28. The Insurance Act is amended by inserting, immediately after new section 49F, the following Part:
—(1) Where an appeal is made to the Minister under this Act, the Minister may confirm, vary or reverse the decision of the Authority on appeal, or give such directions in the matter as he thinks fit, and the Minister’s decision shall be final.
(2) Where an appeal is made to the Minister under this Act, the Minister shall, within 28 days of his receipt of the appeal, constitute an Appeal Advisory Committee comprising not less than 3 members of the Appeal Advisory Panel and refer that appeal to the Appeal Advisory Committee.
(3) The Appeal Advisory Committee shall submit to the Minister a written report on the appeal referred to it under subsection (2) and may make such recommendations as it thinks fit.
(4) The Minister shall consider the report submitted under subsection (3) in making his decision under subsection (1) but he shall not be bound by the recommendations in the report.
—(1) For the purposes of enabling Appeal Advisory Committees to be constituted under section 49G, the Minister shall appoint a panel (referred to in this Part as the Appeal Advisory Panel) comprising such members from the financial services industry and the public and private sectors as the Minister may appoint.
(2) A member of the Appeal Advisory Panel shall be appointed for a term of not more than 2 years.
(3) An Appeal Advisory Committee shall have the power, in the exercise of its functions, to inquire into any matter or thing related to the financial services industry and, for this purpose, may summon any person to give evidence on oath or affirmation or produce any document or material necessary for the purpose of the inquiry.
(4) Nothing in subsection (3) shall compel the production by an advocate and solicitor of a document or other material containing any privileged communication made by or to him in that capacity or authorise the taking of any such document or other material which is in his possession.
(5) An advocate and solicitor who refuses to produce any document or other material referred to in subsection (4) shall nevertheless be obliged to give the name and address (if he knows them) of the person to whom, or by or on behalf of whom, the privileged communication was made.
(6) For the purposes of this Act, every member of an Appeal Advisory Committee —
shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of the Penal Code (Cap. 224); and
in case of any suit or other legal proceedings brought against him for any act done or omitted to be done in the execution of his duty under this Part, shall have the like protection and privileges as are by law given to a Judge in the execution of his office.
(7) Every Appeal Advisory Committee shall have regard to the interest of the public, the protection of policy owners and the safeguarding of sources of information.
(8) Subject to the provisions of this Part, an Appeal Advisory Committee may regulate its own procedure and shall not be bound by the rules of evidence.
49I. Nothing in this Act shall require the Minister or any public servant to disclose facts which he considers to be against the public interest to disclose.