Malaysia Budget 2024 – Tax Highlights

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Malaysia Budget 2024 – Tax Highlights

Malaysia’s 2024 Budget introduced several tax reforms which will impact local businesses and disposable income of general Malaysians.

On 13 October 2023, Malaysia’s Prime Minister and Finance Minister, YAB Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim, presented the Budget 2024 focusing on three pivotal areas:

  • optimising governance for enhanced service agility
  • economic restructuring to foster growth, and
  • elevating the standards of living for Malaysian citizens.

The expansionary budget is designed to address contemporary challenges and enhance the quality of life for Malaysians.

To fortify the government’s fiscal responsibilities, reduce the deficit to 4.3%, and augment revenue to RM307.6 billion, the budget incorporates significant structural changes to the tax system, including:

  • E-invoicing for taxpayers with an annual turnover above RM100 million (starting 1 August 2024)
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT) arising from the disposal of unlisted shares in local companies (starting 1 March 2024)
  • Global Minimum Tax (GMT) applicable to large multinational enterprises (MNEs) with global revenue of at least EUR 750 million (starting in the year 2025)
  • Service Tax will be raised to 8% for all services except food, beverage, and telecommunication services
  • Luxury Goods Tax ranging from 5% to 10%


Download our Budget 2024 Report today to find out more. If you have any questions, please reach out to your respective BoardRoom client managers or email us at [email protected].

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How full suite share registry services help with AGM preparation

How full suite share registry services help with AGM preparation

How full suite share registry services help with AGM preparation

Annual general meetings (AGMs) play a pivotal role in shaping the future of public companies by encouraging informed decision-making and strategic planning. These crucial gatherings bring together key stakeholders, including board members and shareholders, to collectively steer the company’s direction. They can help your company build shareholder confidence and maintain a competitive advantage.

In addition to traditional share registrar duties, a full suite share registry services provider can offer support for various types of meetings such as AGMs, extraordinary general meetings, and special general meetings, provide companies with secure processes to protect clients’ data while also offering a wide range of polling solutions and assistance for companies navigating the complexities of IPO listings. In this article, we focus on how full suite share registry service providers can empower businesses to prepare their board members for AGMs, with the view to facilitate meaningful shareholder engagement and promote strong compliance with local regulations.

Understanding annual general meetings

AGMs hold a critical place on the corporate calendar. They provide a platform for stakeholders to convene, deliberate and make decisions that shape the future trajectory of a company.

Per the Malaysian Companies Act, public companies must adhere to local AGM regulations regarding the following:

    AGMs must be held once every calendar year, within six months of the company’s financial year-end and no more than 15 months from the last AGM.
    Companies incorporated in Malaysia must hold their AGM in Malaysia, regardless of whether the meeting mode is physical, virtual or hybrid.
    Unless the company has only one member, at least two people must be present at the AGM. Proxy attendance is permitted.
    Notice period
    Attendees must have at least 21 days written notice of the AGM date, but a 28-day notice period is advised for good corporate governance.

    In the lead-up to an AGM, the company secretary plays a pivotal role in preparing for regulatory compliance, precise documentation, and smooth communication, all essential for a successful shareholder assembly. However, AGM attendance rules and their adherence are the responsibility of the chair.

    Poor compliance can have serious consequences for your business. Disordered or legally invalid meetings can lead to shareholder complaints, fines and reputational harm, and recovering can take significant time and resources. Meanwhile, compliant AGMs that encourage open, orderly discussion will help to foster stakeholder confidence and bolster your corporate reputation.

    It is not unusual to feel daunted at the prospect of ensuring all your AGM obligations are satisfied, especially when requirements and standards vary for physical, virtual and hybrid formats. As a solution, many businesses engage professional full suite share registry service providers for personalised assistance with running productive, efficient and compliant AGMs.

