[SOLVED] Legal Rights and Jurisdiction Case

`On 18 March 2020, the Malaysian Government imposed Movement Control Order (MCO) in order to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus. As a result, there was a lockdown in the country and all businesses, except the essential services, were ordered to shut down. Ah Soon has a shop selling tropical fish and aquarium equipment in a famous shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur (“the mall”). All the shop lots are owned by the mall and are rented out to retailers. The mall was closed due to the MCO until 18 May 2020 and, thereafter, when the MCO restrictions were relaxed (“Conditional MCO”), the mall was allowed to reopen. During the MCO, Ah Soon was only able to do online sales which contributed to less than 20% of his normal earnings. Even during the Conditional MCO, the business was not doing well as many people were apprehensive and avoided going to the malls due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Although the mall was completely closed during the MCO, the mall, however, insisted that all the retailers including Ah Soon are required to pay their monthly rentals as per the terms and conditions of their respective Tenancy Agreements. The mall did offer a 10% discount but only for the two months of the MCO period. Ah Soon comes to you for legal advice, as he strongly feels it is unfair and unjust for the mall to demand rental during the MCO when the mall was completely closed. He argues that the mall was also under a legal obligation to provide the rented premises which the mall clearly failed or was unable to do so. His point is that if the mall was unable to provide premises (i.e. perform their part of the agreement), why should then he be obliged to pay for the premises (i.e. perform his part of the agreement). Advice Ah Soon on his legal rights with reference to the relevant laws and judicial decisions.

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