeon within Calcutta, he
will pay B RM5,000. A practises as a surgeon in Calcutta. B is entitled to such
compensation, not exceeding RM5,000, as the court considers reasonable.
(c) A gives a recognizance binding him in a penalty of RM500 to appear in
court on a certain day. He forfeits his recognizance. He is liable to pay the
whole penalty.
(d) A gives B a bond for the repayment of RM1,000 with interest at 12 per
cent at the end of six months, with a stipulation that, in case of default, interest
shall be payable at the rate of 75 per cent from the date of default. This is a
stipulation by way of penalty, and B is only entitled to recover from A such
compensation as the court considers reasonable.
(e) A who owes money to B, a moneylender, undertakes to repay him by
delivering to him 10 gantangs of grain on a certain date, and stipulates that, in
the event of his not delivering the stipulated amount by the stipulated date, he
shall be liable to deliver 20 gantangs. This is a stipulation by way of penalty,
and B is only entitled to reasonable compensation in case of breach.
(f) A undertakes to repay B a loan of RM1,000 by five equal monthly
instalments, with a stipulation that, in default of payment of any instalment, the
whole shall become due. This stipulation is not by way of penalty, and the
contract may be enforced according to its terms.
(g) A borrows RM100 from B and gives him a bond for RM200 payable by
five yearly instalments of RM40, with a stipulation that, in default of payment
of any instalment, the whole shall become due. This is a stipulation by way of
penalty.
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ACT 136
Party rightfully rescinding contract entitled to compensation
76.  A person who rightly rescinds a contract is entitled to
compensation for any damage which he has sustained through the
non-fulfilment of the contract.
ILLUSTRATION
A, a singer, contracts with B, the manager of a theatre, to sing at his theatre
for two nights in every week during the next two months, and B engages to pay
her RM100 for each night's performance. On the sixth night A wilfully absents
herself from the theatre, and B, in consequence, rescinds the contract. B is
entitled to claim compensation for the damage which he has sustained through
the non-fulfilment of the contract.
PART VIII
OF INDEMNITY AND GUARANTEE
"Contract of indemnity"
77.  A contract by which one party promises to save the other from
loss caused to him by the conduct of the promisor himself, or by the
conduct of any other person, is called a "contract of indemnity".
ILLUSTRATION
A contracts to indemnify B against the consequences of any proceedings
which C may take against B in respect of a certain sum of RM200. This is a
contract of indemnity.
Rights of indemnity-holder when sued
78.  The promisee in the contract of indemnity, acting within the
scope of his authority, is entitled to recover from the promisor--
(a) all damages which he may be compelled to pay in any suit
in respect of any matter to which the promise to indemnify
applies;
(b) all costs which he may be compelled to pay in any such suit
if, in bringing or defending it, he did not contravene the
orders of the promisor, and acted as it would have been
prudent for him to act in the absence of any contract of
indemnity, or if the promisor authorized him to bring or
defend the suit; and
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(c) all sums which he may have paid under the terms of any
compromise of any such suit, if the compromise was not
contrary to the orders of the promisor, and was one which
it would have been prudent for the promisee to make in the
absence of any contract of indemnity, or if the promisor
authorized him to compromise the suit.
"Contract of guarantee", "surety", "principal debtor" and
"creditor"
79.  A "contract of guarantee" is a contract to perform the promise,
or discharge the liability, of a third person in case of his default. The
person who gives the guarantee is called the "surety"; the person in
respect of which default the guarantee is given is called the "principal
debtor", and the person to whom the guarantee is given is called the
"creditor". A guarantee may be either oral or written.
Consideration for guarantee
80.  Anything done, or any promise made, for the benefit of the
principal debtor may be a sufficient consideration to the surety for
giving the guarantee.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) B requests A to sell and deliver to him goods on credit. A agrees to do
so, provided C will guarantee the payment of the price of the goods, C promises
to guarantee the payment in consideration of A's promise to deliver the goods.
This is a sufficient consideration for C's promise.
(b) A sells and delivers goods to B. C afterwards requests A to forbear to sue
B for the debt for a year and promises that, if he does so, C will pay for them
in default of payment by B. A agrees to forbear as requested. This is a sufficient
consideration for C's promise.
(c) A sells and delivers goods to B. C afterwards, without consideration,
agrees to pay for them in default of B. The agreement is void.
