Counsel for the first defendant had contended that exh P1 did notconstitute an offer but was in substance an invitation to treat. There wastherefore here a question of whether there was any evidence of intention thatexh P1 was intended to be binding. Chitty on Contractshad pointed out thatwhen parties negotiate with a view to making a contract many preliminarycommunications may pass between them and it is therefore not necessarilyalways the case that a definite offer was made.
 3 MLJ439ABCDEFGHINai Yau Juu v Pasdec Corp Sdn Bhd & Anor(Heliliah J)In the circumstances of the case there was a further need to examinewhat is termed as a unilateral contract. Unilateral contract can be drawn fromadvertisements but even in advertisements where a house is advertised thereare often further bargaining. The parties may legitimately also wish to ascertainthat the other party is also financially able to undertake the transaction.The case of Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co Ltd 1 QB 256, has alwaysserved as an example where clear terms could constitute an offer. Variousinterpretations may also be given to a contract of carriage when tickets areoffered for sale. In this instance it is useful to revisit the Carboliccase: ‘Thedefendant issued an advertisement promising to pay £100 to any person who used a carbolicball made by them in accordance with certain directions and then caught influenza. This washeld to be an offer, the defendant’s intention to be bound being made particularly clear bytheir statement that they had deposited £1000 with the bankers ‘showing our sincerity inthe matter’.In advertisements a seller circulating a price list or other promotionalmaterials giving particulars of the products for sale is usually also said not tobe making an offer. Even if the word ‘offer’ were to be used as in the case ofSpencer v Harding(1870) LR 5CP 561 it was held that a circular stating that ‘weare instructed to offer to the trade for sale certain described goods’ was merelyan invitation to treat and not an offer capable of acceptance.The case of Ekchardt Marine GMBH v Sheriff High Court of Malaya Seremban& Ors 4 MLJ 49 also dealt with advertisements. The facts as found inthe head notes stated:The sheriff of the Seremban High Court had arrested a motor vessel at Port Dicksonand later put it up for sale by way of an advertisement. The appellant sent an offerto the sheriff together with a letter and a banker’s draft for 10% of the purchaseprice. The letter made it clear that the offer was on the sheriff’s terms, but subjectto two conditions: that the port authority did not require any repairs to be done tothe vessel and that the vessel could leave on its own power on the basis of aseaworthiness certificate issued by an appointed surveyor of the underwriters. Thesheriff accepted the appellant’s offer, which was below the advertised price, andtook out a summons seeking leave of the judge to conclude the sale. The judge