Tracking devices to be included in anti-stalking law

Amendments to the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code will make tracking a person with hidden devices, while not being anywhere near the victim, an offence.

PETALING JAYA: Tracking a person by any means with the use of devices could be considered as stalking under a new law proposed by the government.

Law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said said the inclusion of the use of devices to existing anti-stalking legislations involved an amendment to the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.

“This improvement specifically addresses cases where a person is not being tracked physically, but by someone using devices such as hidden cameras and GPS devices for the purpose of stalking, while not being anywhere near the victim,” she said in a statement today.

She said the additional provision was agreed to after a meeting by the ministry with the Women’s Aid Organisation, the Bar Council, and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Earlier today, the Penal Code (Amendment) Bill 2023, which aims to make stalking a crime, was tabled for the first reading in the Dewan Rakyat, Bernama reported.

The bill introduces a new section – Section 507A – to address the offence of stalking.

The proposed new section reads: “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 of the person’s safety, commits an offence of stalking.”

The bill, among other things, states that anyone who commits the offence of stalking shall be punished with imprisonment of up to three years, or with a fine, or both.

Also tabled was the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill 2023, which seeks to amend the First Schedule of Act 593, resulting from the inclusion of the provision on a new offence of stalking in the Penal Code.

Both bills are scheduled to be tabled for their second reading in the current Dewan Rakyat session.

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