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Societies Act

1 Societies
LA WS OF MALA YSIA
REPRINT
Act 335
S O C IE T IE S A C T 1966
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

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SOCIETIES ACT 1966
First enacted … … … …… … 1966 (Act No. 13 of
1966)
Revised … … … … …… … 1987 (Act 335 w.e.f.
19 October 1987)
PREVIOUS REPRINT
First Reprint … … … … … 2001

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LAW S OF M ALAYSIA
Act 335
SOCIETIES ACT 1966
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
PART I
PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO SOCIETIES GENERALLY
Section
1. Short title, commencement and application
2. Interpretation
2A.Registered societies to act in fulfilment of the Constitution
3. Appointment of Registrar, Deputy Registrars and other officers
3A.Powers of Registrar
3B.Power of delegation
4. Societies deemed to be established in Malaysia
5. Power of the Minister to declare a society unlawful
6. Application for registration
6A.Power of Registrar to make inquiries, etc., in relation to any application
under this Act
7. Registration and refusal to register
8. Certificate of registration
8A.Liability of registered society in respect of contracts entered into by
a branch
9. Provisions applicable to registered societies
9A.Disqualifications applicable to office-bearers, advisers and employees
of registered societies
10.Inspection of documents and evidentiary value of copies certified by
Registrar

4 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
Section
11. Change of name, place of business and rules of society
11A.(Deleted)
12. Branch of a society
13. Cancellation and suspension
13A.Power of Registrar to make certain orders in respect of registered
societies
14. Information to be furnished by societies, order of Registrar to furnish
information, Registrar to approve audit and provisional order for
dissolution
15. Persons responsible for supplying information
16. Disputes
17. Consequences of order of the Minister under section 5, refusal of the
Registrar to register a local society under section 7 and cancellation
of registration of a registered society under any provision of this Act
17A.Application of section 17 to unlawful branch
17B.Vesting in a new registered society of property of a society whose
registration has been cancelled
18. Appeals
PART IA
PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO
POLITICAL PARTIES ONLY
18A.Application of Parts I and III
18B.Circumstances which do not make an election invalid
18C.Decision of political party to be final and conclusive
PART II
PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO MUTUAL
BENEFIT SOCIETIES ONLY
19. Application of Parts I and III
20. Saving
21. Restrictions on registration of mutual benefit societies
22. Membership of minors
23. Restriction on nominees
24. Priority on death, bankruptcy, etc., of office-bearers
25. Appointment of trustees
26. Audit

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Section
27. Calling for information and inspection of books and documents by the
Registrar
28. Right to supply of copies of the rules
29. Right to supply of copies of annual return
30. Inspection of books by members
31. Subscriptions and benefits
32. Rights, etc., of registered society not affected by change of name
33. (Deleted)
34. (Deleted)
35. Inspectors and special meetings
36. Dissolution of registered societies
37. Instrument of dissolution
38. Dissolution by Registrar
39. Notice of proceedings to set aside dissolution
40. Decision of disputes
PART III
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO
SOCIETIES GENERALLY
41. Unlawful societies
42. Penalties on office-bearer, etc., of an unlawful society
43. Penalties on member of unlawful society
44. Persons allowing unlawful society on premises
45. Penalty for inciting, etc., a person to become a member of an unlawful
society
46. Penalty for procuring subscription or aid for an unlawful society
47. Publishing, etc., propaganda of an unlawful society
48. Acting on behalf of or representing an unlawful society
49. Liability of office-bearer of a society whose registration has been
cancelled
50. Flags, symbols, emblems, badges or other insignia of societies
51. Liability of office-bearer in respect of offences by society
52. Society using a Triad ritual to be deemed an unlawful society
53. Penalty for misuse of money or property of a registered society

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Section
53A.Penalty for displaying or using certificate of registration which has
been cancelled
54. Punishment of fraud, false declaration and misappropriation
54A.Penalty for furnishing false information
55. Presumptions
56. Presumption of membership, etc., of society
57. Evidence
58. Protection of informers
59. Forfeiture
60. Certain offences non-bailable and registrable
61. Consent to prosecution
62. Service of summons
63. Power of entry and inspection of records
64. Power of entry, search and seizure by Registrar or Assistant Registrar
in special cases
65. Power of entry and search
66. Power of Registrar or Assistant Registrar to summon witnesses
67. Regulations
68. Repeal
69. Transitional provisions applicable to mutual benefit societies
70. Power to exempt
SCHEDULE I
SCHEDULE II

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LAW S OF M ALAYSIA
Act 335
SOCIETIES ACT 1966
An Act relating to registration of societies.
[1 February 1966, P.U. 24/1966*] PART I
PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO SOCIETIES GENERALLY
Short title, com m encem ent and application
1.(1) This Act may be cited as the Societies Act 1966, and shall,
subject to subsection (2) of this section, come into force on such
date as the M inister may by notification in the Gazette appoint,
such date not being earlier than that on which the notification is
published.
(2) The M inister may by notification in the Gazette suspend the
operation of all or any of the provisions of this Act in any part
of M alaysia for such period as may be specified in such notification.
(3) This Act shall apply throughout M alaysia.
Interpretation
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“Assistant Registrar” means any officer appointed as an Assistant
Registrar of Societies under section 3;
“benefit” means a payment made by a mutual benefit society for
the relief or maintenance of the members or subscribers or on birth
or death in accordance with the rules of the mutual benefit society;
*NOTE—Certain provisions in respect of Sabah are suspended–see P.U. 24/1966.

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“local society” means any society organized and established in
M alaysia or having its headquarters or chief place of business in
M alaysia, and includes any society deemed to be established in
M alaysia by virtue of section 4;
“M inister” means the M inister for the time being charged with
responsibility for the registration of societies;
“mutual benefit society” means any society which by its objects
and rules either as the principal object or as an ancillary object
makes provisions by voluntary subscriptions of the members thereof
or subscribers thereto with or without the aid of donations for—
(a) the relief or maintenance of the members or subscribers,
their husbands, wives, children, fathers, mothers, brothers,
sisters, nephews, nieces or wards, during sickness or
other infirmity, whether bodily or mental, in old age or
in widowhood or for the relief or maintenance of the
orphan children of members or subscribers during minority;
or
(b) the payment of money on the birth of a member’s or
subscriber’s child or on the death of a member or subscriber
or of the child, husband, wife, parent or grandparent of
a member or subscriber or on the death of any other
person or for the funeral expenses of the member or
subscriber or of the child, husband, or wife of a member
or subscriber or of the widow of a deceased member or
subscriber; or
(c) the relief or maintenance of the members or subscribers
when unemployed or when in distressed circumstances;
“office-bearer” of a society means any person who is the president
or vice-president, or secretary or treasurer of such society or any
branch of a society, or who is a member of the committee or
governing body thereof, or of any branch thereof or who holds in
such society or branch of a society any office or position analogous
to any of those mentioned above;
“political party” means—
(a) any society which by any of its objects or rules, regardless
whether such object or rule is its principal object or rule,
or constitutes merely an object or rule which is ancillary
to its principal object or objects or to its principal rule
or rules, makes provision for the society to participate,

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through its candidates, in elections to the Dewan Rakyat,
or to a Dewan Undangan Negeri, or to a local authority,
or makes provision for it to seek the appointment or
election of a person proposed or supported by it to the
Dewan Negara; or
(b) any society which, notwithstanding anything contained
in its objects or rules, carries on any activity or pursues
any objective which involves its participation, through
its candidates, in elections to the Dewan Rakyat, or to a
Dewan Undangan Negeri, or to a local authority, or which
involves its seeking the appointment or election of a
person proposed or supported by it to the Dewan Negara;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of Societies appointed under
section 3 and includes any Deputy Registrar of Societies appointed
under the same section;
“registered society” means any society for the time being registered
under section 7;
“society” includes any club, company, partnership, or association
of seven or more persons whatever its nature or object, whether
temporary or permanent, but does not include—
(a) any company registered under the provisions of any written
law relating to companies for the time being in force in
M alaysia;
(b) any company or association constituted under any written
law;
(c) any trade union registered or required to be registered
under the provisions of any written law relating to trade
unions for the time being in force in M alaysia;
(d) any company, association or partnership formed for the
sole purpose of carrying on any lawful business that has
for its object the acquisition of gain by the company,
association or partnership, or by the individual members
thereof;
(e) any co-operative society, registered as such, under any
written law;
(f) any organization or association in respect of which there
is for the time being in force a certificate (which may be
granted, refused or cancelled at his discretion) by a person

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or authority appointed under the provisions of the written
law for the time being inforce relating to the registration
of schools that such organization or association forms
part of the curriculum of a school; or
(g) any school, management committee of a school, parents’
association or parent-teachers’ association registered or
exempted from registration under any law for the time
being in force regulating schools;
“subscription” means a subscription paid by a member or sub-
scriber to a mutual benefit society and where a mutual benefit
society carries on activities other than those of a mutual benefit
society means the subscription paid by the member or subscriber
for the purpose of obtaining the benefits provided by the rules of
the society.
Registered societies to act in fulfilm ent of the Constitution
2A.(1) It shall be the duty of every registered society in carrying
out its activities and in conducting its affairs to ensure that they
are in accord with, and conducive to the fulfilment of and adherence
to, the provisions of the Federal Constitution and the State Con-
stitutions, and where any of the activities or affairs of any society
is in any manner violative of, or derogatory to, or militates against,
or shows disregard for—
(a) the system of democratic government headed by a con-
stitutional sovereign of M alaysia, and, in the States, by
the respective constitutional Rulers or Yang di-Pertua
Negeri; or
(b) the position of Islam as the religion of M alaysia, with
other religions being practised in peace and harmony; or
(c) the use of the National Language for official purposes;
or
(d) the position of the M alays and of the natives of the States
of Sabah and Sarawak; or
(e) the legitimate interests of the other communities,
as provided under the Federal Constitution or any of the State
Constitutions, the Registrar may cancel the registration of the
society after giving the society an opportunity to make represen-
tations to him.
(2) (Deleted by Act A557).

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Appointm ent of Registrar, Deputy Registrars and other officers
3.(1) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may appoint a Registrar of
Societies and such number of Deputy Registrars as he may consider
necessary for the purposes of this Act.
(1A) The M inister may appoint such number of Assistant Reg-
istrars and such other officers as he may consider necessary for
the proper administration of this Act.
(1B) The Deputy Registrars, Assistant Registrars and other officers
appointed under subsections (1) and (1A) respectively shall be
under the direction and control of the Registrar.
(2) All officers appointed under subsections (1) and (1A) shall
be deemed to be public servants for the purposes of the Penal
Code [Act 574].
(3) No suit shall lie against any public officer for anything done
or omitted to be done by him in good faith without negligence and
in intended exercise of any power or performance of any duty
conferred or imposed on him by this Act.
Powers of Registrar
3A. In addition to the powers, duties and functions conferred on
the Registrar by this Act and any regulations made thereunder, the
Registrar shall have and may exercise all such powers, discharge
all such duties and perform all such functions as may be necessary
for the purpose of giving effect to and carrying out the provisions
of this Act.
Power of delegation
3B.(1) The Registrar may, in writing, delegate any of the powers
conferred on him under this Act, except the power of delegation
under this section, to any Assistant Registrar appointed under
section 3.
(2) A delegation under subsection (1) may be made subject to
such restrictions and limitations as may be prescribed by the Registrar
in the instrument of delegation.

