KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 (Bernama) — The Dewan Rakyat has passed the Money Services Business (Amendment) Bill 2024 with more affirmative votes.

It was approved after the third reading by Deputy Finance Minister Lim Hui Ying after the committee considered the proposed motions without amendments.

Lim said the bill aims to strengthen the existing legal framework to ensure more effective enforcement to curb unlicensed money services businesses (Hawala) and non-compliance with regulations by licence holders.

Hawala is an informal method of transferring money without any physical money actually moving.

She said although the Money Services Business Act 2011 (Act 731) has had a positive impact on licence holders, the industry continues to be plagued by unlicensed business operations.

“The amendments to this bill encompass four main considerations, namely, the need to strengthen efforts to curb unlicensed money services businesses due to the significant negative impact on the country’s economy and taking into account various Hawala modus operandi to ensure appropriate enforcement actions are taken.

“These amendments are also necessary to ensure that the penalties imposed have an effective deterrent effect on offenders, and enforcement approaches on license holders need to commensurate with the level of non-compliance, taking into account the industry’s increasingly better compliance,” she said while proposing the bill in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The proposed amendments also aim to empower courts to make forfeiture orders for any assets seized under Act 731.

The proposed amendments involve general amendments, amendments of sections 1, 2, 4, 12, 23, 66,  66A, 86, 89A, 92, and amendments to the schedule in the bill.







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