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Section 12 of the Interpretation Act 1948 and 1967 (“Act”) contains a presumption which applies to any service by post:

“Where a written law authorises or requires a document to be served by post, then, until the contrary is proved, service-

(a) shall be presumed to be affected by properly addressing, prepaying and posting by registered post a letter containing the document; and

(b) shall be presumed to have been affected at the time when the letter would have been delivered in the ordinary course of the post.” (Emphasis ours)

The Federal Court has recognised that the presumption is rebuttable.[1]

In the event the presumption applies, the document will be presumed to have been delivered “in the ordinary course of the post.”

It is worth noting that the Act does not provide a definition for the phrase “in the ordinary course of the post.”

A.R. Registered Post

In Abdul Ghaffar v Perbadanan Pembangunan Bandar [1986] 2 MLJ 158, Harun J (later SCJ) was faced with a notice to quit that was posted in Kuala Lumpur to an address at Kuala Lumpur via A.R. Registered Post.

Harun J interpreted the phrase “in the ordinary course of the post” to mean the following day:

“In the instant case the notice to quit was posted at Kuala Lumpur on January 30, 1982 to an address at Kuala Lumpur and in the ordinary course of the post would have been delivered on the following day.”[2]

Registered Post

In Ruhimin Adzim @ Ruhimin bin Ajim v Tan Sri Bernard Dompok & Ors [2005] 1 MLJ 345 (“Ruhimin Adzim”), Clement Skinner J (later JCA) was presented with the service standard adopted by Pos Malaysia in relation to registered posts and His Lordship accepted the same:[3]

Pos Malaysia’s service standard for registered posts contained in Ruhimin Adzim is a useful guide as it provides a concrete way to calculate the date that a letter would have been delivered “in the ordinary course of the post”.

Having said that, Pos Malaysia’s service standard for registered posts contained in Ruhimin Adzim was applicable on/around 2014 and may have changed since.


[1] See e.g. Maxland Sdn Bhd v. Timatch Sdn Bhd [2014] 6 MLJ 1 (FC), at para 20

[2] Abdul Ghaffar v Perbadanan Pembangunan Bandar [1986] 2 MLJ 158 (ACRJ), at p. 159

[3] Ruhimin Adzim @ Ruhimin bin Ajim v Tan Sri Bernard Dompok & Ors [2005] 1 MLJ 345 (HC), at paras 81-84