    Preparing board members for AGM attendance

    Mandatory participation in the company’s AGM stands as a responsibility of board membership. AGMs play a crucial role in demonstrating your company’s commitment to transparency and accountability. Well prepared board members ensure a well run AGM that will leave a positive impression on shareholders and enable businesses to spend more time on strategic planning and less on administrative work. Your company can prepare for a successful AGM by:

    • understanding the company’s regulatory obligations for running a physical, virtual or hybrid meeting;
    • reading meeting materials thoroughly at least one week prior to the meeting and asking clarifying questions ahead of the meeting;
    • providing sufficient notice to shareholders of the date, time and location of the meeting;
    • sending clear instructions to shareholders explaining how they can attend the meeting, access relevant documents and participate in discussions and polls;
    • providing detailed information to shareholders about matters for discussion;
    • ensuring shareholders will have the opportunity to ask questions at the meeting and vote on important matters relating to the company’s governance;
    • anticipating shareholder questions in advance and formulating helpful answers (without divulging sensitive information such as trade secrets); and
    • preparing a shareholder presentation before the AGM to highlight company milestones, achievements and financial highlights.

    Preparing an AGM can be a complex, time-consuming process. Partnering with an experienced full suite provider that offers share registry, meeting and corporate secretary services can reduce the burden on your company during the planning stage and further minimise your risk of non-compliance.

    Preparing board members for AGM attendance

    Mitigating technology risks in AGMs

    As AGMs evolve to accommodate diverse formats, technology has emerged as both an enabler and a potential hurdle. According to Alex Chew, Director of Share Registry Services for BoardRoom Malaysia, the technology risks of AGMs vary depending on the meeting mode selected.

    “If it’s a virtual meeting, then connectivity is a key risk, especially as it has a third-party element,” he says. “Ensuring a good connection as the meeting organiser is only half of the success – for best experience, remote participants at home or in the office need to ensure good, stable, and unfiltered internet connection besides having a good working device.”

    In physical meetings, power outages and hardware failure (e.g. audiovisual equipment and electronic voting systems) can also cause problems.

    Businesses can effectively mitigate technology risks and ensure meeting continuation by implementing thorough contingency plans.

    “For virtual and hybrid meetings, we take steps to ensure a dedicated connection and backups are in place, and we also educate remote participants on how to achieve a good connection,” Alex says. “In physical meetings, we always prepare backup hardware equipment to ensure service continuation and minimise any disruption risk.”

    Mitigating technology risks in AGMs

    Engaging advanced share registry services in Malaysia

    In Malaysia, where digital technology is rapidly advancing and regulations are becoming more complex, businesses must embrace innovation to keep up with AGM trends. Thus, selecting a meeting services provider specialising in powerful, secure, easy-to-use digital meeting technology is important.

    “At BoardRoom, we partner with a reputable meeting platform Lumi Global, which is a certified system that supports all types of meetings,” Alex says. “The system is designed to manage all aspects of security risk.”

    Expert full suite providers like BoardRoom, powered by premium general meetings platforms, like Lumi Global provide a variety of features that empower you to:

    • implement AGM best practices and strategies to enhance engagement, streamline proceedings and promote transparency; and
    • satisfy regulatory requirements with ease (e.g. live voting and Q&A).

    For example, a popular time-saving strategy in virtual and hybrid meetings is to designate moderators or team members who can monitor the live chat and help answer repeat questions.

    “This means your Chairman won’t need to deal with the same questions over and over again, which can help to cut meeting times,” Alex explains.

    Another smart strategy is inviting shareholders to submit questions before the AGM, allowing the board to group similar themes and prepare insightful answers in advance.

    Comprehensive AGM support

    Comprehensive AGM support

    Planning and executing smooth and strategic AGMs can be a complicated task. By ensuring your board members are well-prepared and engaging the support of full suite share registry experts, you can ensure every meeting provides real value to shareholders and achieves strong compliance.

