In 2016, the Stamp (Amendment) Bill 2016 ("Stamp Bill 2016") was introduced but was subsequently withdrawn from Parliament. The Bill raised concerns amongst the business community regarding the significant implications arising from the proposed amendments. In 2017, similar changes as proposed under the Stamp Bill 2016 were again introduced and proposed under the Stamp (Amendment) Bill 2017 ("Stamp Bill 2017"). However, the Stamp Bill 2017 was again withdrawn from Parliament.

Some notable amendments proposed under the Stamp Bills 2016 and 2017 were passed by the Malaysian Parliament under the Finance Act 2018 ("FA"), which came into force on 28 December 2018. Following such amendments, the Malaysian Inland Revenue Board ("MIRB") has also published new guidelines which aim to provide guidance and clarification relating to the amended provisions under the Stamp Act 1949 (“MSA”). In this alert, we discuss specific key amendments to the MSA and their implications.