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(3) The power of delegation under subsection (1) shall be
exercised by the Registrar personally.
Societies deem ed to be established in M alaysia
4. A society shall be deemed to be established in M alaysia,
although it is organized and has its head-quarters or chief place
of business outside M alaysia, if any of its office-bearers or members
resides in M alaysia or is present therein, or if any person in M alaysia
manages or assists in the management of such society or solicits
or collects money or subscription in its behalf:
Provided that no society shall be deemed to be so established,
if and so long as—
(a) it is organized and is operating wholly outside M alaysia;
(b) no office, place of business or place of meeting is maintained
or used in M alaysia by such society or by any person in
its behalf;
(c) no register of all or any of the members of such society
is kept in M alaysia; and
(d) no subscriptions are collected or solicited in M alaysia by
the society or by any person in its behalf.
Power of the M inister to declare a society unlawful
5.(1) It shall be lawful for the M inister in his absolute discretion
by order to declare unlawful any society or branch or class or
description of any societies which in his opinion, is or is being
used for purposes prejudicial to or incompatible with the interest
of the security of M alaysia or any part thereof, public order or
morality.
(2) An order made under this section shall be published in the
Gazette and shall operate to cancel immediately the registration
of any such society or societies, if already registered under this
Act; and no society against which an order made under this section
applies shall be so registered.
(3) The provisions of section 17 shall apply in respect of a local
society affected by the order made under this section.

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Application for registration
6.(1) Every local society other than that in respect of which an
order made under section 5 is in force shall, in the manner prescribed
make application to the Registrar for registration under this Act.
(2) Until a local society is registered under this Act, no person
shall, without a written permission of the Registrar, organize or
take part in any activity of or on behalf of the society, except only
to apply to, or correspond with the Registrar.
(3) Any person committing a breach of subsection (2) shall be
guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not
exceeding *five thousand ringgit, and where the breach is a continuing
one to a fine not exceeding **five hundred ringgit for every day
after the first day during which the breach continues.
Power of Registrar to m ake inquiries, etc. in relation to any
application under this Act
6A.(1) The Registrar may, in relation to any application under
section 6, subsection 11(1), subsection 12(1), section 49,
subsection 50(1), or any other provision of this Act or regulations
made thereunder, call for such further information, and make such
inquiries, as he may consider necessary.
(2) W here a person making any application as is referred to in
subsection (1) fails to supply the further information called for,
or answer the inquiries made, to the satisfaction of the Registrar,
he may refuse the application.
Registration and refusal to register
7.(1) Upon receipt of an application under section 6, the Registrar
shall, subject to the provisions of this section and to such conditions
as the Registrar may deem fit to impose, register the local society
making the application.
(2) The Registrar may refuse to register a local society if—
(a) he is satisfied that such a society is a branch of any
society whose registration has been cancelled under
paragraph 13(1)(c); or
*NOTE —Previously “two thousand ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027]. **NOTE —Previously “two hundred ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027].

14 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(b) he is not satisfied that such local society has complied
with the provisions of this Act and of the regulations
made thereunder; or
(c) a dispute exists among the members of such local society
as to the persons who are to be office-bearers or to hold
or to administer any property of the society until the
dispute is decided by a Court or by arbitration or by
agreement between the members or otherwise.
(3) The Registrar shall refuse to register a local society where—
(a) it appears to him that such local society is unlawful under
the provisions of this Act or any other written law or is
likely to be used for unlawful purposes or any purpose
prejudicial to or incompatible with peace, welfare, security,
public order, good order or morality in M alaysia;
(b) the society has been declared by the M inister to be unlawful
under section 5;
(c) the Registrar is satisfied that the society does not exist;
(d) the name under which the society is to be registered—
(i) appears to the Registrar to mislead or be calculated
to mislead members of the public as to the true
character or purpose of the society or so nearly
resembles the name of such other society as is
likely to deceive the members of the public or
members of either society;
(ii) is identical to that of any other existing local society;
or
(iii)is, in the opinion of the Registrar, undesirable;
(e) the constitution or rules of the society do not contain
provisions for all matters set out in Schedule I to this Act
or if the society is a mutual benefit society, matters set
out in Schedule II or any other matters which the Registrar
may reasonably require.
(4) W here the Registrar has refused to register a local society
under this section, the provisions of section 17 shall apply to that
local society.

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(5) Any society that contravenes any condition imposed on it
by the Registrar under subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence
and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two
thousand ringgit.
Certificate of registration
8. The Registrar, on registering a local society under section 7,
shall issue to the society a certificate of registration in the prescribed
form, and that certificate unless proved to have been cancelled,
shall be conclusive evidence for all purposes that the society has
been duly registered under this Act.
Liability of registered society in respect of contracts entered
into by a branch
8A.(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 12, a
registered society shall not sue or be sued in respect of any contract
entered into by any branch thereof, or by any office-bearer of such
branch unless such contract has been entered into by the branch
by virtue of an express permission given to the branch by the
committee or governing body of the registered society, or is a
contract within a particular class or description which the branch
is generally or specifically authorized by the society to enter into;
and the provisions of paragraphs 9(c), (d) and (e) shall be construed
accordingly in their application to any suit, proceeding, judgment,
or application for execution, in relation to any contract entered
into by a branch of a registered society.
(2) W ithout prejudice to subsection (1), where a branch, which
in this subsection is referred to as the “subordinate branch”, is
under the control and responsible to another branch, which in this
subsection is referred to as the “superior branch”, the superior
branch may sue or be sued for contracts entered into by the subordinate
branch if such contract is entered into by virtue of an express
written permission given by the superior branch, or is a contract
which is within the class or description of contracts which the
subordinate branch is authorized by the superior branch to enter:
Provided that a branch shall in any case be deemed to be under
the control and responsible to another branch if members of the
superior branch are nominated, elected or otherwise chosen from
the members of the subordinate branches.

16 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
Provisions applicable to registered societies
9. The following provisions shall apply to registered societies—
(a) the movable property of a society, if not vested in trustees,
shall be deemed to be vested for the time being in the
governing body of the society, and in all proceedings
civil and criminal, may be described as the property of
the governing body of the society by its proper title if
known;
(b) the immovable property of a society may, if not registered
in the names of trustees, notwithstanding the provisions
of any written law to the contrary, be registered in the
name of the society, and all instruments relating to that
property shall be as valid and effective as if they had
been executed by a registered proprietor provided that
they are executed by three office-bearers for the time
being of the society, whose appointments are authenticated
by a certificate of the Registrar, and sealed with the seal
of the society;
(c) a society may sue or be sued in the name of such one of
its members as shall be declared to the Registrar and
registered by him as the public officer of the society for
that purpose, and, if no such person is registered, it shall
be competent for any person having a claim or demand
against the society to sue the society in the name of any
office-bearer of the society;
(d) no suit or proceeding by or against a registered society
in any civil court shall abate or discontinue by reason of
the person, by or against whom the suit or proceeding has
been brought or continued, dying or ceasing to fill the
character in the name whereof he has sued or been sued,
but the same suit or proceeding shall be continued in the
name of, or against the successor of, that person;
(e) (i) no judgment in any such suit against a registered
society shall be put into force against the person or
property of the person sued but against the property
of the society;

17 Societies
(ii) the application for execution shall set forth the judgment,
the fact of the party against whom it has been recovered
having sued or having been sued, as the case may be,
on behalf of the society, and shall require to have the
judgment enforced against the property of the society;
(f) any member who—
(i) fails to pay a subscription which, according to the
rules of the society to which he belongs, he is
bound to pay;
(ii) owes money to the society;
(iii)contrary to the rules of the society, takes possession
of, or detains, any property thereof; or
(iv)injures or destroys any property thereof, may, in
the manner hereinbefore provided, be sued for that
subscription or money or for the damage accruing
from that wrongful possession, detention, injury or
destruction of property:
Provided that if the defendant is successful in
that suit and is awarded costs, he may elect to
recover them from the officer in whose name the
suit was brought or from the society and, in the
latter case, may have execution against the property
of the society;
(g) any member who—
(i) commits theft of, or dishonesty misappropriates or
converts to his own use, any money or other property;
(ii) wilfully and maliciously destroys or injures any
property of the society; or
(iii)forges any deed, bond, security for money, receipt
or other instrument whereby the funds of the society
may be exposed to loss,
shall be liable to be prosecuted and punished as if he
were not a member; and
(h) in the absence of specific provision in the rules of a
society, any number not less than three-fifths of the
members of any such society for the time being resident

18 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
in M alaysia may determine that such society shall be
dissolved forthwith or at a time agreed, and all necessary
steps shall be taken for the disposal and settlement of the
property of such society, its claims and liabilities, according
to the rules (if any) of the said society applicable thereto
and if none, then as the governing body shall direct:
Provided that if any dispute shall arise among the members of
the said governing body or the members of such society under
paragraph (h) of this section, such dispute may be decided by the
Registrar. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Registrar
under this paragraph may within thirty days from the date of such
decision appeal to the Court.
Disqualifications applicable to office-bearers, advisers and
em ployees of registered societies
9A.(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (4), a person shall be
disqualified from being, and shall not become or remain, an office-
bearer, adviser or employee of a registered society—
(a) if he has been convicted of any offence against this Act;
or
(b) if he has been convicted of any offence under any other
law and sentenced to a fine of not less than two thousand
ringgit or to imprisonment for a term of not less than one
year; or
(c) if there is in force against him any order of detention,
restriction, supervision, restricted residence, banishment
or deportation under any law relating to the security of,
or public order in, M alaysia or any part thereof, or to
prevention of crime, preventive detention, restricted
residence, banishment or immigration; or
(d) if he is an undischarged bankrupt; or
(e) if he is and has been found or declared to be of unsound
mind.
(2) The disqualification of a person under paragraph (1)(b) shall
cease at the end of the period of five years beginning with the date
on which the person convicted was released from custody or the
date on which the fine mentioned was imposed, as the case may
be.

19 Societies
(3) W here the Registrar by notice under his hand notifies a
society that any office-bearer, adviser or employee of a society has
become disqualified under subsection (1), the society shall
immediately thereupon give effect to such disqualification.
(4) Any person who is subject to any disqualification under
paragraph (1)(a), (b) or (c) may apply to the Registrar to be
exempted from the application of such disqualification, and the
Registrar may, if he deems it proper to do so, grant him such
exemption for such period as the Registrar may specify and subject
to such limitations, restrictions, terms or conditions as he may
decide to impose.
(5) (Deleted by Act A557).
(6) Any person who contravenes any provision of subsection
(1) or any limitation, restriction, term or condition imposed under
subsection (4) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on
conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding *three years
or to a fine not exceeding **ten thousand ringgit or to both.
(7) For the purposes of subsection (1), “office-bearer” includes—
(a) a member of any sub-committee or other body established
or formed by the governing body of a registered society,
or by the governing body of a branch of such society;
(b) any person who is responsible to any extent for the
management of any of the affairs, or the conduct of any
of the activities, of a registered society, or of any branch
of such society; and
(c) any person who is appointed or authorized to represent,
or act on behalf of, a registered society or any branch of
such society, in any matter, other than a person who, not
being a member of the society, is engaged by the society
to represent, or act on behalf of, the society or any branch
of such society in his professional capacity or by contractual
arrangement.
(8) Any person who is, immediately before the commencement
of this section, an office-bearer, adviser, or employee of a registered
society may continue to remain as such until the expiry of the
*NOTE—Previously “two years”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027]. **NOTE—Previously “five thousand ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027].

