AMLA Malaysia – What Are The Rights Accorded To An Information Provider?

Have more questions regarding AMLA (Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing And Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act)? Consult with our lawyer today:


In one of our previous articles, we briefly share what a reporting institution can do if it suspects any illegal activities that fall under the purview of AMLA. In this article, we will briefly share (in continuation from our previous article) whether a normal person/ layperson is obligated to provide information/ report a suspicious transaction, the rights accorded to an information provider, and whether such disclosure breaches any law.


Read our previous article here:

  1. AMLA Malaysia – How To Report A Suspicious Transaction?
  2. AMLA Malaysia – Challenging An Act of Seizure By Way Of Judicial Review

First thing first, what is AMLA?

Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing And Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act1, or AMLA for short, is a piece of legislation created “to provide for the offence of money laundering, the measures to be taken for the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing offences and to provide for the forfeiture of property involved in or derived from money laundering and terrorism financing offences, as well as terrorist property, proceeds of an unlawful activity and instrumentalities of an offence, and for matters related/ connected to the acts above2”.

In short, AMLA is created for the purpose of punishing those who commit money laundering activities and/ or those who commit the act of financing terrorist activities.

In our previous article, we dealt with institutions and what happens if an institution suspects there is a suspicious transaction happening under their radar. What happens if a normal person suspects the same?

A normal person is required to report as well, as noted under the Bank Negara Malaysia guideline3.

In fact, Section 26 (1) clearly states that an examiner under the Act is authorized to examine a normal person who made a report. This includes:

  1. A person who is, or was at any time, a director or an officer of a reporting institution or of its agent;
  2. A person who is, or was at any time, a client, or otherwise having dealings with a reporting institution; or
  3. A person whom he believes to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case, including an auditor or an advocate and solicitor of a reporting institution.

and that person shall give such document or information as the examiner may require within such time as the examiner may specify. Any person who contravenes the above subsection commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding RM1 Million/ imprisonment not exceeding 1 year/ both, and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding RM1,000.00 for each day during which the offence continues after conviction.

What are the protections accorded to a normal person who reports a suspicious transaction activity under AMLA?

Section 24 of AMLA states that no civil, criminal or disciplinary proceedings shall be brought against a person who:

  1. Discloses or supplies any information in any report made under this Part; or
  2. Supplies any information in connection with such a report, whether at the time the report is made or afterwards;

in respect of:

  1. The disclosure or supply, or the manner of the disclosure or supply, by that person, of the information mentioned above; or
  2. Any consequences that follow from the disclosure or supply of that information, unless the information was disclosed or supplied in bad faith.

Does the above apply to a reporting institution?

Yes.

Does the act of disclosure breaches any law?

No. In fact:

  1. Section 20 of AMLA specifically states that a person is obligated to report notwithstanding any obligation as to secrecy or other restriction on the disclosure of information imposed by any written law or otherwise; and
  2. Section 26 (3) of AMLA states that notwithstanding any other written law, an agent, including an auditor or an advocate and solicitor of a reporting institution, shall not be liable for breach of a contract relating to, or a duty of, confidentiality for giving any document or information to the examiner.

Have more questions regarding AMLA (Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing And Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act)? Consult with our lawyer today:


1. 2001.

2. The Preamble for Anti-Money Laundering, Anti Terrorism Financing And Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

3. https://amlcft.bnm.gov.my/AMLCFT05i.html.