[MEMORANDUM] Make Stalking A Crime

[MEMORANDUM] Make Stalking A Crime

Illustration from iStock

MEMORANDUM BY 51 NGOS TO: 

THE MINISTER & DEP. MINISTER IN THE PRIME MINISTER’S DEPARTMENT (PARLIAMENT & LAW)

Y.B. DATO SRI DR WAN JUNAIDI BIN TUANKU JAAFAR

Y.B. DATUK WIRA MAS ERMIEYATI BINTI SAMSUDIN

21 OCTOBER 2021

He followed me every day, to and from work – waiting outside my house for hours. He sent me more than 20 text messages a day. He created more than 10 social media accounts to try to reach me. He contacted my colleagues and family members. I felt afraid and lost, and thought about suicide.”

This is Mawar’s experience of being stalked.

In Malaysia, stalking is NOT yet a crime. And there is no legal provision for stalking survivors to get restraining orders.

Because of this, the police could not protect Mawar, or hold the stalker accountable. 

We must change this.

We call on the Cabinet of Malaysia, Malaysian Parliament, and Law Minister to make stalking a crime in Malaysia.

A study by Women’s Aid Organisation and Vase.ai found that over a third of Malaysians have experienced stalking which caused them fear. Stalking cases still occurred throughout the COVID-19 movement control order periods.

Many countries have specific legal provisions on stalking, for example: Philippines, Japan, Australia, Afghanistan, India, Singapore, Mongolia, USA, 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.

Draft legal language (amending the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code) has already been prepared in early 2020 by the Anti-Stalking Committee, led by the Legal Affairs Division (BHEUU) and consisting of other government agencies and NGOs.

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.

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