Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) welcomes that the law making stalking a crime in Malaysia is finally in operation.
The anti-stalking and protection order provisions came into force on May 31, 2023. This was confirmed by a notice from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
Under the new Section 507A of the Penal Code, stalking is defined as a repeated act of harassment, which is intended or is likely to cause distress, fear, or alarm to any person for their safety.
If someone is repeatedly following you, tracking and communicating with you, showing up at your house or workplace, sending you things, or committing other acts either online or physically that make you distressed or scared , you may be a victim or survivor of stalking.
Thankfully, if you are being stalked, you can now get help or redress from the police.
You can obtain a Protection Order for Stalking, which stops the perpetrator from further stalking you or coming near you.
According to the amendments to the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, stalkers can be investigated, charged in court and punished with imprisonment of up to three years.
We once again applaud the criminalisation of stalking, which will help thousands in Malaysia who have been stalked and live in fear for their safety each year.
To ensure that all Malaysians can avail these protections, we ask for these next steps to be undertaken with urgency:
- The government must update all relevant guidelines and SOPs to reflect stalking as a crime and provide adequate training and resources to all relevant agencies. This includes police officers, social welfare officers, prosecutors, the judiciary and other frontliners.
- The government must conduct a nationwide publicity campaign to ensure that victims and survivors know their rights, and that all Malaysians are educated on the legal repercussions of stalking as a crime.
- Train and share resources with relevant NGOs and other service providers so that these NGOs are provided with sufficient information on anti-stalking laws, and so they can be further equipped to support victims/survivors of stalking.
For further advice, you can contact the WAO hotline at 03-3000 8858 or SMS/WhatsApp TINA at 018-988 8058.
If you are being stalked and are fearful for your safety, reach out to the police at 999 or make a report at a police station.
Since 1982, Women’s Aid Organisation has provided free shelter, counselling, and crisis support to women and children who experience abuse. We help women and their children rebuild their lives, after surviving domestic violence, rape, trafficking, and other atrocities. Learning from women’s experiences, we advocate to improve public policies and shift public mindsets. Together, we change lives.
- This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Ova.