PART II
ELECTRONIC RECORDS,
SIGNATURES AND CONTRACTS
Legal recognition of electronic records
6.  For the avoidance of doubt, it is declared that information shall not be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely on the ground that it is in the form of an electronic record.
[ETA, s. 6; UNCITRAL, Art. 5; UN, Art. 8]
Requirement for writing
7.  Where a rule of law requires information to be written, in writing, to be presented in writing or provides for certain consequences if it is not, an electronic record satisfies that rule of law if the information contained therein is accessible so as to be usable for subsequent reference.
[ETA, s. 7; UNCITRAL, Art. 6; UN, Art. 9(2)]
Requirement for signature
8.  Where a rule of law requires a signature, or provides for certain consequences if a document or a record is not signed, that requirement is satisfied in relation to an electronic record if —
(a)a method is used to identify the person and to indicate that person’s intention in respect of the information contained in the electronic record; and
(b)the method used is either —
(i)as reliable as appropriate for the purpose for which the electronic record was generated or communicated, in the light of all the circumstances, including any relevant agreement; or
(ii)proven in fact to have fulfilled the functions described in paragraph (a), by itself or together with further evidence.
[UN, Art. 9(3)]
Retention of electronic records
9.—(1)  Where a rule of law requires any document, record or information to be retained, or provides for certain consequences if it is not, that requirement is satisfied by retaining the document, record or information in the form of an electronic record if the following conditions are satisfied:
(a)the information contained therein remains accessible so as to be usable for subsequent reference;
(b)the electronic record is retained in the format in which it was originally generated, sent or received, or in a format which can be demonstrated to represent accurately the information originally generated, sent or received;
(c)such information, if any, as enables the identification of the origin and destination of an electronic record and the date and time when it was sent or received, is retained; and
(d)any additional requirements relating to the retention of such electronic records specified by the public agency which has supervision over the requirement for the retention of such records are complied with.
(2)  An obligation to retain any document, record or information in accordance with subsection (1)(c) shall not extend to any information necessarily and automatically generated solely for the purpose of enabling a record to be sent or received.
(3)  A person may satisfy the requirement referred to in subsection (1) by using the services of any other person, if the conditions in paragraphs (a) to (d) of that subsection are complied with.
(4)  Nothing in this section shall apply to —
(a)any rule of law which expressly provides for the retention of documents, records or information in the form of electronic records; or
(b)any rule of law requiring that any document, record or information be retained (or which provides for consequences if not) that the Minister, by order published in the Gazette, excludes from the application of this section in respect of such document, record or information.
[ETA, s. 9; UNCITRAL, Art. 10]
Provision of originals
10.—(1)  Where a rule of law requires any document, record or information to be provided or retained in its original form, or provides for certain consequences if it is not, that requirement is satisfied by providing or retaining the document, record or information in the form of an electronic record if the following conditions are satisfied:
(a)there exists a reliable assurance as to the integrity of the information contained in the electronic record from the time the document, record or information was first made in its final form, whether as a document in writing or as an electronic record;
(b)where the document, record or information is to be provided to a person, the electronic record that is provided to the person is capable of being displayed to the person; and
(c)any additional requirements relating to the provision or retention of such electronic records specified by the public agency which has supervision over the requirement for the provision or retention of such records are complied with.
(2)  For the purposes of subsection (1)(a) —
(a)the criterion for assessing integrity shall be whether the information has remained complete and unaltered, apart from the introduction of any changes that arise in the normal course of communication, storage and display; and
(b)the standard of reliability required shall be assessed in the light of the purpose for which the information was generated and in the light of all the relevant circumstances.
(3)  A person may satisfy the requirement referred to in subsection (1) by using the services of any other person, if the conditions in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of that subsection are complied with.
(4)  Nothing in this section shall apply to any rule of law requiring that any document, record or information be provided or retained in its original form (or which provides for consequences if not) that the Minister, by order published in the Gazette, excludes from the application of this section in respect of such document, record or information.
[UNCITRAL, Art. 8; UN, Art. 9(4) and (5)]
Formation and validity of contracts
11.—(1)  For the avoidance of doubt, it is declared that in the context of the formation of contracts, an offer and the acceptance of an offer may be expressed by means of electronic communications.
(2)  Where an electronic communication is used in the formation of a contract, that contract shall not be denied validity or enforceability solely on the ground that an electronic communication was used for that purpose.
[ETA, s. 11; UNCITRAL, Art. 11(1); UN, Art. 8(1)]
Effectiveness between parties
12.  As between the originator and the addressee of an electronic communication, a declaration of intent or other statement shall not be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely on the ground that it is in the form of an electronic communication.
[ETA, s. 12; UNCITRAL, Art. 12(1)]
Time and place of despatch and receipt
13.—(1)  The time of despatch of an electronic communication is —
(a)the time when it leaves an information system under the control of the originator or of the party who sent it on behalf of the originator; or
(b)if the electronic communication has not left an information system under the control of the originator or of the party who sent it on behalf of the originator, the time when the electronic communication is received.
(2)  The time of receipt of an electronic communication is the time when the electronic communication becomes capable of being retrieved by the addressee at an electronic address designated by the addressee.
(3)  The time of receipt of an electronic communication at an electronic address that has not been designated by the addressee is the time when the electronic communication becomes capable of being retrieved by the addressee at that address and the addressee becomes aware that the electronic communication has been sent to that address.
(4)  For the purposes of subsections (2) and (3), an electronic communication is presumed to be capable of being retrieved by the addressee when it reaches the electronic address of the addressee.
[Act 5 of 2021 wef 19/03/2021]
(5)  An electronic communication is deemed to be despatched at the place where the originator has its place of business and is deemed to be received at the place where the addressee has its place of business.
(6)  Subsections (2), (3) and (4) shall apply notwithstanding that the place where the information system supporting an electronic address is located may be different from the place where the electronic communication is deemed to be received under subsection (5).
[ETA, s. 15; UN, Art. 10]
Invitation to make offer
14.  A proposal to conclude a contract made through one or more electronic communications which is not addressed to one or more specific parties, but is generally accessible to parties making use of information systems, including a proposal that makes use of interactive applications for the placement of orders through such information systems, is to be considered as an invitation to make offers, unless it clearly indicates the intention of the party making the proposal to be bound in case of acceptance.
[UN, Art. 11]
Use of automated message systems for contract formation
15.  A contract formed by the interaction of an automated message system and a natural person, or by the interaction of automated message systems, shall not be denied validity or enforceability solely on the ground that no natural person reviewed or intervened in each of the individual actions carried out by the automated message systems or the resulting contract.
[UN, Art. 12]
Error in electronic communications
16.—(1)  Where a natural person makes an input error in an electronic communication exchanged with the automated message system of another party and the automated message system does not provide the person with an opportunity to correct the error, that person, or the party on whose behalf that person was acting, has the right to withdraw the portion of the electronic communication in which the input error was made.
(2)  Subsection (1) shall not apply unless the person, or the party on whose behalf that person was acting —
(a)notifies the other party of the error as soon as possible after having learned of the error and indicates that he made an error in the electronic communication; and
(b)has not used or received any material benefit or value from the goods or services, if any, received from the other party.
(3)  Nothing in this section shall affect the application of any rule of law that may govern the consequences of any error other than as provided for in subsections (1) and (2).
[UN, Art. 14]