Tenancy Agreements Malaysia, part 1


Guide to tenancy agreements in Malaysia
By NST PROPERTY - June 7, 2018 @ 2:46pm

THIS is the first of a four-part series article intended as a simple guide to tenancy agreements for landlords who wish to rent out their property in Malaysia.

It covers tenancy agreements in Malaysia, what they are, why you need it as a landlord, the tenancy process, deposit amounts, and sample tenancy agreement as reference.

Even though the profit from rental property has dropped over the years (a landed house will fetch 2.5 per cent rental yield today versus five per cent a decade ago), it’s a tried and tested way to generate income while owning an appreciating asset.

However, while many people think that rental income is equivalent to passive income, this is not always true. There are many expenses and much effort needed when it comes to managing a rental property. These include listing costs, property agent fees, as well as upkeep of the property (during and in between tenancies).

There are hidden costs, too, especially if you run into problems with your tenant. If you don’t have a tenancy contract drawn up between you and the tenant, it will be harder to resolve any disputes. A prolonged dispute can quickly cancel out any profits that you have gained from the rental income.

That’s why a clearly-worded tenancy agreement is important to protect both the landlord and the tenant’s welfare.

A tenancy agreement is a legal contract between the landlord and the tenant. It covers the responsibilities of both sides for the duration of the tenancy.

To make the tenant agreement as complete as possible, a landlord can hire a lawyer to draft it out. And the tenant can engage their own lawyer to review the agreement and make any changes before signing.

But hiring a lawyer to draft a tenancy agreement can be expensive. So, many people choose to draft their own agreement and ask the other party to agree to it.

A word of caution about tenancy contracts in Malaysia: there are no government regulations about what can and cannot be added. If either party is not careful, one side can add lots of unfair clauses in their own favour.

Until the Residential Rent Act comes into effect, the tenancy agreement is the only document that protects the rights of the landlord and the tenants.

Property expert Mark Chua prefers to think of tenancies as business arrangements. As he puts it: “(He) is not my tenant. I am not his landlord. We are equal business partners aiming for a win-win relationship.”

There are many details to cover. And the details have to be worded carefully so that there is minimal room for misunderstanding.At its basic level, a tenancy agreement should cover these items:

• The details of the property being rented (type of house, address).
• The purposes of rental (in this case, residential).
• The duration of the tenancy.
• The rental amount.
• The deposit amounts.
• How and when the monthly rental will be paid.
• What will be provided by the landlord as part of the tenancy (such as furniture, utilities).
• The obligations of the landlord throughout the tenancy.
• The obligations of the tenant throughout the tenancy.
• What happens in case of disputes.
• Renewal clauses.

The landlord and tenant will sign the tenancy agreement when the security deposit is paid. Here is the typical sequence:

1. After you have renovated your property (and optionally furnished it), you can put it on the rental market, or engage a property agent to help you.
2. Your rental property can also be added to many rental listing websites in Malaysia, including iProperty, PropertyGuru, Wonderlist, and Speedrent.

3. After the potential tenant has viewed the property and is agreeable to the terms of rental, they will give you a letter of offer, together with an earnest deposit.
4. Within seven days, the tenancy agreement needs to be signed by both parties. The tenant will also pay a security deposit and utility deposit.
5. Finally, the signed tenancy agreement is stamped and becomes an official legal document.

There are three deposits in total:

• Earnest deposit: It is basically a booking deposit, or a deposit to “reserve” the property so that the landlord will not rent the property to anyone else for the next seven days. The amount is equivalent to the first month’s rent. It can be kept in escrow by the property agent. When the tenancy starts, the earnest deposit is usually considered the first month’s rent. Or, it can be used as the security deposit, or it can even be returned to the tenant.

The earnest deposit is also accompanied by a signed “letter of offer” from the tenant. This is a simple one-page document that signifies the tenant’s intent to rent the property.

• Security deposit:This is collected to protect the landlord in case the tenants violate the terms of the tenancy. The amount is usually equivalent to two month’s rent. It can be used to pay for damages, cleaning, keycard replacements, or even be forfeited entirely if the tenant leaves before the tenancy has ended. But if there are no problems by the end of the tenancy, the full amount is returned to the tenant.

• Utility deposit: This is paid to cover any outstanding utility bills at the end of the tenancy, such as gas, electricity and water. The amount is usually equivalent to half a month’s rent.