20 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
current term of his office or appointment or the termination of his
contract of service, as the case may be, notwithstanding that he
is disqualified under subsection (1).
Inspection of docum ents and evidentiary value of copies cer-
tified by Registrar
10.(1) Subject to subsection (2), documents filed with the Reg-
istrar or Assistant Registrar in pursuance to any provision of this
Act or any regulations made thereunder and any copy of any
certificate, order, notice or any other document issued by the
Registrar or Assistant Registrar in pursuance to any provision of
this Act or any regulations made thereunder may, on payment of
the prescribed fee—
(a) be inspected by any person; or
(b) a copy thereof be obtained by any person from the Registrar
or Assistant Registrar:
Provided that the person seeking the inspection or copy states
the purpose for which he requires the same, and the Registrar is
satisfied that such purpose is a lawful purpose, and that the inspec-
tion or copy is not being sought by or on behalf of an unlawful
society.
(2) No person, other than a person whom the Registrar or Assistant
Registrar is satisfied to be a member of a society, shall inspect or
obtain from the Registrar or Assistant Registrar the accounts of
such society or a copy thereof.
(3) A copy of or extract from any document received at the
office of the Registrar or Assistant Registrar certified to be true
copy or extract under the hand and seal of the Registrar or Assis-
tant Registrar shall, in any proceedings be admissible in evidence
as of equal validity with the original document.
Change of nam e, place of business and rules of society
11.(1) No registered society shall—
(a) change its name or place of business; or
(b) amend its rules,
without the prior approval of the Registrar, and an application for
any such change, or amendment of its rules shall be made to the
Registrar within sixty days from the date of the decision to make
the change or the amendment.

21 Societies
(2) If a registered society fails to comply with this section, the
society and every office-bearer of the society shall be guilty of an
offence against this Act and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine
not exceeding *three thousand ringgit.
(3) For the purpose of this section—
(a) the expression “amend” and its cognate expression shall
include a new rule and a resolution rescinding a rule; and
(b) the expression “rules” includes the aims and objects for
which a society is formed, or which it may pursue, or for
which its funds, or any of them, may be applied, the
qualifications for membership and for the holding of any
office, the method of appointment or election to any
office, the rules by which the society is to be governed
and the method and manner by and in which any of the
above matters may be amended.
11A. (Deleted by Act A557).
Branch of a society
12.(1) No registered society shall establish a branch without the
prior approval of the Registrar.
(2) The Registrar may refuse his consent to the establishment
of a branch of the registered society if—
(a) the rules of the society do not provide for the establishment
of a branch of the society; or
(b) the rules of the branch of the society are such as to make
the branch of the society an independent society not
adequately under the control of the society.
(3) W here a registered society establishes a branch without the
prior approval of the Registrar the branch so established shall be
an unlawful society:
Provided that a branch of a registered society established and
in existence immediately before the commencement of this Act
shall not be an unlawful society if within six months from the
commencement of this Act or such extended period, not being
*NOTE—Previously “one thousand ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027].

22 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
more than three months, as the Registrar may allow, such regis-
tered society applies to the Registrar in writing for his approval
under this section; and in considering such application the Reg-
istrar shall have all the powers conferred upon him by subsection
(2).
(4) The provisions of this Act other than subsection 6(1),
sections 7 and 8 shall apply to any branch of a registered society
approved under this section as though such branch were a society
registered, as the society of which it is a branch, under the
provisions of this Act.
(5) For the purpose of this section, a branch of a registered
society includes any society which is in any way subordinate to
another society.
(6) W here an approval to establish a branch has been given,
such branch shall be established within three months thereof unless
the Registrar has granted an extension of time.
Cancellation and suspension
13.(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Registrar may, in the following
cases, cancel the registration of any society registered under
section 7—
(a) upon its dissolution by the society to be verified in such
manner as the Registrar may require or upon dissolution
by the Registrar in accordance with this Act;
(b) on the order made by the M inister under section 5;
(c) if the Registrar is satisfied—
(i) that the registration was effected as the result of a
fraud or a mistake or misrepresentation in any
material particular;
(ii) that the society is likely to be used for unlawful
purposes or for purposes prejudicial to or
incompatible with peace, welfare, good order or
morality in M alaysia;
(iii)that the society is pursuing objects other than the
objects with which the society is registered;
(iv)that the society has wilfully contravened any
provision of this Act or of any regulation made

23 Societies
thereunder or of any of its rules or that any members
of the society have habitually contravened the
provision of subsection 4(1) of the Sedition Act
1948 [Act 15] by any acts or utterances to which
paragraph 3(1)(f) of that Act applies;
(v) that the society has ceased to exist;
(vi)that the society has failed to comply with an order
made by him under section 13A;
(vii)that the society has failed to comply with the
provisions of section 2A;
(viii) that the society has contravened the provisions of
section 52; or
(ix)that the society has failed to comply with the notice
served by him under subsection 16(1); and
(d) upon the society becoming unlawful under subsection
14(7) for failure to furnish written information.
(2) W here the Registrar proposes to cancel the registration of
any registered society under paragraph (1)(c) the Registrar—
(a) shall notify one or more of the office-bearers of the
society of his intention to cancel the registration of the
society; and
(b) shall give him or them an opportunity to submit reasons
in writing within thirty days from the date of the notification
why the registration should not be cancelled.
(2A) The Registrar may, during the period specified in paragraph
(2)(b), by order in writing suspend all or any of the activities of
the registered society—
(a) where he thinks it necessary to do so—
(i) in the public interest; or
(ii) in the interest of the registered society; or
(b) in order to restrain the registered society from further
infringing or violating any provision of this Act, any
regulation made thereunder or any rule of the society.
(2B) An order made under subsection (2A)—
(a) may contain such conditions as the Registrar deems
necessary or expedient; and

24 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(b) shall continue in force until the order is revoked or the
registration of the society is cancelled.
(2C) An office-bearer or any person managing or assisting in
the management of a society who fails to comply with an order
made under subsection (2A) shall be guilty of an offence and shall
be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding five thousand
ringgit, and where the offence is a continuing one, shall, in addition,
be liable to daily fine not exceeding five hundred ringgit for each
day after the first day during which the offence continues.
(3) W here the Registrar cancels the registration of a registered
society under this section or under any other provision of this Act,
section 17 shall apply to that registered society and such cancellation
shall be published in the Gazette.
Power of Registrar to m ake certain orders in respect of registered
societies
13A.(1) W here the Registrar is satisfied that it is necessary to do
so in the interests of any registered society, or in the interests of
public order, safety or security, or otherwise in the public interest,
the Registrar may at any time, after giving the society an opportunity
to make representations to him, make an order in writing—
(a) requiring the society, within the time specified in the
order, to provide in its rules or constitution that the office-
bearers of the society shall be Federal citizens, and,
consequently, requiring the society to remove from office
all persons who, not being Federal citizens, were office-
bearers of the society immediately before the making of
the order; or
(b) prohibiting the society from having, directly or indirectly,
any affiliation, connection, communication, or other dealing
whatsoever, with any society, organization, or other body
whatsoever outside M alaysia, or with any authority,
governmental or otherwise, in any country, territory or
place outside M alaysia;
(c) (Deleted by Act A557).
(2) The Registrar may at any time, after giving a registered
society an opportunity to make representations to him, make an

25 Societies
order in writing requiring the society, within the time specified in
the order, to amend its rules or constitution so as to—
(a) have the same conform to, or be consistent and in accor-
dance with, the provisions of this Act or any regulations
made thereunder; or
(b) remove any ambiguity or vagueness therein, or provide
for greater clarity and preciseness of meaning in any
provision thereof; or
(c) provide for any other matter which the Registrar may
deem necessary, reasonable or expedient to require.
(3) W here the Registrar makes an order under subsection (1) or
(2) he may include in that order, or make or give at any time
thereafter, any consequential or ancillary requirements or directions
in relation to such order as he may deem necessary or
expedient to make or give.
(4) The Registrar may, on application in writing made to him
by a registered society, extend the time provided by him to the
society in any order made under subsection (1) or (2) if he is
satisfied that the society has given good grounds in its application
and it would be just and proper to grant such extension.
(5) For the purposes of subsection (1), “office-bearer” includes
the persons specified in paragraphs 9A(7)(a) and (b).
(6) (Deleted by Act A557).
(7) Any society which contravenes any order given by the Registrar
under subsection (1) or (2) or any requirement or direction made
or given by him under subsection (3) shall be guilty of an offence
and shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding fifteen thousand
ringgit or to both.
Inform ation to be furnished by societies, order of the Registrar
to furnish inform ation, Registrar to approve audit and provisional
order for dissolution
14. (1) Every registered society shall, within sixty days after the
holding of its annual general meeting or if no annual general

26 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
meeting is held, within sixty days after the end of each calendar
year, forward to the Registrar—
(a) a true and complete copy of any amendments to the rules
of such society made since the date of registration or of
the last return;
(b) a true and complete list of office-bearers and the number
of members of such society residing in M alaysia or present
therein at the date of such return or, if such society has
no office-bearers residing or present in M alaysia, the
name, address and occupation of the person in M alaysia
authorized to act for or on behalf of the society, and the
number of members as aforesaid together with a true and
complete list of the office-bearers of all the branches (if
any) of the society;
(c) the address of the society or of the place of business of
the society;
(d) the accounts of the last financial year of the society,
together with a balance sheet showing the financial position
at the close of the last financial year of the society;
(da)the name and address of any society, association, trade
union or any other body of persons, incorporated or
unincorporated, outside M alaysia to which the society is
in any way associated or affiliated;
(db)the description of any money or property, any pecuniary
benefit or advantage received by the society from any
person ordinarily resident outside M alaysia or an
organization, authority, government, or agency of any
government, outside M alaysia; and
(e) such other information as the Registrar may from time
to time require.
(2) The Registrar may, at any time by notice under his hand,
order any registered society to furnish him in writing with—
(a) a true and complete copy of the rules of any such society
in force at the date of such order;
(b) a true and complete list of office-bearers and members
of any such society or of any branch of any such society
residing in M alaysia or present therein at the date of such
order;

27 Societies
(c) a true and complete return of the number of meetings
held by any such society or branch thereof in M alaysia
within the period of six months immediately preceding
such order stating the place or places where such meetings
were held;
(d) duly audited accounts;
(da)the name and address of any society, association, trade
union or any other body of persons, incorporated or
unincorporated, outside M alaysia affiliated to the society
and other particulars relating thereto;
(db)the description of any money or property, any pecuniary
benefit or advantage received by the society from any
person ordinarily resident outside M alaysia or an
organization, authority, government, or agency of any
government, outside M alaysia and other particulars relating
thereto; or
(e) such other information as the Registrar may from time
to time require.
(3) An order given under subsection (2) shall specify the time
(being not less than seven days) within which the information shall
be supplied:
Provided that the Registrar may at his discretion, on application
made to him and on good cause being shown, grant an extension
of time.
(4) For the purpose of this section “duly audited” means audited
by an auditor approved by the Registrar, who may give such
approval generally or for any particular audit; and the auditor so
approved shall make a report on the accounts examined by him in
such form as the Registrar may require.
(5) W here the particulars required to be furnished under
subsection (2) are not furnished within the time stated in the order,
or any extension thereof allowed by the Registrar, the Registrar
may make a provisional order for the dissolution of the society.
(6) If before the expiration of thirty days from the date of such
provisional order the particulars required to be furnished under
subsection (2) are so furnished, the Registrar may cancel the order.