    BoardRoom leads the way for quality full suite share registry services in Malaysia, managing upwards of 350 AGMs and general meetings every year for a diverse range of clients. Our wealth of experience, deep knowledge of local regulations and high-level technological expertise make us the provider of choice for AGM support.

    According to Alex, many clients choose to partner with BoardRoom due to the unrivalled flexibility of our service.

    “Our tailored services have the agility to meet your unique business requirements as they evolve,” he says. “Lumi Global has the agility to accommodate various meeting modes and can be adapted to align with your company constitution.”

    BoardRoom also provides complementary company secretarial services as part of our suite of corporate services, making it quick and easy for clients to access quality support across business functions. Whether you’re a small startup or a sprawling multinational corporation, our qualified business specialists work together to help your business achieve its goals and thrive within Malaysia and beyond.

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    What to know about outsourcing payroll services: cost and benefits

    What to know about outsourcing payroll services_ cost and benefits

    What to know about outsourcing payroll services: cost and benefits

    As with many core business functions, the payroll landscape in Malaysia is undergoing rapid change. Amid technological advancement, evolving regulations and a robust employment environment, many businesses are now working with specialist third-party providers for support in bringing their payroll practices up to modern standards.

    Outsourcing payroll has proven to be an effective solution that not doing so may cost you your competitive edge. From enhancing your decision-making through data to strengthening your future planning and economic resilience, it offers a variety of advantages that can help you stay ahead of the curve.

    Read on as Ken Wong, BoardRoom’s Managing Director for Payroll, Asia, explores the key ways that quality outsourced payroll services can help your business succeed in Malaysia and beyond.

    Engaging a payroll agency or provider can help ensure compliance

    Payroll regulations in Malaysia are intricate and ever-evolving. Maintaining compliance can be complicated and time-consuming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the local legislation or have limited resources to work with.

    According to Ken, recent changes to local regulations – geared towards ensuring the fair and equitable treatment of employees – have accelerated the shift towards outsourcing.

    “As of 1 January 2023, an amendment was made to the Employment Act, which has been in place for about half a century,” he says. “The changes introduced were quite significant in terms of what companies need to do to stay compliant.”

    Key changes introduced in the Employment (Amendment) Act 2022:

    • The Act now covers all employees, regardless of how much they are paid.
    • The maximum weekly hours an employee can work has reduced from 48 to 45.
    • There has been an increase in maternity leave from 60 to 90 days in accordance with international standards.
    • There has been an increase in paternity leave from 5 to 7 days.
    • Women cannot be fired due to pregnancy or sickness resulting from pregnancy.

    Bringing your payroll processing in line with legislative changes like these can be difficult, particularly if you’re new to the region. A payroll agency with strong local regulatory expertise can help you determine which of your employees will be impacted by new rules and how they will be affected. As a result, you can have confidence your payroll calculations are correct.

    Inaccurate payroll calculations are not worth the risk, as they can lead to compliance issues that incur significant financial penalties, damage your corporate reputation and erode employee trust.

    Ensure long-term business continuity

    In Malaysia’s competitive employment landscape, where retaining employees is a common challenge, specialist payroll providers can help with ensuring business continuity and safeguarding your long-term success.

    A major risk of managing payroll in-house is that key personnel can resign at any time, taking their skills and knowledge with them. Key personnel going on long, sick or maternity leave may also have a significant impact on payroll operations. Quickly finding and training a capable replacement may be tricky and expensive, leading to payroll issues that impact all employees. Payroll outsourcing removes this risk, as your provider will have the resources to ensure your payroll is consistently managed to a high standard, even when unexpected disruptions come your way.

    Outsourcing payroll can also facilitate greater flexibility as your business grows or changes. Whether you are undergoing rapid expansion, entering a new geography, or faced with the need to trim headcount, outsourcing your payroll not only allows you to effectively manage costs but also ensures compliance whilst fostering a positive employee experience.

