Social legislation are “a specific set of laws passed by the legislature for the purpose of regulating the relationship between a weaker class of persons and a stronger class of persons.”
The rationale behind social legislation was stated by the Federal Court in PJD Regency Sdn Bhd v Tribunal Tuntutan Pembeli Rumah & Anor and other appeals  2 MLJ 60 (FC):
“Given that one side always has the upper hand against the other due to the inequality of bargaining power, the state is compelled to intervene to balance the scales of justice by providing certain statutory safeguards for that weaker class.”
When it comes to interpreting social legislation, the courts are to “[construe] its provisions to give [its] provisions a construction which would assist to achieve the object of the Act.”
The following is a non-exhaustive list of legislation (arranged alphabetically) which have been expressly recognised by the courts as social legislation.
1. Drug Dependants (Treatment and Rehabilitation) Act 1983
In the Supreme Court case of Ang Gin Lee v Public Prosecutor  1 MLJ 498, Hashim Yeop A Sani CJ (Malaya) held:
“[The Drug Dependants (Treatment and Rehabilitation) Act 1983] is a social legislation of sort.”
2. Employees Provident Fund Ordinance 1951
The Federal Court in Employees Provident Fund Board v Dr Chelliah Bros  1 MLJ 161 enunciated the following:
“The Employees Provident Fund is essentially a social legislation enacted to benefit employees.”
The Employees Provident Fund (“EPF”) Ordinance 1951 later became the EPF Act 1951, and subsequently was repealed and replaced by the EPF Act 1991.
3. Employees Provident Fund Act 1991
In Lembaga Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja v Ong Lian Chee (suing as administrator of the estate of Goh Tin Poh, deceased)  4 MLJ 762, Low Hop Bing JCA stated:
“… the EPF Act 1991 which is a piece of social, legislation wherein the underlying purpose or object is no doubt the promotion of the welfare of the members, in the context of beneficient social legislation, the provisions therein must receive a broad, liberal and functional or purposive interpretation — see Golden Hope Plantations (Peninsular) Sdn Bhd (Ladang Sungei Senarut) v Sarawathy Kathan  1 MLJ 611;  3 CLJ 335 (CA).”
See also Sivamurthy s/o Muniandy & Ors v Lembaga Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja  5 MLJ 533 (CA), at para 14.
4. Employees’ Social Security Act 1969
The Federal Court in Rethana v Government of Malaysia  2 MLJ 52 recognised that the Employees’ Social Security Act 1969 is a social legislation:
“In the present case the Employees’ Social Security Act, 1969 is being challenged not on the basis that Parliament has no power to enact it, but on the ground that some of its provisions are inconsistent with certain provisions of the Constitution. Being a social legislation involving matters pertaining to labour and social security …”
See also Sri Mahanum bt Yup (suing as widow to Mohd Yusof bin Sahak, deceased) v Representative of the estate for Raden Benni bin RS Tanuwidjaja, deceased & Anor  4 MLJ 362 (CA), at para 8; Golden Hope Plantations (Peninsular) Sdn Bhd (Ladang Sungei Senarut) v Saraswathy a/p Kathan  1 MLJ 611 (CA), at para 17.
5. Employment Act 1955
Low Hop Bing JCA in Golden Hope Plantations (Peninsular) Sdn Bhd (Ladang Sungei Senarut) v Saraswathy a/p Kathan  1 MLJ 611 enunciated the following:
“The question for determination in the instant appeal calls for an examination and interpretation of the Employment Act 1955 and the SOCSO Act. Both these Acts come within the category of social legislation.” (Emphasis mine)