28 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(7) Upon the expiration of thirty days from the date of such
provisional order, or where an appeal is pending upon the dismissal
thereof, the said order shall become absolute and the society shall
be deemed to be an unlawful society and its registration shall be
cancelled.
(8) A registered society which, on the ground of its failure to
comply with an order under this section, has had its registration
cancelled under section 13 shall not be entitled to apply for registration
until such order has been complied with or unless it is proven to
the satisfaction of the Registrar that it is impossible to comply
with the order.
Persons responsible for supplying inform ation
15.(1) The obligations imposed upon registered societies by
section 14 shall be binding upon every office-bearer and upon
every person managing or assisting in the management of any such
society in M alaysia:
Provided always that any such office-bearer or other person as
aforesaid shall not be so bound unless he has been served with the
order given by the Registrar.
(1A) W here a notice, order, or other document is served upon
a person who has ceased to be an office-bearer of a registered
society he shall forthwith deliver such notice, order or document
upon an existing office-bearer of the registered society, or if unknown,
shall return it to the Registrar or Assistant Registrar who sent it;
and any person who fails to do so shall be liable, on conviction,
to a fine not exceeding *three thousand ringgit.
(2) If any registered society fails to comply with the whole or
part of any order given under section 14, each of the persons
mentioned in subsection (1) who has been served with the aforesaid
order shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction,
to a fine not exceeding **five thousand ringgit unless he estab-
lishes to the satisfaction of the Court that he has exercised due
diligence and has failed to comply with the order for reasons
beyond his control.
*NOTE—Previously ‘one thousand ringgit’–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027]. **NOTE—Previously ‘two thousand ringgit’–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027].

29 Societies
(3) If any information supplied to the Registrar in compliance
with an order given under section 14 is false, incorrect or incomplete
in any material particular, the person who has supplied such
information shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on
conviction, to a fine not exceeding two thousand ringgit unless he
establishes to the satisfaction of the Court that he had good reason
to believe that the information was true, correct and complete.
Disputes
16.(1) If the Registrar is of the opinion that a dispute has oc-
curred among the members or office-bearers of a registered soci-
ety as a result of which the Registrar is not satisfied of the identity
of the persons who have been properly constituted as office-bear-
ers of the society, the Registrar may serve notice on the society
requiring the society, within one month of the service of such
notice, to produce to him evidence of the settlement of any such
dispute and of the proper appointment of the lawful office-bearers
of the society or of the institution of proceedings for the settlement
of such dispute.
(2) If any such notice as is provided in subsection (1) is not
complied with to the satisfaction of the Registrar within the period
of one month or any extension thereof allowed by the Registrar,
the Registrar may take steps to cancel the registration of the society
under section 13.
Consequence of order of the M inister under section 5, refusal
of the Registrar to register a local society under section 7 and
cancellation of registration of a registered society under any
provision of this Act
17.(1) Upon the making of an order by the M inister under
section 5 or upon the refusal of the Registrar to register a local
society under section 7, or upon the cancellation of the registration
of a registered society under any provision of this Act, the following
consequences shall ensue—
(a) the property of the society shall forthwith vest either in
the Director General of Insolvency or if any other officer
be, by the terms of the order under section 5, appointed
by the M inister for the purpose of winding up the affairs
of the society, then in such other officer;

30 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(b) the Director General of Insolvency or such other officer
as aforesaid shall proceed to wind up the affairs of the
society, and after satisfying and providing for all debts
and liabilities of the society and the costs of the winding
up shall pay the surplus assets, if any, of the society—
(i) to the Consolidated Fund if the registration was
refused or cancelled by virtue of an order under
section 5 or on grounds stated in paragraph 7(3)(a)
or subparagraph 13(1)(c)(ii) or if the members of
the society so request, and the M inister so directs
that such surplus assets be paid to the Consolidated
Fund; and
(ii) in all other cases, to members of the society
according to the rules of the society, or if there
be no such rules, then the Director General of
Insolvency or such other officer shall prepare a
scheme for the application of such surplus assets
for the approval of the High Court;
(c) the application for approval of such scheme shall be
made by way of originating summons and may be amended
by the Court in such way as it thinks proper under the
circumstances of the case;
(d) upon the approval of the Court to such scheme or amended
scheme being obtained, the surplus assets, the subject of
such scheme shall be held and applied by the Director
General of Insolvency or such other officer as aforesaid
upon the terms and to the purposes prescribed in the
order of the Court; and
(e) for the purposes of the winding up the affairs of the
society, the Director General of Insolvency or such other
officer as aforesaid shall have all the powers which are
vested in the Director General of Insolvency by any written
law relating to bankruptcy for the purpose of the discovery
of the property of a debtor and the realization therefor,
and also such powers as are by any written law relating
to companies vested in an official liquidator and all the
provisions of the said laws relating to bankruptcy and to
the winding up of companies, so far as they relate to the
discovery and realization of the property of a debtor and
to the winding up of a company, shall, mutatis mutandis,
apply to the winding up of the affairs of the society under
this Act.

31 Societies
(2) The Registrar may, suspend the operation of this section to
such extent and for such period as he may think expedient.
(3) The Registrar or the Director General of Insolvency may
require or authorize the governing body of the society, being the
governing body existing immediately before the coming into effect
of subsection (1) in relation to that society, or any member of such
governing body, or any person who was then or at any time previously
an office-bearer, member or employee of that society, to furnish
to the Registrar or the Director General of Insolvency, as the case
may be, or to such other person as the Registrar or the Director
General of Insolvency may specify, any information in relation to
the property, affairs, business, accounts or books of that society,
or any other matter relating to that society, which may be required
for the purposes of this section, and, save as provided under subsection
(4), such governing body, or member thereof, or such office bearer,
member or employee, shall not on account of anything done by
it or him in pursuance of such requirement or authorization be
guilty of any offence under this Act, provided such thing is otherwise
lawfully done.
(4) W here the governing body of such society, or any particular
member thereof, or any person who was an office bearer, member
or employee of such society at any time before the coming into
effect of subsection (1) in relation to that society, fails to comply
with any requirement of the Registrar or the Director General of
Insolvency under subsection (3), or does anything outside the
scope of, or contrary to, any authorization of the Registrar or the
Director General of Insolvency under subsection (3), each of the
members of the governing body, or the particular member thereof,
or the office-bearer, member or employee, as the case may be,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not
exceeding ten thousand ringgit or both.
(5) For the purposes of subsections (3) and (4) “office-bearer”
includes any person referred to in paragraphs 9A(7)(a), (b) and (c).
(6) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that where
the property of a society vests in the Director General of Insolvency
under paragraph (1)(a), the property of every branch of such society,
regardless whether it is a lawful or an unlawful branch, shall also
vest in the Director General of Insolvency, and the provisions of
paragraphs (1)(b), (c), (d) and (e), and of subsections (2), (3), (4)
and (5), shall accordingly apply to every such branch and its
property.

32 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(7) For the purposes of subsections (3), (4), (5) and (6), Direc-
tor General of Insolvency includes, in relation to a society in
respect of which an order has been made by the M inister under
section 5, any other officer who, by the terms of the order, has
been appointed by the M inister for the purpose of winding up the
affairs of such society.
Application of section 17 to unlawful branch
17A. W here a branch of a society—
(a) has been declared unlawful by an order of the M inister
under section 5;
(b) is notified by the Registrar to the Director General of
Insolvency to be an unlawful society under paragraph
41(1)(c); or
(c) has, otherwise howsoever, become an unlawful society
under subsection 41(1),
the provisions of section 17 shall apply to the branch and its
property in the same manner as they apply to a society and its
property, and the reference in subsections 17(3) and (4) to the
governing body of a society shall in such case be accordingly
construed as a reference to the governing body of the branch
concerned, and the reference in subsection 17(6) to a branch of a
society shall in such case be accordingly construed as a reference
to a branch subordinate to the branch concerned.
Vesting in a new registered society of property of a society
whose registration has been cancelled
17B.(1) W here the property of any society has vested in the
Director General of Insolvency under paragraph 17(1)(a) then,
notwithstanding subparagraph 17(1)(b)(ii), the Director general of
Insolvency may, if he is satisfied that another society has been
registered under this Act (hereinafter referred to as “the new society”)
and the constitution and the rules of the new society are substantially
similar to those of the registered society whose registration has
been cancelled by the Registrar under section 13 (hereinafter referred
to as “the old society”) and that a majority of persons who were
lawful members of the old society immediately before the cancellation
of its registration are members of the new society, apply to the
High Court for an order for vesting all the assets, debts and liabilities

33 Societies
of the old society and all its branches in the new society, provided
the Director General of Insolvency has first received a written
request and consent of the governing body of the new society for
such vesting and a written undertaking that the new society will
assume responsibility for all the aforesaid debts and liabilities then
existing, and the Court may, if it is satisfied as to all the matters
hereinbefore set out, approve such application with such modifications
or variations as the justice of the case may require.
(2) The application shall be made by way of originating summons
which shall be advertised by publication in the Gazette and in two
newspapers, one in the national language and one in English,
circulating in M alaysia, and any person likely to be affected or
aggrieved by the decision of the Court in his capacity as a member
of either the old or new society or as a creditor of the old society
may apply to the Court to appear and make representation thereon
in accordance with the rules of the High Court.
(3) Any person who was a lawful member of the old society
immediately before the cancellation of its registration who is not
a member of the new society who does not object to the application
of the Director General of Insolvency shall be discharged from all
personal liability for all debts and liabilities of the old society and
all its branches upon the making of the order sought by the Director
General of Insolvency.
(4) (Deleted by Act A859).
(5) Upon a vesting order being made by the Court under subsection
(1), all the property comprised therein shall vest accordingly in the
new society without any further conveyance, transfer or assignment.
(6) Notwithstanding that an application under subsection (1) is
pending in the Court, it shall be lawful for the Director General
of Insolvency to do or take such action as may be necessary to
manage any property or discharge the debts and liabilities of the
old society as if such application has not been made.
(7) If the Court approves the application under subsection (1)
with or without modification or variation, the Director General of
Insolvency shall publish such decision in the Gazette and in two
newspapers, one in the national language and one in English,
circulating in M alaysia, and thereupon the Director General of
Insolvency shall be fully discharged from all his responsibilities
and liabilities in the matter.

34 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(8) All costs and expenses incurred by the Director General of
Insolvency in the matter shall be paid out of the assets of the old
society and all its branches, in priority to all other debts and
liabilities.
(9) All deeds, bonds, agreements, instruments and working
arrangements subsisting immediately before the publication in the
Gazette of the decision of the Court approving the Director General
of Insolvency application under subsection (1), shall be of full
force and effect against or in favour of the new society and enforceable
as fully and effectually as if, instead of the old society, or any
person acting on behalf of the old society, the new society has
been named therein or has been a party thereto.
(10) The provisions of subsections 17(3), (4) and (5) shall apply
in relation to this section in the same manner as they apply in
relation to section 17.
Appeals
18. Any local society, office-bearer or member of such local
society or any other person who is aggrieved by the decision of
the Registrar in any of the following cases—
(a) cancellation of registration of the society under
section 2A;
(b) refusal to register the society under section 7;
(c) refusal to grant exemption under subsection 9A(4) to a
disqualified person to hold office in any registered society;
(d) refusal to approve the change of name or place of business
of the society, or amendment of its rules under section
11;
(e) refusal to approve the establishment of a branch of the
society under section 12;
(f) cancellation of the registration of the society under section
13;
(g) order prohibiting non-citizens from holding office
in a society or prohibiting affiliation, connection,
communication or other dealing with any society outside
M alaysia and other matters stated in subsection 13A(1);
(h) order to amend rules or constitution under subsection
13A(2);

35 Societies
(i) refusal to approve an auditor or approving an auditor
unacceptable to the society under subsection 14(4);
(j) making a provisional order for the dissolution of the
society under subsection 14(5);
(k) cancellation of the registration of a registered society
under section 16 for failure to settle a dispute within the
society; or
(l) refusal to grant permission under section 49 to become
an office-bearer,
may, within thirty days from the date of the decision of the Registrar,
appeal against the decision to the M inister; and the M inister whose
decision shall be final may confirm, reject or vary the decision of
the Registrar.
PART IA
PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO POLITICAL
PARTIES ONLY
Application of Parts I and III
18A. The provisions contained in this Part shall apply in addition
to those contained in Part I and Part III to political parties registered
under this Act and where there is any conflict or inconsistency
between any provision in this Part and any provision in any other
Part of this Act, the provision in this Part shall prevail to the extent
of such conflict or inconsistency.
Circum stances which do not m ake an election invalid
18B. (1) No election in any political party shall be invalid by
reason of any failure to comply with any provision of the political
party’s constitution or any rules or regulations made thereunder,
or the participation in such election by any person who is disqualified
from being a member or office-bearer under this Act or the constitution
of the political party, if it appears to the political party or any
person authorized by it or by its constitution or rules or regulations
made thereunder, that the result of the election would have re-
mained the same had there not been any failure to comply with
any such provision, or had the said person not participated in such
election, as the case may be.

