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Digital Signature

Take-away points

# All electronic form signature are e-signature (e = electronic)

# Not all e-signature is Digital Signature

# It is legal to use e-signature for most transactions except a few specifically mentioned.

# Not all government department accept e-signature even it is legally allowed ( lack of coordination between agencies)

# Digital signature = e-signature + "Tamper-proof" technology (thus will incur additional cost)


The Law Behind eSignature

Electronic signatures on contracts have been legally recognised in Malaysia since 1997 – starting with the enactment of the (Click to read >>) Digital Signature Act 1997 (“DSA”), followed later by the Electronic Commerce Act 2006 (“ECA”).

Who can provide cost-effective Digital Signature ?

Can I use Adobe Acrobat to sign?

Yes - it is qualified as e-Signature (but not Digital Signature)

Can I use paid-version of Adobe Sign (and meet DSA1997 requirement)?

May be because the law in Malaysia only recognise the certain Certification Authority (Click HERE to read more) under DSA1997.

Please share with us if you know more

Any service provider(s) in Malaysia providing this Digital Signature that is DSA-compliant?

Yes, SigningCloud is one of them (if not the only one)

It is affordable from RM21.20/mth and RM5.30 per DSA-compliant document.

It is free for up to 5 (internal) documents a month.

Sign Up today to try. [Free 5 internal documents a month]


SSM is 'selling' Digitally CTC document which is DSA1997-compliant

Why Banks don't accept e-Signature?

Bank should accept e-Signature (or Digital Signature) as there are laws that support the legality of electronic form of signature.

However, in practice, Banks are behind the technology.

What can we do?

Just wait for Banks to catch up with technology.

Or wait for one Bank to accepting it, then other banks to follow as they don't want to be left behind.

Which documents CAN NOT use eSignature?

Some transactions and documents are clearly and expressly exempted from the scope of the ECA. These are:

(i) powers of attorney;

(ii) wills and codicils (i.e. an addition/supplement to a will);

(iii) trusts; and

(iv) negotiable instruments (i.e. documents guaranteeing payment of a specific sum with the payer named such as promissory notes, demand draft and cheques). For such documents to be valid and enforceable, there might be additional formal requirements under Malaysian law such as notarisation or attestation before a public notary or commissioner of oaths. As such, for these instances, pen might still need to be put to paper and relying solely on electronic messages and signatures would generally not be appropriate.

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