    Additionally, it can help save on costs, allowing you to redirect funds that would have been spent on wages and training into activities that drive revenue growth.

    Ensure long-term business continuity

    Enhance efficiency through process improvement

    Another way payroll outsourcing can help future-proof your business and fuel its growth is by optimising internal processes.

    “If you have been conducting payroll in-house, you likely won’t have the systems that can help you manage data across different platforms nor the resources to streamline your processes,” Ken says. “When you engage a provider, they can implement the systems, so you can spend less time on manual tasks like data entry.”

    Compensation packages in the APAC region are evolving to accommodate diverse talent needs, global market competitiveness, and intricate regulatory landscapes, resulting in their increasing complexity. Examples of these include performance-based bonuses tied to both individual and company metrics, stock options vesting over several years, housing allowances, education allowances for dependents, retirement fund contributions and profit-sharing plans. As such, ensuring staff are paid accurately and on time is now often a tedious task that places unnecessary strain on resources. By improving the efficiency of your payroll function, payroll providers can help alleviate administrative burdens on staff, giving them more time to focus on higher-value strategic work, such as growing the company and enhancing its internal culture.

    Enhance efficiency through process improvement

    The possibilities of payroll data

    Payroll systems house a wealth of data that often goes underutilised. Professional payroll providers can help put systems in place to collate and distribute this data in real time, opening up possibilities for informed decision-making at a management level.

    Retrospective analysis of payroll data can provide a range of useful insights, such as employee compensation patterns and budget allocation trends. Business executives can leverage this information to make informed decisions and fine-tune strategies for enhanced efficiency.

    Payroll data can also be used for predictive analytics – a forward-looking approach that uses historical data to anticipate future needs – empowering you to mitigate risks and maximise opportunities in the workforce management space.

    “From a budget standpoint, payroll data analysis can assist with predicting your peaks and troughs so that you can plan for them,” Ken explains. “For example, the data might show that you experience high attrition at the end or start of the year. You can use this information to help with your future planning.”

    Proactive, data-driven planning helps with avoiding workforce issues that may hinder your business growth (eg. staffing gaps), while also enhancing the agility of your business so that it is more capable of adapting swiftly to ever-changing market dynamics.

    Award-winning payroll services

    Award-winning payroll services

    Payroll outsourcing can have valuable benefits for businesses of all sizes.

    A reputable, qualified firm that embraces technological innovation can assist with:

      Implementing a smooth payroll process
      Ensuring strict compliance with local rules and regulations
      Fostering a positive employer–employee relationship
      Responding to immediate or forecasted problems
      Accessing accurate, up-to-date payroll data
      Reducing the administrative load on key staff

      BoardRoom is a leading provider of reliable payroll services in 19 countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific.

      Powered by Ignite, our all-in-one cloud-based payroll and HRMS software, we offer a wealth of multi-country payroll expertise, making us the ideal partner for your expansion into the dynamic Asia Pacific region. Our dedication to compliance, commitment to customer-centric service and powerful human resources management system mean you can depend on us for outstanding payroll guidance and support.

      In 2022, our team was named Best Payroll Outsourcing Partner (Bronze) at the Malaysia HR Vendor of the Year Awards. BoardRoom has also achieved the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3402 Type 1 attestation, an internationally recognised standard for auditing the internal control system of outsourcing service providers. These industry recognitions and our extensive experience and portfolio of success stories speak volumes of our proficiency in navigating the intricate payroll landscape in Malaysia and the Asia-Pacific region.

      If your company operates internationally, our globally-minded teams have the skills and knowledge to ensure the smooth running of complex cross-border payroll activities. We also provide complementary corporate services alongside payroll for comprehensive, seamless support across business functions.

      Contact us today to learn how our tailored payroll services can add value to your business.

      Contact BoardRoom for more information:

      Ken Wong

      Ken Wong

      Managing Director for Payroll for Asia

      E: [email protected]

      T: +60 3 7890 4800

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