Anti-stalking Bill: Improvements to ensure all aspects of legislation covered

Improvements to the draft of two bills related to the crime of stalking have been proposed to ensure emphasis is given to holistic coverage of the offence involving all aspects of legislation, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Ramkarpal Singh.

He said the improvements were the result of engagement sessions with stakeholders such as the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department, the Women’s Aid Organisation and the Malaysian Bar to review the provisions of the two bills.

The two bills are the Penal Code (Amendment) (No. 2) 2022 and Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) (No.2) 2022.

The two bills were tabled for the first reading at the Dewan Rakyat on Aug 4, 2022, the second and third readings on Oct 3, 2022 and have been passed, but following the dissolution of Parliament on Oct 10 last year, the bills could not be tabled in Dewan Negara during the same Parliament session.

Ramkarpal said the bills need to be tabled again at the coming Dewan Rakyat sitting.

He said a memorandum by Cabinet Ministers on the bills will be tabled to the Ministers by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said soon.

Subject to the Cabinet Ministers’ approval, the two bills will be tabled again in the Dewan Rakyat at the coming Parliament session. 

On Jan 24, 2019, the government proposed that the act of prying upon or stalking should be classified as a criminal act because it can make the victims, especially women, feel threatened and unsafe.

The proposal to make stalking a crime was mooted in 2019 with the establishment of the Anti-Stalking Committee. — BERNAMA