The security deposit and utility deposit is paid at the same time as the signing of the tenancy agreement.

This article first appeared on Recommend.my. It is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice from Recommend.my. You should always look for professional help before entering into a legally binding agreement.

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India now allows living wills


This would apply to patients suffering from terminal illness and who are in a vegetative state.

A living will sets out a patient’s wishes regarding how they want to be treated if they are seriously ill.

The Indian judges said the right to die with dignity was a fundamental right and that an advance directive by a person in the form of a living will could be approved by the courts.

Petitioners, who had argued that people have the right to die with dignity if they are suffering from a terminal illness, hailed the judgment.

“Today’s is a landmark judgement because it comes at a time when medical science allows patients to be kept alive by artificial means and the hospitals to keep charging money,” Vipul Mudgal, the head of main petitioner Common Cause, an advocacy group, told the BBC.

Passive euthanasia

When a patient dies because medical professionals either do not do something necessary to keep the patient alive, or stop doing something that is keeping the patient alive. This might include:

  • switching off life-support machines
  • disconnecting a feeding tube
  • not carrying out a life-extending operation
  • not administering life-extending drugs

It remains unclear, however, how courts could guarantee that living wills were not drafted by patients under coercion.

In 2011, India’s top court had ruled that life support could be removed for terminally ill patients in exceptional circumstances.

While rejecting a plea to end the life of a woman who had been in a vegetative state since 1973 in the city of Mumbai after being raped and strangled, the court had said some cases of euthanasia could be sanctioned if doctors were to file a case in court.

Aruna Shanbaug, who was left with severe brain damage and paralysed after the 1973 attack by a ward attendant in the Mumbai hospital where she worked, died in 2015.

Her death sparked a national debate over euthanasia.

The 2011 judgement had put the onus on doctors to petition to withdraw life support, under the supervision of the courts. Previously all forms of euthanasia were illegal in India.

On Friday, judges of India’s Supreme Court outlined detailed “guidelines” for facilitating passive euthanasia.

The court said that family members and relatives of terminally ill patients seeking passive euthanasia could go to court to have it sanctioned. A team of doctors would then be appointed by the court to decide if it is needed.

There have been a number of requests for active euthanasia – any act that intentionally helps another person kill themselves – by Indians which have been rejected by courts and authorities.

In 2008, Jeet Narayan, a resident of Uttar Pradesh state, wrote to the then Indian president Pratibha Patil seeking permission to end the lives of his four bed-ridden, paralysed children. The president had rejected the plea.

In 2013, Dennis Kumar, a porter from Tamil Nadu, sought permission from the authorities to end the life of his infant son, who had been suffering from a congenital disorder. The plea was rejected by a court.

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TMI: Many EPF contributors yet to nominate beneficiary


A WAIT-and-see attitude and lack of awareness are two reasons many Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributors have yet to name their beneficiaries.

Congress of Unions of Employees in the Civil Service (Cuepacs) Kedah branch chairman Mohd Fadzil Md Isa said many also mistakenly believe that their relatives would be able to easily file a claim for their savings in the event of the their death.

“Many of them are thinking, let them figure it out for themselves when I pass away.

“What they do not know is that they are only making it difficult for their family members to make a claimed. Without nomination, the process will take longer,” he told Bernama.

Fadzil said marital status was another factor for delay in nominating a beneficiary.

“The nomination is felt to be less significant when one is still single and has few responsibilities. However, once you are married, you will be more occupied and will hardly have time to go to the EPF office. So, this matter will drag on until something happens to the contributor,” he said.

In fact, Fadzil said the notion that the deceased’s EPF savings would be distributed through “faraid” (division of wealth according to Islamic law) must also change.

“As Muslims, we are encouraged to follow the faraid system in the division of assets, including the EPF contributions, in the event of death. The beneficiary acts as ‘wasi’ (executor) or administrator who is responsible for distributing the savings of the deceased to other eligible beneficiaries.

“In short, the EPF nomination is the best way to facilitate the claim process.

“When the beneficiary is nominated, all parties are aware of who is entitled to the money. So, there is no need to waste time searching for the beneficiary before the savings are distributed according to the faraid system,” he said.

Meanwhile, quantity surveyor Nur Atiqah Che Hassan, 24, said she had not nominated a beneficiary because she did not understand the process and did not know how to go about it.