36 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(2) W here a person who is disqualified under this Act or the
constitution of a political party is elected to any post in any election
of the political party, such political party shall, upon discovery of
his disqualification, notwithstanding the validity of the election
pursuant to subsection (1), give effect to his disqualification and
conduct a fresh election in respect of that post as soon as practical
in accordance with its constitution, rules and regulations.
Decision of political party to be final and conclusive
18C. The decision of a political party or any person authorized
by it or by its constitution or rules or regulations made thereunder
on the interpretation of its constitution, rules or regulations or on
any matter relating to the affairs of the party shall be final and
conclusive and such decision shall not be challenged, appealed
against, reviewed, quashed or called in question in any court on
any ground, and no court shall have jurisdiction to entertain or
determine any suit, application, question or proceeding on any
ground regarding the validity of such decision.
PART II
PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO M UTUAL BENEFIT
SOCIETIES ONLY
Application of Parts I and III
19. The provisions contained in this Part shall apply in addition
to those contained in Part I and Part III in respect of mutual benefit
societies registered under this Act and the expression “registered
society” shall in this Part mean that society.
Saving
20. Nothing in this Act shall apply to any person, body or society
to which the Insurance Act 1963 [Act 89], applies and it is hereby
declared that any mutual benefit society which has been registered
under this Act shall be deemed not to be an insurer for the pur-
poses of the aforesaid Insurance Act and that the provisions of
section 67 of the Stamp Act 1949 [Act 378], shall not apply to any
such mutual benefit society.

37 Societies
Restrictions on registration of m utual benefit societies
21. (1) A mutual benefit society shall not be entitled to registration
under section 7 if the rules of such mutual benefit society provide
for—
(a) a benefit exceeding *two thousand ringgit in any one
case;
(b) admission of a member or subscriber who is above the
age of sixty years, unless that member is insuring another
person who is not above the age of sixty years; or
(c) admission of a member or subscriber not resident within
the limits of a town in M alaysia in which such society
proposes to carry on its business:
Provided that where a mutual benefit society is
established in a particular place of work for the benefit
of its members or subscribers, the society shall be entitled
to registration notwithstanding that the rules of the society
provide for the admission of members or subscribers
resident outside the limits of the town in which the society
proposes to carry on its business;
or unless the tables of contributions to be paid by the members
of such mutual benefit society and its rules governing benefits
payable to the members, custody, investment and periodical valuation
of its goods, assets and liabilities certified by an actuary approved
by the M inister are sent to the Registrar with the application for
registration.
(2) For the purpose of this section, “town” includes any village,
mukim, municipality or city.
M em bership of m inors
22.(1) The rules of a registered society may provide for the
admission of a person under twenty-one years of age as a member
or subscriber.
(2) Any such member or subscriber may, if he is over sixteen
years of age, by himself and if he is under that age by his parent
or guardian, execute all instruments and give all acquittances
necessary to be executed or given under the rules, but shall not
be a member of the committee, or a trustee, secretary, manager or
treasurer of the registered society.
*NOTE—Previously “one thousand ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027].

38 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
Restriction on nom inees
23. No member or subscriber of a registered society may nominate
as the person to receive the benefits provided under the rules of
the society a person other than the husband, wife, children (including
adopted children), grandchildren, mother, father, mother-in-law,
father-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers or sisters of
the whole blood, brothers or sisters of the half-blood, children of
such brothers and sisters of the whole or half-blood, uncles or
aunts of the whole blood, uncles or aunts of the half-blood or
children of such uncles or aunts of the whole or half-blood of such
member or subscriber:
Provided that a member or subscriber may nominate any other
person in writing signed by himself in the presence of and attested
by a Justice of the Peace or a M agistrate or the Registrar.
Priority on death, bankruptcy, etc., of office-bearers
24. In the following cases, namely—
(a) upon the death or bankruptcy of any office-bearer of a
registered society having in his possession by virtue of
his office any money or property belonging to the society;
or
(b) if any execution, attachment or other process is issued or
action taken against any such officer or against his property,
his heirs, executors or administrators or the Director General of
Insolvency or the Bailiff of the High Court or other person executing
the process or the party taking the action, shall upon demand made
in writing by the trustees of the registered society or any two of
them or any person authorized by the registered society to make
the demand, pay the money and deliver over the property to the
trustees of the registered society in preference to any other debt
or claim against the estate of the office-bearer.
Appointm ent of trustees
25.(1) Every registered society shall have one or more trustees.
(2) No person shall be appointed a trustee of a registered society
if he holds the office of the secretary or the treasurer of that
registered society.

39 Societies
(3) A trustee shall be appointed at a meeting of the registered
society and by a resolution of a majority of the members present
and entitled to vote thereat.
(4) A registered society shall send to the Registrar a copy of
every resolution appointing a trustee and such copy shall be signed
by the trustee so appointed and by the secretary of the registered
society.
Audit
26.(1) Every registered society shall once at least in every year
submit its accounts for audit by an auditor approved generally or
for any particular audit by the Registrar.
(2) The auditor shall have access to all the books and accounts
of the registered society and shall examine the annual return required
by this Act and verify such annual return with the accounts and
vouchers relating thereto and shall either sign the annual return as
found by him to be correct, duly vouched and in accordance with
law and the rules of the registered society or specially report to
the registered society in what respects he finds it incorrect, unvouched,
or not in accordance with law.
Calling for inform ation and inspection of books and docum ents
by the Registrar
27.(1) Every registered society shall furnish the Registrar or
Assistant Registrar with such information concerning the society
as he may at any time require.
(2) Every registered society shall, if requested in writing by the
Registrar or Assistant Registrar, produce for his inspection—
(a) the documents of title to any property held by the society;
(b) all books of account and membership register of the
society; and
(c) any minutes of proceedings of the society or other written
records of the society.
(3) The secretary of a registered society shall, on a notice being
served on the society by the Registrar or Assistant Registrar, authorize
in writing the Bank at which the society’s account is kept to
disclose to the Registrar or Assistant Registrar the society’s account
and documents incidental thereto.

40 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
Right to supply of copies of the rules
28. Every registered society shall deliver to any person on demand
and on payment of a sum not exceeding *five ringgit, a copy of
the rules of the society.
Right to supply of copies of annual return
29. Every registered society shall supply free of charge to every
member or subscriber or person having an interest in its funds on
his application either—
(a) a copy of the last annual return of the society; or
(b) a balance sheet or other document duly audited containing
the same particulars as to the receipt and expenditure,
funds and effects of the society as are contained in the
annual return.
Inspection of books by m em bers
30. A member or subscriber or person having an interest in the
funds of a registered society may inspect the books of the society
at all reasonable hours at the registered office of the society or at
any place where the books are kept.
Subscriptions and benefits
31.(1) The am ount deducted by a registered society for
administration or any other expense shall not, except with the
Registrar’s permission exceed such percentage of the total receipts
from or such part of the subscriptions as may be prescribed by the
M inister by regulations made under this Act.
(2) All subscriptions paid by members or subscribers during the
period in which, under the rules of any registered society, such
members or subscribers are qualifying for the benefits provided by
the rules of the society less a sum not exceeding the prescribed
percentage allowed for administration and any other expense shall
be paid into the Bank Simpanan Nasional or placed on deposit
with a bank of the M alaysia Exchange Banks Association in the
name of the society or with the approval of the Registrar in the
acquisition of immovable property and such funds shall constitute
the reserve funds of the society.
*NOTE—Previously “one ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027].

41 Societies
(3) Subscriptions received from members of or subscribers to
a registered society who have qualified for benefits under the rules
of the society less a sum not exceeding the prescribed percentage
allowed for administration and any other expense shall be paid
into a separate account in the name of the society with the Bank
Simpanan Nasional or a bank of the M alaysia Exchange Banks
Association and the society may draw upon these funds for the
purpose of paying the benefits provided in the rules of the society.
(4) Fifty per centum of the funds of a registered society not
immediately required for the payment of benefits may be invested
in trustee securities, or with the approval of the Registrar on such
conditions as he may impose in the purchase of land.
(5) No payment of any sum payable as a result of the death of
a person shall be made by the society except upon the production
of the original death certificate or a certified copy thereof issued
by a Registrar of Deaths or, in the case of a person dying outside
M alaysia, a death certificate issued by the appropriate authority
in the place where the person died:
Provided that where no nominee has been appointed payment
may be made to the personal representative of a deceased member
or subscriber upon the production of letters of administration or
probate of the will of the deceased member or subscriber.
(6) For the purpose of this section, M alaysia Exchange Banks
Association means a society registered with that name under this
Act.
Rights, etc., of registered society not affected by change of
nam e
32.(1) (Deleted by Act A1027).
(2) W here the name of a registered society is changed, such
change shall not affect any right or obligation of the registered
society or of any member thereof, and any legal proceeding may
be continued by or against the trustees of the society or any officer
who may sue or be sued on behalf of the society, notwithstanding
such change of name.
33. (Deleted by Act A1027).

42 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
34. (Deleted by Act A1027).
Inspectors and special m eetings
35.(1) Upon the application of one-tenth of the total number of
members of a registered society or if on any information in his
possession it appears to him expedient so to do, the Registrar
may—
(a) appoint an inspector or inspectors to examine into and
report on the affairs of the society; or
(b) call a special meeting of the society.
(2) The application made by members under this section shall
be supported by evidence showing that the applicants have good
reasons for requiring an inspection to be made or a special meeting
to be called, and that they are not actuated by malicious motives
in their application; and the Registrar shall cause a notice of such
application to be given to the registered society.
(3) The Registrar may, if he thinks fit, require the applicants
to give security for the costs of the proposed inspection or special
meeting before appointing any inspector or calling the meeting.
(4) All expenses of and incidental or preliminary to any such
inspection or meeting shall be defrayed by the members applying
therefor or out of the funds of the society or by the members or
office-bearers or former members or office-bearers of the society
in such proportions as the Registrar may direct.
(5) An inspector appointed under this section may require the
production of all or any of the books and documents of the society
and may examine on oath its office-bearers, members, agents and
servants in relation to its business and may administer such oath
accordingly.
(6) The Registrar may direct at what time and place a special
meeting under this section is to be held and what matters are to
be discussed and determined at the meeting, and the meeting shall
be deemed to be a meeting called according to the rules of the
society and those present and entitled to vote shall in all cases
have power to appoint the Chairman, any rule of the society to the
contrary notwithstanding.

