KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Individuals found guilty of stalking, regardless of whether they are men or women, can now be jailed for up to three years or fined, or both.
This is after the Dewan Rakyat today passed the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2023 with a new section 507A introduced into the Penal Code (Act 574) for the offence of stalking.
The section states that whoever repeatedly by any act of harassment, intending to cause, or knowing or ought to know that the act is likely to cause distress, fear or alarm to any person or the person’s safety, commits the offence of stalking.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Ramkarpal Singh said the amendment is to protect victims of stalking, both women and men.
“This punishment is sufficient when compared with other countries,” he said when winding up the debate on the bill in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Regarding the scope of duties of private investigators or security agencies, which include the task of stalking, Ramkarpal said that the offence is classified according to several elements, including causing a feeling of fear towards someone.
“If the police, MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) and investigating officers carry out their duties without knowing who they are investigating and there is no element of fear, then it is not stalking,” he said.
Also passed was the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill 2023 which, among other things, sought to amend the First Schedule of Act 593, resulting from the inclusion of provisions on a new offence of stalking in the Penal Code.
The Dewan Rakyat sitting continues tomorrow.