“Maybe there is not (enough) publicity on the matter. I am the only one in the family working in the private sector and other family members are civil servants who would receive a pension.

“Despite being a contributor since 2015, I have not nominated a beneficiary until now. I will  probably do so later. However, I have no idea when I will do it,” she said.

Mohd Zulkarnain Isa, 37, said he only made the nomination after the arrival of his first child about three years ago.

The maintenance engineer said he had never thought of doing it before because he did not think it was important.

“Everything changed when my first child was born. There was concern for my son and wife should something happen to me. After taking advice from an EPF officer, I immediately made the nomination as a guarantee for my family and their future,” he said.

Shaidah Sahir, 43, said she never had time to do it until October.

“After working and contributing for 10 years, I eventually made the nomination after my colleagues convinced me how important it was to prevent complications in the distribution of my savings in the event of death,” she said.

Shaidah said although she had heard of her colleagues facing difficulties in claiming EPF savings after a relative’s death, it had no effect on her.

“I only thought about it when I thought about the fate of my child should I die. Luckily, it is not too late, and in fact, the process was not that complicated,” she said.

For Mohd Fikri Abu Hassan, the difficulty he experienced claiming his mother’s savings was an eye-opener.

“It’s a long and tedious process. After the experience, I went straight to make the EPF nomination as I do not want my wife or son to go thorough the same thing,” he said. – Bernama, December 28, 2017.

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Daily Express: Don’t complicate EPF claims: Widow


Kota Kinabalu: “Do not take lightly the need to name nominees for our savings in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) because it is important for the future of our beneficiaries,” said a private sector employee who requested to be identified as Laili.

The mother of the two said her experience of claiming her late husband’s EPF savings, which took her three months, made her realise how crucial it was to name and update EPF nominees.

In an interview, Laili, 36, said many EPF subscribers might think that it was not important to name their nominees, or that the matter could be delayed, without thinking that death could come to them anytime.

“Therefore, there is no harm in taking 30 minutes of our time to go to the EPF office and fill in the nomination form to facilitate and expedite our children, spouse or parents to claim our savings when we are no longer around,” she said.

Relating her experience in making the claim on her late husband’s EPF savings, Laili said she wasted a lot of time and money going back and forth until the matter was resolved.

She said she had to live on a tight budget to ensure there were sufficient funds for her and her children to survive on during the lengthy and tedious process before she could get her late husband’s savings.

On the first day at the EPF office, she said an officer explained to her the process of making the claim, including the forms she had to fill and the necessary supporting documents she had to furnish.

“However, the officer told me that in my case, the process was going to be complicated because after checking details in the EPF system, it was found that my husband had not made any nomination for me or my children as his beneficiaries,” she said, adding that the case had to be referred to the syariah court.

When she went to the Syariah Court, Laili said she was given a “faraid claim” form to fill and after filling in the details she had to return to the office once again to submit the form.

She said there were also other procedures she had to comply with, including inserting her husband’s obituary in three local newspapers for three consecutive days.

“This was to ascertain that my husband had no other wives or children,” she added.

After completing all the requirements, including taking an oath, Laili said her claim application was approved and the syariah court issued a property division order for submission to the EPF.

On her part as an EPF subscriber, Laili said she had named her nominees since she was 23 and had updated the nomination to include her children.

“Don’t make it difficult for your next-of-kin to claim your savings. I am lucky to have a job, but imagine those who are unemployed and with small children. Who are they going to turn to when their spouse, children or parents are gone?” she said.

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Bernama: EPF announces changes on policies, including withdrawals


KUALA LUMPUR: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) announced four enhancements to its schemes and policies effective next month, as part of EPF’s continuing effort to improve and meet members’ increasing expectations.

EPF chief executive officer Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said the key initiatives included the option to appoint Amanah Raya Berhad (ARB) as nominee or administrator trustee, enhancement to “Age 55 and 60” policies withdrawal payment options, flexible withdrawal policy until age 100 and extension of Death Benefit from age 55 to 60.

He said the option to appoint Amanah Raya as nominees or administrator trustee for members’ EPF savings would facilitate faster and equitable distribution of their savings to next-of-kin, upon members’ demise.

“This will be especially beneficial for members with children below 18 years old and to avoid dispute among family members… this new option is in addition to members’ rights to appoint any individual persons as nominees,” he told reporters at a media briefing, here yesterday.