43 Societies
Dissolution of registered societies
36. A registered society may terminate or be dissolved in any of
the following ways—
(a) upon the happening of any event declared by the rules
to amount to termination of the society;
(b) by the consent of three-fourths of the members of the
society testified by their signatures to an instrument of
dissolution;
(c) by the Registrar cancelling the registration of the society
under section 13 or dissolving it under section 37.
Instrum ent of dissolution
37. W here a registered society is terminated by an instrument of
dissolution, the following provisions shall apply:
(a) the instrument shall set forth—
(i) the liabilities and assets of the registered society
in detail;
(ii) the number of members and subscribers and the
nature of their interests in the society; and
(iii)the intended appropriation or division of the funds
and property of the society, unless the appropriation
or division is stated in the instrument of dissolution
to be left to the award of the Registrar;
(b) a statutory declaration made by one of the trustees or by
three members and the secretary of the society that the
provisions of this Act have been complied with shall be
sent to the Registrar with the instrument of dissolutions;
(c) the instrument shall not direct or contain any provision
for a division or appropriation of the funds of the society
or any part thereof, otherwise than for the purpose of
carrying into effect the objects of the society as declared
in the rules thereof, unless the claim of every member or
person claiming any relief, annuity or other benefit from
the funds thereof is first duly satisfied or adequate provision
is made for satisfying those claims;

44 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(d) the instrument of dissolution shall be registered in the
manner in this Act provided for the registration of
amendments of rules, and shall be binding upon all members
of the society; and
(e) the Registrar shall cause the dissolution to be published
in the Gazette and if within three months from the date
of such publication in the Gazette, a member or subscriber
or other person interested in or having any claim on the
funds of the society does not commence any proceedings
to set aside the dissolution of the society, and the dissolution
is not thereby set aside, the society shall be deemed to
have been dissolved from the date of such publication in
the Gazette; and the requisite consents in the instrument
of dissolution shall be deemed to have been duly obtained
without proof of the signatures thereto.
Dissolution by Registrar
38.(1) If it appears to the Registrar from any information in his
possession that the funds of a registered society which has two
thousand or more members are insufficient to meet existing claims
thereon or that the rates of contributions fixed in the rules of the
society are insufficient to cover the benefits assured, the Registrar
may order the society to appoint an auditor or actuary to be approved
by him to investigate the affairs or part of the affairs of the society,
but the Registrar shall give not less than one month’s previous
notice in writing to the society whose affairs are to be investigated.
(2) If upon investigation it appears to the Registrar that the
funds of the society are insufficient to meet the existing claims
thereon or that the rates of contributions fixed in the rules of the
society are insufficient to cover the benefits assured, the Registrar
may, if he considers it expedient so to do, order that the society
shall be dissolved and its affairs wound up and shall direct in what
manner the assets of the society shall be divided or appropriated:
Provided that the Registrar may suspend his order for such
period as he may deem necessary to enable the society to make
such alteration and adjustment of contributions and benefits as
will in his judgment remove the necessity for the making of the
order of dissolution.

45 Societies
(3) The Registrar proceeding under this section shall have all
the powers and authorities enforceable by the same penalties as
in the case of a dispute referred to him under section 40.
(4) Every order under this section, whether for dissolution or
distribution of funds, shall be binding on the society in respect of
which the order is made and on all members and subscribers of
the society and on all persons having any claim on the funds of
the society and shall be enforced in the same manner as a decision
in a dispute under section 40.
(5) The expenses of the investigation and of publishing the
order for dissolution under this section shall be paid out of the
funds of the society before any other appropriation thereof is
made.
(6) Every order for dissolution shall, within twenty-one days
after the order has been made, be published in the Gazette and if
within three months from the date of the publication of such order,
a member or subscriber or person interested in or having any claim
on the funds of the society does not commence any proceedings
to set aside the dissolution of the society consequent upon such
order, and the dissolution is not thereby set aside, the society shall
be deemed to have been dissolved from the date of the publication
of the order.
Notice of proceedings to set aside dissolution
39.(1) W here a person takes any proceedings to set aside the
dissolution of a registered society, he shall give notice of the
proceedings to the Registrar not less than seven days before the
proceedings are commenced.
(2) W here an order is made by the Court setting aside the
dissolution of a registered society, the society shall give notice of
the order to the Registrar within seven days after the order has
been made.
Decision of disputes
40. (1) A dispute between—
(a) a member or subscriber or person claiming through a
member or a subscriber or under the rules of a registered
society and the society or an office-bearer thereof; and

46 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(b) any person aggrieved who has ceased to be a member of
a registered society or any person claiming through such
person aggrieved, and the society or an office-bearer
thereof,
shall be decided in the manner directed by the rules of the registered
society; and the decision so given shall be binding and conclusive
on all parties without appeal, and shall not be removable to any
court or restrainable by injunction; and application for the enforcement
thereof may be made to a Sessions Court.
(2) The parties to a dispute involving a registered society may
by consent refer the dispute to the Registrar.
(3) The Registrar to whom a dispute is referred shall either by
himself or by any Assistant Registrar, hear and determine the
dispute and shall have power to order the expenses of determining
the dispute to be paid either out of the funds of the society or by
such parties to the dispute as he may think fit; and his determination
or order shall have the same effect and be enforceable in the same
manner as a decision made in the manner directed by the rules of
the society.
(4) The Registrar or Assistant Registrar to whom a dispute is
referred may administer oaths and may require the attendance of
all parties concerned and of witnesses, and the production of all
books and documents relating to the matter in question.
PART III
M ISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO
SOCIETIES GENERALLY
Unlawful societies
41. (1) For the purposes of this Act any of the following societies
shall be an unlawful society, that is to say—
(a) a society or a branch thereof which has been declared
unlawful by the M inister under section 5;
(b) a society or a branch thereof which is not registered
under section 7;
(c) a branch of a registered society, where the branch was
established in contravention of subsection 12(1), or
continues to exist in contravention of the proviso to
subsection 12(3);

47 Societies
(d) a society or a branch thereof which has had its registra-
tion cancelled under section 2A, 13, 14 or 16.
*(2) W here a society is unlawful under subsection (1), or its
registration is cancelled under this Act, every branch of the society
shall immediately thereupon be unlawful and the approval of the
Registrar for its establishment shall be deemed to be revoked, and
where a branch of a society is unlawful under subsection (1) or
the approval of the Registrar for its establishment is deemed to be
revoked as aforesaid under this subsection, every branch subordinate
to that branch shall immediately thereupon be unlawful and the
approval of the Registrar for its establishment shall be deemed to
be revoked.
Penalties on office-bearer, etc., of an unlawful society
42. Any office-bearer and any person managing or assisting in the
management of any unlawful society shall be guilty of an offence
and shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding **fifteen thousand
ringgit or to both.
Penalties on m em ber of unlawful society
43. Any person who is or acts as a member of an unlawful society
or attends a meeting of an unlawful society or who pays money
or gives any aid to or for the purposes of an unlawful society shall
be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not
exceeding five thousand ringgit or to both.
Persons allowing unlawful society on prem ises
44. Any person who knowingly allows a meeting of an unlawful
society, or of members of an unlawful society, to be held in any
house, building or place belonging to or occupied by him, or over
which he has control, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be
liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
three years or to a fine not exceeding ***ten thousand ringgit or
to both.
*NOTE—Subsection 41(2) was inserted by Act A700 and shall be deemed to have come into force and become an integral part of this Act as from the date of commencement of this Act. **NOTE—Previously “ten thousand ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027]. ***NOTE —Previously “five thousand ringgit”– see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [ Act A1027 ].

48 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
Penalty for inciting, etc., a person to becom e a m em ber of an
unlawful society
45.(1) Any person who incites, induces or invites another person
to become a member of, or to assist in the management of, an
unlawful society shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable,
on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years
or to a fine not exceeding *fifteen thousand ringgit or to both.
(2) Any person who uses any violence, threat or intimidation
towards any other person in order to induce him to become a
member of or to assist in the management of an unlawful society
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not
exceeding **fifteen thousand ringgit or to both.
Penalty for procuring subscription or aid for an unlawful society
46. Any person who procures or attempts to procure from any
other person any subscription or aid for the purposes of an unlawful
society shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction,
to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine
not exceeding ***ten thousand ringgit or to both.
Publishing, etc., propaganda of an unlawful society
47. Any person who prints, publishes, displays, sells or exposes
for sale, or transmits through the post or who, without lawful
authority or excuse, has in his possession any placard, newspaper,
book, circular, pictorial representation or any other document or
writing whatsoever or which is issued or appears to be issued by
or on behalf of or in the interests of an unlawful society shall be
guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to impris-
onment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceed-
ing ****five thousand ringgit or to both, and any books, periodicals,
pamphlet, poster, proclamation, newspaper, letter or any other
document or writing in respect of which such person shall have
been convicted shall be forfeited.
*NOTE —Previously “eight thousand ringgit”– see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [ Act A1027 ]. **NOTE —Previously “ten thousand ringgit”– see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [ Act A1027 ]. ***NOTE —Previously “five thousand ringgit”– see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [ Act A1027 ]. ****NOTE —Previously “four thousand ringgit”– see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [ Act A1027 ].

49 Societies
Acting on behalf of or representing an unlawful society
48.(1) Any person who in any manner acts on behalf of, or
represents, or assists, whether in a professional capacity or otherwise
howsoever, any unlawful society, or any person who was an office-
bearer thereof as if he continues to be an officebearer thereof, or
any body which was the governing body of the society or of any
branch thereof as if it continues to be such governing body, in
relation to any matter, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be
liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
five years or to a fine not exceeding fifteen thousand ringgit or
both.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an appeal by an unlawful
society under section 18, or to any proceedings in any court in
respect of any matter involving such society, or any person who
was its office-bearer, or a body which was its governing body or
the governing body of any branch thereof.
Liability of office-bearer of a society whose registration has
been cancelled
49.(1) If the registration of any society, other than a society
which is a political party, has been cancelled under section 2A, or
paragraph 13(1)(b) or subparagraph 13(1)(c)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv),
(vi), (vii), (viii) or (ix), or under section 16, any office-bearer of
such society at the time of such cancellation who after that time
becomes or, after the expiry of thirty days from such cancellation,
continues to remain an office-bearer of any other society without
the permission in writing of the Registrar shall be guilty of an
offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a
term not exceeding five years or to a fine not exceeding *fifteen
thousand ringgit or to both.
(2) Except where the registration of a society has been cancelled
under section 2A or paragraph 13(1)(b) the restriction imposed on
an office-bearer under subsection (1) shall cease upon the expiry
of a period of five years beginning from the date of such cancel-
lation.
Flags, sym bols, em blem s, badges or other insignia of societies
50. (1) No society shall adopt as its own any flag, symbol, emblem,
badge or other insignia unless such flag, symbol, emblem, badge
or other insignia has been approved by the Registrar.
*NOTE—Previously “ten thousand ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027].