Surety's liability
81.  The liability of the surety is co-extensive with that of the
principal debtor, unless it is otherwise provided by the contract.
ILLUSTRATION
A guarantees to B the payment of a bill of exchange by C, the acceptor. The
bill is dishonoured by C. A is liable, not only for the amount of the bill, but also
for any interest and charges which may have become due on it.
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ACT 136
"Continuing guarantee"
82.  A guarantee which extends to a series of transactions is called
a "continuing guarantee".
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A, in consideration that B will employ C in collecting the rents of B's
estate, promises B to be responsible to the amount of RM5,000, for the due
collection and payment by C of those rents. This is a continuing guarantee.
(b) A guarantees payment to B, a tea-dealer, to the amount of RM1,000 for
any tea he may from time to time supply to C. B supplies C with tea to above
the value of RM1,000, and C pays B for it. Afterwards, B supplies C with tea
to the value of RM2,000. C fails to pay. The guarantee given by A was a
continuing guarantee, and he is accordingly liable to B to the extent of
RM1,000.
(c) A guarantees payment to B of the price of five sacks of flour to be
delivered by B to C and to be paid for in a month. B delivers five sacks to C.
C pays for them. Afterwards B delivers four sacks to C, which C does not pay
for. The guarantee given by A was not a continuing guarantee, and accordingly
he is not liable for the price of the four sacks.
Revocation of continuing guarantee
83.  A continuing guarantee may at any time be revoked by the
surety, as to future transactions, by notice to the creditor.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A, in consideration of B's discounting, at A's request, bills of exchange
for C, guarantees to B, for twelve months, the due payment of all such bills to
the extent of RM5,000. B discounts bills for C to the extent of RM2,000.
Afterwards, at the end of three months, A revokes the guarantee. This revocation
discharges A from all liability to B for any subsequent discount. But A is liable
to B for the RM2,000 on default of C.
(b) A guarantees to B, to the extent of RM10,000, that C shall pay all the
bills that B shall draw upon him. B draws upon C. C accepts the bill. A gives
notice of revocation. C dishonours the bill at maturity. A is liable upon his
guarantee.
Revocation of continuing guarantee by surety's death
84.  The death of the surety operates, in the absence of any contract
to the contrary, as a revocation of a continuing guarantee, so far as
regards future transactions.
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Liability of two persons, primarily liable, not affected by
arrangement between them that one shall be surety on other's
default
85.  Where two persons contract with a third person to undertake a
certain liability, and also contract with each other that one of them
shall be liable only on the default of the other, the third person not
being a party to the contract, the liability of each of the two persons
to the third person under the first contract is not affected by the
existence of the second contract, although the third person may have
been aware of its existence.
ILLUSTRATION
A and B make a joint and several promissory note to C. A makes it, in fact,
as surety for B, and C knows this at the time when the note is made. The fact
that A, to the knowledge of C, made the note as surety for B, is no answer to a
suit by C against A upon the note.
Discharge of surety by variance in terms of contract
86.  Any variance, made without the surety's consent, in the terms
of the contract between the principal debtor and the creditor, discharges
the surety as to transactions subsequent to the variance.
ILLUSTRATIONS
(a) A becomes surety to C for B's conduct as a manager in C's bank.
Afterwards, B and C contract, without A's consent, that B's salary shall be
raised, and that he shall become liable for one-fourth of the losses on overdrafts.
B allows a customer to overdraw, and the bank loses a sum of money. A is
discharged from his suretyship by the variance made without his consent, and
is not liable to make good this loss.
(b) A guarantees C against the misconduct of B in an office to which B is
appointed by C, and of which the duties are defined by law. By a subsequent
law, the nature of the office is materially altered. Afterwards, B misconducts
himself, A is discharged by the change from future liability under his guarantee,
though the misconduct of B is in respect of a duty not affected by the later law.
(c) C agrees to appoint B as his clerk to sell goods at a yearly salary, upon
A's becoming surety to C for B's duly accounting for moneys received by him
as such clerk. Afterwards, without A's knowledge or consent, C and B agree
that B should be paid by a commission on the goods sold by him and not by a
fixed salary, A is not liable for subsequent misconduct of B.
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(d) A gives to C a continuing guarantee to the extent of RM3,000 for any
oil supplied by C to B on credit. Afterwards, B becomes embarrassed, and,
without the knowledge of A, B and C contract that C shall continue to supply