Shahril said for the “Age 55 and Age 60” withdrawal policies, it has now been enhanced and simplified to enable members to make partial withdrawals of any amount at any time.

He said the improved flexibility is opposed to the current policy that only allowed withdrawals of a minimum RM2,000 once every 30 days.

“Members who choose to make monthly withdrawals will be able to withdraw from as low as RM100 per month, as opposed to RM250 under the current policy,” he said.

He added, to help members plan their long-term retirement needs and decide on the optimum withdrawal amount and frequency, the EPF urged members to take advantage of its Retirement Services provided for free at its 18 branches nationwide.

Other enhancements that will be done are the flexible withdrawal policy which allows members to withdraw any amount at any time for partial withdrawals, which has been extended up to age 100 from current age cap of 75 years old.

“Members may also opt to make a combination of monthly and partial withdrawals… this enhancement is in line with the extension of dividend payment from age 75 to 100,” he said.

Shahril also announced that the current death benefit of RM2,500 claimable if the member dies before age 55, will be extended until age 60.

“The enhancement is in line with the national retirement age at 60 years,” he said, adding that all the improvements were made based on the feedback of its members.

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Forger found guilty

PETALING JAYA: An accountant and arbitrator who forged his dead mother’s will to obtain her stake in the family’s £160 million (RM874 million) business empire has been jailed for a year in London.

The Sunday Times of London reported that Girish Dahyabhai Patel, 65, did so to obtain her £40 million stake in a palm oil plantation in Malaysia.

The court found Girish had lied under oath and bolstered his case with false documents and coached witnesses.

He had used a blank document, pre-signed by his mother, to create the will, which he claimed she had written in 2005.

His brother Yashwant, 69, a doctor staying in New York, had produced an earlier will in which his mother had left the entire fortune to him.

The news report said document analysis revealed the faint indentation of the woman’s signature elsewhere on the paper, suggesting she had signed the sheet while putting her name to several blank documents, one on top of the other, for use in the family businesses.

Microscopic analysis also found there were specks of printer ink on top of the signature, but none underneath, suggesting the signature came before the text.

Their mother, Prabhavati, who had spent most of her time in Singapore, died in 2011 aged 88.

At the High Court in February, Judge Andrew Simmonds, QC, had found the will to be a forgery and upheld Yaswant’s will, made in 1986.

Yesterday, Justice Marcus Smith ruled Girish in contempt of court and sent him to Pentonville Prison for 12 months.

“Girish is a chartered accountant and sits as an arbitrator,” he continued. “I would, in the normal course of events, expect such a witness to be reliable and trustworthy.

“However, Girish is a self-confessed liar and even when accepting that he had lied to the court, there was a certain insouciance in his responses which increased rather than allayed my concerns as to his reliability generally.”

The judge said Girish had “exercised influence” over crucial witnesses in the trial, enabling him to “persuade them to falsely witness the will”.

Other news reports shed more light on the family background.

Originally from India, Prabhavati and her husband, DP Patel, relocated to Singapore and built up a commodities business.

The business prospered even though Patel suffered a stroke and returned to live in India with Prabhavati and two of their sons, Girish and Suresh.

Two other sons, Rajnikant and Yashwant, remained in Singapore to complete their education.

When the brothers reached working age they all became involved in the business.

The business grew and “the jewel in the crown” was the Aumkar palm oil plantation in Malaysia, lawskills.co website said.

Rajinikant lived in Australia, Girish in London and Suresh remained in Singapore. Yashwant, trained as a doctor in Singapore and then emigrated to New York in 1979.

Prabhavati had a limited education. Her mother tongue was Gujarati and she spoke little English.

When the deceased died in 2011, the brothers’ dispute became more bitter, the website said.

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Forged will found out

From The Telegraph news portal, a story about a forged will:

The partner of an antiques dealer found bludgeoned to death in her driveway has admitted forging her will in order to get full ownership of their £850,000 home.

Robert Webb, 54, was warned he faces jail after altering the last will and testament of Robyn Mercer several weeks after her brutal murder.

Ms Mercer, 50, was struck repeatedly with an axe or a machete after going to put the bins out at her home in West Molesey, Surrey, last March.

No one has been charged with her murder, despite a Crimestoppers appeal offering a £10,000 reward for information.