50 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(2) The Registrar may specify the conditions under which such
flag, symbol, emblem, badge or other insignia may be displayed.
(3) Any person or society who displays any flag, symbol, emblem,
badge or other insignia which has not been approved by the Registrar
or in contravention of any condition imposed by the Registrar shall
be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to a fine
not exceeding *three thousand ringgit.
Liability of office-bearer in respect of offences by society
51.(1) W here any offence punishable with a fine or imprisonment
has been committed, whether or not any person has been convicted
in respect thereof, and such offence has been committed or purports
to have been committed by any society or in the name or on behalf
of any society, every office-bearer of such society and every person
managing or assisting in the management of such society at the
time of the commission of such offence shall be deemed to be
guilty of such offence and shall be liable to the punishment prescribed
by law therefor, unless he establishes to the satisfaction of the
Court that the offence was committed without his knowledge and
that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission
of the offence.
(2) Any office-bearer and person managing or assisting in the
management of such society shall be liable to be prosecuted under
this section, notwithstanding that he may not have taken part in
the commission of the offence.
(3) In any prosecution under subsection (1) of an office-bearer
or any person managing or assisting in the management of a society,
any document found in the possession of an office-bearer of such
society or of a person assisting in the management of such society
or of a member of such society or in any place leased, rented,
borrowed, used or controlled by such society shall be prima facie
evidence of the contents thereof for the purpose of proving that
anything has been done or purports to have been done by or on
behalf of the society.
Society using a Triad ritual to be deem ed an unlawful society
52.(1) Every society, whether it is registered or not, which uses
a Triad ritual shall be deemed to be an unlawful society.
*NOTE—Previously “one thousand ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027].

51 Societies
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) a Triad ritual means any
ritual commonly used by Triad Societies, any ritual closely resembling
any such ritual and any part of such ritual.
(3) Any person who is or acts as a member of a Triad society
or attends a meeting thereof or is found in possession of, or having
the custody or control of any books, accounts, writings, lists of
members, seals, banners or insignia of, or relating to, any Triad
society whether such society is established in M alaysia or not,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine not
exceeding *fifteen thousand ringgit.
Penalty for m isuse of m oney or property of a registered society
53.(1) W here, on complaint made by a member of a registered
society, or by the Registrar it is shown to the satisfaction of a
Sessions Court that any office-bearer or member of that society
has in his possession or control any property of the society otherwise
than in accordance with the rules of the society, or has unlawfully
withheld or wilfully applied any money of the society to purposes
other than those expressed or directed in the rules of the society
and authorized by this Act, the Court shall, if it considers the
justice of the case so requires, order such office bearer or member
to deliver all such property to the trustees of the society and to
pay to them the money so unlawfully withheld or improperly
applied.
(2) A complaint made under subsection (1) other than a complaint
made by the Registrar shall not be entertained unless the Court is
satisfied that the complainant is, on the date of that complaint, a
member of the registered society in respect of the property of
which such complaint is so made.
(3) Any person bound by an order made under subsection (1)
who fails to comply with the terms thereof and the directions given
therein within a time to be specified in such order shall be guilty
of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not
exceeding **five thousand ringgit.
(4) An order made under subsection (1) shall not affect or
prevent a prosecution of, or civil proceedings against, any such
office-bearer or member.
*NOTE—Previously “ten thousand ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027]. **NOTE—Previously “two thousand ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027].

52 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
Penalty for displaying or using certificate of registration which
has been cancelled
53A.Any person who displays or uses any certificate of registration
or copy thereof of a society whose registration has been cancelled
with the knowledge that the certificate of registration has been
cancelled shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on
conviction, to a fine not exceeding two thousand ringgit.
Punishm ent of fraud, false declaration and m isappropriation
54. Any person who with intent to mislead or defraud gives to
any person a copy of any rules, laws, regulations or other documents,
other than the rules of a registered society, on the pretence that
they are the existing rules of that society or that there are no other
rules of the society or gives to any person a copy of any rules on
the pretence that those rules are the rules of a registered society
when the society is not registered, shall be guilty of an offence
and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding *five
thousand ringgit or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six
months or to both.
Penalty for furnishing false inform ation
54A. Any person who furnishes to the Registrar, or an Assistant
Registrar, any information or document required under this Act or
regulations made thereunder which he either knows or has reason
to believe is false shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable,
on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two thousand ringgit.
Presum ptions
55. In any proceedings under this Act—
(a) where it is proved that a club, company, partnership or
association is in existence, it shall be presumed that such
club, company, partnership or association is a society
within the meaning of this Act unless the contrary is
proved;
(b) it shall not be necessary for the prosecution to prove that
a society possesses a name or that it has been constituted
or is usually known under a particular name;
*NOTE—Previously “two thousand ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027].

53 Societies
(c) where it is alleged that a society is an unlawful society,
the burden of proving that it is a registered society, or
that it is not a local society, shall lie on the person
charged.
Presum ption of m em bership, etc., of society
56.(1) W here any books, accounts, writings, lists of members,
seals, banners or insignia of, or relating to, or purporting to relate
to, any society are found in the possession, custody or under the
control of any person, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is
proved, that such person is a member of such society, and such
society shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to be in
existence at the time such books, accounts, writings, lists of members,
seals, banners or insignia are so found.
(2) W here any books, accounts, writings, lists of members, seals,
banners or insignia of, or relating to, any society are found—
(a) in the possession, custody or under the control of any
person, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved,
that such person assists in the management of such society;
(b) concealed in any premises it shall be presumed, until the
contrary is proved, that the same are in the possession
of the occupier of the premises.
(3) W hen it appears to a Court that there is reasonable cause
to suspect that any place entered or searched under any lawful
power conferred by or under this Act was immediately before or
at the time of such entry, being used by or for the purposes of an
unlawful society, any person found in such place at any time
during such search or found leaving therefrom immediately before
or at the time of such entry, shall unless he gives a satisfactory
account of the reasons for his presence in the said place, be presumed
to be a member of the unlawful society.
Evidence
57.(1) In any prosecution under this Act, it shall be no objection
to the admissibility of expert evidence that the expert is not or has
not been a member of any unlawful society.

54 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(2)In any prosecution under this Act, the Court may refer, for
the purposes of evidence, to any of the following books—
Thian Ti Hwui, the Hung-League or Heaven-Earth League,
by G. Schlegel;
The Triad Society, by W . Stanton;
The Hung Society or the Society of Heaven and Earth, by
J. S. M . W ard and W . G. Stirling;
Triad Societies in Hong Kong, by W . P. M organ,
and to any other published books or articles on the subject of
unlawful societies in general or of particular unlawful societies,
which the Court may consider to be of authority on the subject to
which they relate.
Protection of inform ers
58. Except as is hereinafter provided—
(a) no witness shall be obliged or permitted to disclose the
name and address of any informer under this Act or to
state any matter which might lead to his discovery; and
(b) if any books, documents or papers which are evidence or
liable to inspection in any civil or criminal proceedings
whatsoever under this Act contain any entry in which any
informer is named or described or which might lead to
his discovery, the Court or M agistrate shall cause all
such passages to be concealed from view or to be obliterated
so far as may be necessary to protect the informer from
discovery but no further:
Provided that if in any criminal proceedings under this Act the
Court after full inquiry into the case is satisfied that the strict
enforcement of the provisions of this section would be likely to
cause a miscarriage of justice, the Court may require the produc-
tion of the original information and may permit inquiry and may
require full disclosure to the Court concerning the informer.
Forfeiture
59. Any books, accounts, writings, banners, insignia or other
property belonging to any unlawful society shall, upon order of

55 Societies
a Sessions Court Judge or a M agistrate, be forfeited and given to
the Registrar or to an Assistant Registrar for disposal in such
manner as he may see fit.
Certain offences non-bailable and registrable
60. Every offence against the provisions of sections 9A and 13A,
sections 42 to 49 inclusive and section 52 shall be deemed to be
seizeable and non-bailable under the law relating to criminal procedure
and shall also be deemed to be registrable under the law relating
to registration of criminals.
Consent to prosecution
61.(1) Except in the case of persons charged under the provisions
of sections 13A, 45 and 52 and of persons arrested under the
provisions of section 65 and subsection 66(5), a prosecution under
this Act shall not be instituted except by or with the consent of
the Public Prosecutor:
Provided that a person charged with such an offence may be
arrested, or a warrant for his arrest may be issued and executed,
and any such person may be remanded in custody or on bail,
notwithstanding that the consent of the Public Prosecutor to the
institution of a prosecution for the offence has not been obtained,
but the case shall not be further prosecuted until that consent has
been obtained.
(2) W hen a person is brought before a Court under this section
before the Public Prosecutor has consented to the prosecution the
charge shall be explained to him but he shall not be called upon
to plead, and the provisions of the law for the time being in force
relating to criminal procedure shall be modified accordingly.
Service of sum m ons
62. Every summons, notice or other document issued under this
Act, or under any regulations made hereunder, shall be deemed to
have been validly and effectually served, if served on or left with
the person intended to be served or, in case he cannot be found,
if left at his last known place of business or abode, by any person
authorized in that behalf by the Registrar or, in the case of service
of a notice or order on the society, by sending such notice or order
by registered post to the registered address of such society.

56 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
Power of entry and inspection of records
63. The Registrar, an Assistant Registrar or a Registration Officer
may, if he has reason to believe that any society is carrying on
activities in contravention of any provision of this Act or any
regulations made thereunder or any of its rules, and after giving
notice to any office-bearer, enter into any place which he has
reason to believe is kept or used by any registered society or any
of its members as a place of meeting or place of business, and may
search such place and inspect all books, accounts, minutes of
meetings and other documents kept by the society.
Power of entry, search and seizure by Registrar or Assistant
Registrar in special cases
64.(1) The Registrar or an Assistant Registrar, or any other officer
appointed under subsection 3(1A) and duly authorized in writing
by the Registrar or Assistant Registrar, who has reason to believe
that any registered society is being used for purposes prejudicial
to public peace, welfare, good order or morality in M alaysia, may
enter, with or without assistance and using force for that purpose,
if necessary, into any place which he has reason to believe is used
as the place of meeting or place of business of such society, and
may search such place and any person found therein or escaping
therefrom for evidence that such society is being used for such
purpose as aforesaid.
(2) The Registrar, or an Assistant Registrar, or any other officer,
entering into any place under subsection (1), may seize and detain
any books, accounts, writings, lists of members, banners, seals,
insignia, arms or other articles belonging to the registered society
which he has reason to believe may be required in respect of
further proceedings under this Act.
Power of entry and search
65.(1) Any police officer of or above the rank of Inspector may,
with or without assistance, using force, if necessary, enter into any
dwelling-house or other building, or into any place in which he
has reason to believe that a meeting of any unlawful society, or
of persons who are members of an unlawful society, is being held,

57 Societies
or that any books, accounts, writings, lists of members, banners,
seals, insignia, arms or other articles belonging to any unlawful
society are concealed, kept or deposited, and arrest or cause to be
arrested all persons found in such house and search such house,
building or place, and seize or cause to be seized all books, accounts,
writings, banners, lists of m embers, seals, insignia, arms and other
articles which he has reasonable cause to believe to belong to any
unlawful society or to be in any way connected therewith.
(2) All persons so arrested and all articles so seized may be
detained in custody and brought before a M agistrate to be dealt
with according to law.
Power of Registrar or Assistant Registrar to sum m on witnesses
66.(1) The Registrar or an Assistant Registrar may summon before
him any person who he has reason to believe to be able to give
any information as to the existence or operations of any unlawful
society, or suspected unlawful society, or as to the operations of
any registered society.
(2) The person so summoned shall attend at the hour and place
in the summons specified, and produce all documents in his custody,
possession or power relating to such society or suspected society,
and answer truthfully all questions which the Registrar or an Assistant
Registrar may put to him.
(3) The Registrar and every Assistant Registrar may administer
oaths to and examine on oath any person summoned before him
under this section.
(4) If any person summoned by the Registrar or an Assistant
Registrar under this section shall without lawful excuse fail to
comply with any obligation imposed upon him by subsection (2)
or shall give information which the Registrar or Assistant Regis-
trar believes to be false, the Registrar or Assistant Registrar may,
if he considers it advisable to provide for the future identification
of such person, order that a photograph and impressions of finger-
prints of such person be taken at such time and in such place and
manner as the Registrar or Assistant Registrar may think fit. The
Registrar may dispose of such photograph and impressions of
fingerprints as he, in his absolute discretion, deems fit.

