ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE AND DIGITAL SIGNATURE IN MALAYSIA

What is an e-signature?

Under the Electronic Commerce Act 2006 (“ECA”), an e-signature is a signature adopted by a person in the form of any letter, character, symbol, number, sound or any of the combination which is created in an electronic form. An e-signature can replace a handwritten signature in virtually any process.

Different forms of e-signature: –

  • Bitmap Signature – Scanned images of handwritten signatures onto a document.
  • Digital Signature – A process that guarantee the authenticity of the electronic document via asymmetric cryptosystem (an algorithm or series of algorithms which provide a secure key pair).
  • Biometric Signature – Certified and verified signature via fingerprint, retina, iris or voice.

 

How is digital signature valid?

Yes. It is valid but the following conditions must be fulfilled:

  • The digital signature must be verified by reference to the public key listed in a valid certificate issued by a licensed certification authority;
  • The digital signature was affixed by the signer with the intention of signing the message; and
  • The recipient has no knowledge or notice that the signer has breached a duty as a subscriber and does not rightfully hold the private key used to affix the digital signature.

 

What is the implication of signing under the digital signature?

A message shall be as valid, enforceable and effective as if it had been written on paper if: –

  • It bears in its entirety a digital signature; and
  • That digital signature is verified by the public key listed in a certificate which was issued by a licensed certification authority and was valid at the time the digital signature was created.

 

What documents can be executed via e-signature?

Corporate documents and contract.

 

What documents cannot be executed electronically?

  • Powers of attorney
  • Wills and codicils
  • Trusts
  • Negotiable instruments

 

Which certification authorities in Malaysia has the license from MCMC to issue digital certificates under the DSA?

  • Pos Digicert Sdn Bhd (457608-K);
  • MSC Trustgate.Com Sdn Bhd (478231-X);
  • Telekom Applied Business Sdn Bhd (455343-U); and
  • Raffcomm Technologies Sdn Bhd (1000449-W).

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