Webb, her partner of 13 years, claimed he found the will hidden within the leaves of a book at the home they shared in the weeks after the murder, Kingston Crown Court heard.

He originally claimed it had already been signed and got his best friend and brother to witness the document.

But they told the court he had covered the rest of it up with a wooden box so they could not see what they were signing.

Experts said Ms Mercer’s signature on the will was not genuine.

Lee Harris, prosecuting, told the court: “The defendant’s partner, well ex partner, had been murdered on her driveway, not by this defendant of course.

“Some time after the house had been searched and he emailed the police officer saying that he had found the will and sent it on to a solicitor.

“But it turns out that will was not genuine and had not genuinely signed by the deceased.

“He said he found it in the leaves of a book and it had her signature on it already.

“He asked for it to be witnessed by two friends who believed they were witnessing the actual will.

“The prosecution does not accept that it was found in the leaf of a book or that the signature was genuinely the signature of the deceased.”

“The prosecution does not accept that it was found in the leaf of a book or that the signature was genuinely the signature of the deceased.”

Mr Harris said a handwriting expert had said there was “very strong support for the proposition that it was not her hand writing”.

Webb claimed his brother and best friend were able to see the will when they were signing it.

But they gave statements saying that only the signature area was visible as a wooden box obscured the rest, said Mr Harris.

Mr Harris said a handwriting expert had said there was “very strong support for the proposition that it was not her handwriting”.

Webb claimed his brother and best friend were able to see the will when they were signing it.

But they gave statements saying that only the signature area was visible as a wooden box obscured the rest, said Mr Harris.

A post-mortem examination revealed Ms Mercer had been hit once to the front of the head and then struck several times while on the ground.

She had worked for silver specialists J.H. Bourdon-Smith for the last 25 years, and was close friends with its owner, Edward Bourdon-Smith.

Webb met Ms Mercer in 2003 and moved in together, purchasing the property in West Molesey in 2005. It was valued at £420,000 in 2007, but had risen to £850,000 by the time of the murder.

Lyall Thompson, defending, said Webb claims he had no intention the will would to be taken as genuine and “put it forward to have the genuine will flushed out”.

Mr Thompson said Webb believed the genuine will was in the possession of other family members.

Mr Harris said Webb’s claims that he found the will in a book, the signature was genuine and the witnesses knew what they were signing had been removed from his basis of plea.

Adjourning the sentence for a full report, the judge Recorder David Brock said: “My view is that it is so serious an all options report should be obtained, it is so serious a full report is necessary.

“This doesn’t only cross the custody threshold but also the immediate custody threshold.

“I cannot promise any outcome of sentence, all options are open to the sentencing judge.”

Webb, of Walton Road, West Molesey, admitted making an instrument with the intent it be accepted as genuine.

He was bailed ahead of sentence at Kingston Crown Court on 4 October.

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Unclaimed monies

A Bernama report dated 26 July 2017 had this to say about Unclaimed Monies with the Government:

A total of RM5.7 billion in unclaimed monies from 1977 till June 30 this year is still being kept by the Accountant-General’s Department, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Finance Minister Othman Aziz said the amount involved more than 55 million account records such as savings, current and business.

Replying to a question from Mohd Zaim Abu Hasan (BN-Parit), he said the unclaimed monies, included salaries, bonuses, commissions and dividends, were uncollected between a year and seven years.

Othman said the public could check on the unclaimed monies at 25 counters nationwide.

Thirteen of the counters are in the peninsula, Sarawak (seven), Sabah (four) and a new counter will be opened in Putrajaya.

As a trustee, the government is fully responsible for the monies and will ensure that they are safely kept until they are claimed, he added.

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From grandparents to grandchildren

A recent story from the Guardian newspaper in Britain. It is about grandparents leaving their wealth to their grandchildren instead of their children, because the grandchildren have now grown up and their children sometimes feel pressured not to pass on their inheritance from their parents directly to their own children. It happens in Britain but does it also happen here?

The “sandwich generation” of 45- to 64-year-olds were the most likely recipients of this wealth, the research found – but about half of grandparents also plan to pass on wealth directly to their grandchildren.

And many people in the middle sandwich generation either want to pass on the inheritance or feel under pressure to hand it to their own adult children – the millennial generation – the research found.

Two-fifths (40%) of 45 to 64-year-olds feel that there is pressure to pass on wealth. Nearly two-thirds (62%) are concerned about the financial position of the younger generation who have not generally seen their wealth increase, due to surging house prices, in the same way that some people in the older generations have.