58 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(5) Any person who refuses to comply with such order or who
obstructs compliance with such order may be arrested and detained
in custody and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding
*one thousand ringgit.
(6) No statement made by a person summoned before the Registrar
or an Assistant Registrar under the provisions of this section shall
subject him to any arrest or criminal prosecution, or be proved
against him in any criminal proceeding, except a prosecution for
failing to answer truthfully under this section.
Regulations
67.(1) The M inister may make regulations for the purpose of
carrying into effect the provisions of this Act.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the
powers conferred by subsection (1), the M inister may make
regulations for or in respect of all or any of the following matters—
(a) prescribing the manner of registration of societies under
this Act;
(b) prohibiting the use of illegal or undesirable badges and
insignia by registered societies;
(c) prescribing the forms which may be used for carrying out
the provisions of this Act;
(d) prescribing information to be furnished to the Registrar;
(e) prescribing the fees which may be levied under this Act;
(f) prescribing anything which may be prescribed under this
Act;
(g) prescribing the percentage of the total receipts from sub-
scriptions or any other income which may be deducted by
a mutual benefit society for administration and other
expenses.
(3) Any such regulations may provide that the breach or
contravention of any regulation is an offence against such regulations
and provide a penalty for any such offence of a fine not exceeding
two thousand ringgit and a term of imprisonment not exceeding
six months.
*NOTE—Previously “two hundred ringgit”–see the Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 [Act A1027].

59 Societies
Repeal
68.(1) The Societies Ordinance 1949 of the States of M alaya
[F.M . 28 of 1949], the Societies Ordinance 1957 of Sarawak
[Swk. Ord. 12 of 1957, Swk. Cap. 107] and the Societies Ordinance
1961 of Sabah [Sabah Ord. 24 of 1961] are repealed:
Provided that any society, other than a mutual benefit society,
if already registered or exempted from registration under the
provisions of the Ordinances hereby repealed shall, subject to
subsection (2), be deemed to be a registered society under the
provisions of this Act.
(2) Any society, other than a mutual benefit society, registered
or exempted from registration under the provisions of the Ordinances
referred to in subsection (1), shall within six months from the date
of commencement of this Act or such extended period, not being
more than three months, as the Registrar may allow, alter its
constitution or rules to contain provisions for all matters set out
in Schedule I to this Act.
Transitional provisions applicable to m utual benefit societies
69.(1) Notwithstanding the repeal of the Ordinances mentioned
in the preceding section, every mutual benefit society registered
under any of those Ordinances shall, during the period of ninety
days following the date of coming into force of this Act, be deemed
to be registered under this Act and shall during the aforesaid
period apply to the Registrar for registration under sections 6 and
7 in a manner provided under subsection (2) hereunder; and no
such mutual benefit society shall be registered unless the Registrar
is satisfied that it complies with the provisions of this Act.
(2) The application for registration referred to in subsection (1)
above shall be accompanied by a general statement of the assets
and liabilities of such mutual benefit society prepared in such form
and containing such particulars as the Registrar may require, and,
if the Registrar shall so require, by a copy of the rules of such
mutual benefit society. Such application shall not be subject to the
payment of any fee.
(3) In the event of a mutual benefit society registered under any
of the Ordinances repealed by the preceding section failing to
apply for registration pursuant to subsection (1) above or to comply

60 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
with the provisions of this Act within the aforesaid period of
ninety days, it shall immediately upon the expiration of that period
be deemed to be dissolved, and its funds shall be disposed of in
accordance with the rules of the mutual benefit society (if any) or
if there are no such rules applicable to such case, then the funds
shall be divided proportionately to the amount of contributions
paid by every member.
Power to exem pt
70. The M inister may at his discretion in writing exempt any
society registered under this Act from all or any of the provisions
of this Act.

61 Societies
SCHEDULE I
[Paragraph 7(3)(e)] CONSTITUTION AND RULES OF SOCIETIES
1. Matters for which provisions shall be made in the constitution or rules of
every local society or a branch thereof shall be as follows—
(a)the name and registered place of business or registered postal address
of the society;
(b)(Deleted by Act A557).
(c)an accurate description of the design and colours of any flag, emblem,
badge or other insignia used by the society;
(d)the aims or objects for which the society is formed, or which it may
pursue, or for which its funds or any of them may be used;
(e)the qualifications for membership, including particulars of any restriction
or limitations that may be imposed as to the numbers, age limits, sex,
religion, race, nationality, dwelling place, clan or surname of persons
who may be admitted to membership of the society;
(f)the method of appointment or election of members;
(g)the composition and method of appointment of the committee or
governing body and the designations, powers and functions of the
office-bearers of the society and where applicable the branches thereof;
(gg)that, if the Registrar so requires, the office-bearers of the society and
every officer performing executive functions in such society shall be
Federal citizens;
(h)the sources from which the society shall derive its income, including
the rates and method of payment of such entrance fees and periodical
subscriptions as may be decided upon;
(i)the authority or authorities for expenditure from the funds of the
society;
(j)the keeping of accounts of the income and expenditure of the society
and the publication of such accounts to its members annually;
(k)the appointment of one or more auditors;
(l)the quorum required for the transaction of business at any meeting
of the society or its governing body; and
(m)the manner by and in which the constitution or rules of the society
may be amended.
2. Where a society is a political party, the constitution or rules thereof shall,
in addition to matters enumerated in paragraph 1, provide that—
(a)every member of the society, every officer performing executive
functions in such society and every adviser, to such society, shall be
Federal citizens; and

62 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
(b)every member shall have a right to vote and shall be eligible to hold
office in the committee or governing body in the society.
3. Where any registered society makes provision in its constitution or rules
for the establishment of branches it shall in addition also provide therein for
the method and manner by which the establishment of such branches shall be
approved by the society or its governing body.
SCHEDULE II
[Paragraph 7(3)(e)] CONSTITUTION AND RULES OF MUTUAL
BENEFIT SOCIETIES
Matters for which provision must be made in the constitution or rules of every
Mutual Benefit Society shall be as follows—
(a)the name of the society and the place for the business of the society;
(b)all the objects of the society and the conditions under which any
member or subscriber may become entitled to any benefit;
(c)the manner of making, altering, amending and rescinding the rules:
Provided that no alteration may take place which would reduce the
benefits provided by the rules without the approval of three-fourths
of the total number of members or subscribers obtained by means of
a ballot vote;
(d)the election and removal of office-bearers, including the secretary,
treasurer, trustees and other office-bearers of the society;
(e)the supplying of a copy of the rules of the society to every member
or subscriber;
(f)the custody and investment of the funds of the society and the designation
of the office-bearers responsible therefor and the annual or periodical
audit of the society’s accounts;
(g)inspection of the books and register of names of members of or
subscribers to the society by any person having an interest in the
funds of the society;
(h)the keeping of a register with particulars of the age, name and address
of any member or subscriber and the nominee (if any) of such member
of or subscriber to the society;
(i)the minimum number for a quorum for general meetings and committee
meetings, such minimum number to be not less than three times the
total number of the members of the Committee in the case of general
meetings and not less than one half of the total number of the members
of the Committee in the case of committee meetings; and

63 Societies
(j)the manner of deciding a dispute between—
(i)a member or subscriber or person claiming through a member
or a subscriber or under the rules of a registered society and the
society or an office-bearer thereof; and
(ii)any person aggrieved who has ceased to be a member of a
registered society or any person claiming through such aggrieved
person and the society or an office-bearer thereof.

64 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
LAW S OF M ALAYSIA
Act 335
SOCIETIES ACT 1966
LIST OF AMENDMENTS
Amending law Short title In force from
Act 45/1966 Societies (Amendment) Act 1966 28-07-1966
P.U. (A) 282/1970 Emergency (Essential Powers) 10-08-1970
Ordinance No. 45/1970
Act A102 Societies (Amendment) Act 1972 01-07-1972
P.U. (A) 357/1980 Subordinate Courts Act 01-06-1981
(Extension) Order 1980
Act A515 Societies (Amendment) Act 1981 15-05-1981
Act A557 Societies (Amendment) Act 1983 13-05-1983
Act A700 Societies (Amendment) Act 1988 10-06-1988
Act A743 Societies (Amendment) Act 1990 12-01-1990
Act A859 Societies (Amendment) Act 1993 03-03-1994
Act A1027 Societies (Amendment) Act 1998 02-07-1998

65 Societies
LAW S OF M ALAYSIA
Act 335
SOCIETIES ACT 1966
LIST OF SECTIONS AMENDED
Section Amending authority In force from
2 Act 45/1966 28-07-1966
Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
2A Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
3 Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A1027 02-07-1998
3A Act A700 10-06-1988
3B Act A1027 02-07-1998
6 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A1027 02-07-1998
6A Act A700 10-06-1988
7 Act A102 01-07-1972
Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A1027 02-07-1998
8A Act A557 13-05-1983
9 Act A557 13-05-1983
9A Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A1027 02-07-1998
10 Act A102 01-07-1972
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A700 10-06-1988
11 Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A1027 02-07-1998
11A Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983

66 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
12 Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A700 10-06-1988
13 P.U. (A) 282/1970 10-08-1970
Act A102 01-07-1972
Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A1027 02-07-1998
13A Act A102 01-07-1972
Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A1027 02-07-1998
14 Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A1027 02-07-1998
15 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A1027 02-07-1998
16 Act A1027 02-07-1998
17 Act 45/1966 28-07-1966
Act A102 01-07-1972
Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A700 10-06-1988
Act A859 03-03-1994
17A Act A700 10-06-1988
17B Act A700 10-06-1988
Act A859 03-03-1994
18 Act A557 13-05-1983
18A Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A743 12-01-1990
18B Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A743 12-01-1990
18C Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A743 12-01-1990
Section Amending authority In force from

67 Societies
18D Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
18E Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
18F Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
18G Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
18H Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
18I Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
18J Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
21 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A1027 02-07-1998
23 Act A102 01-07-1972
Act A557 13-05-1983
24 Act 45/1966 28-07-1966
28 Act A1027 02-07-1998
31 Act A557 13-05-1983
32 Act A1027 02-07-1998
33 Act A1027 02-07-1998
34 Act A1027 02-07-1998
40 Act 45/1966 28-07-1966
41 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A700 10-06-1988
42 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A1027 02-07-1998
43 Act A515 15-05-1981
Section Amending authority In force from

68 Laws of M alaysia ACT 335
44 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A1027 02-07-1998
45 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A1027 02-07-1998
46 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A1027 02-07-1998
47 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A1027 02-07-1998
48 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A700 10-06-1988
49 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A700 10-06-1988
Act A1027 02-07-1998
50 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A1027 02-07-1998
51 Act A515 15-05-1981
52 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A1027 02-07-1998
53 Act 45/1966 28-07-1966
Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A1027 02-07-1998
53A Act A1027 02-07-1998
54 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A1027 02-07-1998
54A Act A1027 02-07-1998
60 Act A1027 02-07-1998
61 Act A1027 02-07-1998
63 Act A557 13-05-1983
64 Act A1027 02-07-1998
66 Act A1027 02-07-1998
67 Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Section Amending authority In force from

69 Societies
Schedule I Act A102 01-07-1972
Act A515 15-05-1981
Act A557 13-05-1983
Act A1027 02-07-1998
Schedule II Act A557 13-05-1983
Section Amending authority In force from
DICETAK OLEH PERCETAKAN NASIONAL MALAYSIA BERHAD, KUALA LUMPUR BAGI PIHAK DAN DENGAN PERINTAH KERAJAAN MALAYSIA

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