Law minister must criminalise stalking in Malaysia now, say NGOs

The Women’s Aid Organisation and 50 other NGOs, are calling on the government and de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pic) to make stalking a crime in Malaysia. — Bernama pic
The Women’s Aid Organisation and 50 other NGOs, are calling on the government and de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (pic) to make stalking a crime in Malaysia. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — The Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) and 50 other NGOs are calling on the government and de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to make stalking a crime in Malaysia.

In a statement issued by WAO, the 51 NGOs said that in Malaysia there are no legal provisions for stalking survivors to get restraining orders, resulting in the police being unable to protect them or hold their stalkers accountable.

WAO also conducted a study with market research company Vase.ai, which found that over a third of Malaysians have experienced stalking, even throughout the Covid-19 movement control order periods.

“Many countries have specific legal provisions on stalking, for example: the Philippines, Japan, Australia, Afghanistan, India, Singapore, Mongolia, the US, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Czech Republic, the UK and South Korea.

“There is comprehensive support to make stalking a crime in Malaysia, including support from various political parties, government agencies, NGOs, academics and the public,” the statement read.

It added that amendments to the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code had already been prepared in early 2020 by the Anti-Stalking Committee, which was led by the Legal Affairs Division (BHEUU), consisting of government agencies and NGOs.

The statement also shared the story of a woman named Mawar, who had a stalker who followed and harassed her on a daily basis

“We urge you to act swiftly, so this effort is not delayed further.

“Until we make stalking a crime, survivors like Mawar — and the thousands of Malaysians who experience stalking each year — remain unprotected,” the statement said.

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