A recent report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggested the amount of wealth that younger generations will end up with is more likely to hinge on how well off their parents are than was the case for older generations.

The IFS warned that today’s young adults will find it harder to create their own wealth than previous generations, with implications for social mobility.

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Fund-raising appeal for Ooi Eow Jin

An Appeal to Old Frees for Funding
For the Staging of
(a play written by
Kee Thuan Chye, an Old Free)
To Raise Funds for Old Free DATUK OOI EOW JIN

Two years ago, I was much humbled to have been able to play a small part in highlighting Ooi Eow Jin’s plight to the general public and the response was generally very well received. Today, I am calling on everyone to rally around Uncle Ooi again.

In particular, I am calling on well-wishers to help fund the staging of Swordfish + Concubine, a play by Kee
Thuan Chye, to raise funds to help Ooi Eow Jin, who is 78 and suffering from Alzheimer’s and whose son recently underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Penang-born Eow Jin retired many years ago as RTM Orchestra conductor. After that, he was a lounge pianist at Hotel Majestic in
Kuala Lumpur until he was stricken by Alzheimer’s.

What the play is about
Swordfish + Concubine takes two myths from Sejarah Melayu and re-enacts them in a highly theatrical fashion, full of comedy and spectacle, to reflect on Malaysia today. Previously entitled The Swordfish, Then the Concubine, it was judged one of the top five plays in the International Playwriting Festival 2006, organised by the Warehouse Theatre in the United Kingdom. It has already been staged twice in Singapore but not yet in Malaysia in its original English language. The play is written for a vibrant physical and visual staging. It is replete with song, movement, elements culled from traditional Malay theatre, colourful costumes, and music by a gamelan ensemble.
Kee Thuan Chye is staging Swordfish + Concubine for the first time in English in Kuala Lumpur in October 2017.
Proceeds from the show will go to Ooi Eow Jin and his family.

What sponsor/contributor gets

For the aid provided, the contributor will be duly credited.
  • RM5,000 to RM45,00 – Contributor will be credited in the souvenir programme.
  • RM50,000 onwards – Contributor will be credited in a half-page advertisement in the souvenir programme.
  • RM100,000 onwards – Contributor will be credited in a full-page advertisement in the souvenir programme.

Complimentary tickets will be given to every contributor to any performance of their choice. Other special benefits that the contributor may require can be discussed.

About Kee Thuan Chye – Producer, Director and Writer

Kee Thuan Chye is producer, director and writer of Swordfish + Concubine. He has written numerous plays for stage and radio since 1973 and is best-known for 1984 Here and Now, The Big Purge and We Could **** You, Mr Birch. All three plays have been published and are available from Amazon.com.

  • 1984 Here and Now is included in an anthology called Postcolonial Plays edited by Helen Gilbert and published by Routledge (United Kingdom). When it was first staged in 1985, it played to full houses.
  • The Big Purge was selected as the play to close Typhoon 4, a playreading festival organised by Yellow Earth Theatre in London in May 2005.
  • We Could **** You, Mr Birch is being studied in several Malaysian universities. It also played to full houses during its first run in 1994. The following year, it was invited to the Festival of Asian Performing Arts in Singapore.
His subsequent play, The Swordfish, Then the Concubine, was judged one of the top five plays in the International Playwriting Festival 2006, organised by the Warehouse Theatre in the United Kingdom. It has been staged twice in Singapore – by W!ld Rice in 2008 (directed by Ivan Heng) and by Young ’n’ W!ld in 2011 (directed by Jonathan Lim).

Kee has also written numerous radio plays many of which were broadcast on RTM in the 1970s. He has been a judge of the prestigious Commonwealth Writers Prize. He has been invited as a guest writer to numerous writers’ festivals in Australia, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Britain, the Philippines and Singapore.
He is also an actor who has had speaking roles in international films like Entrapment, Anna and the King as well as TV productions Marco Polo (for Hallmark) and Secrets of the Forbidden City (for BBC and The History Channel). On stage, he has acted in countless productions since 1977, including lead roles in the Australian plays Gulls and Honour, and in the one-man play The Coffin Is Too Big for the Hole by Kuo Pao Kun. He considers his best stage role as that of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. He has also directed a dozen plays for the theatre.
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