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Press Statement – For Immediate Publication
Kuala Lumpur, 16 March 2023
#Makestalkingacrime: Women’s Aid Organisation Welcomes the Tabling Of Anti-Stalking Measures in Parliament
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) welcomes the amendments to the penal code and criminal procedure code to criminalise stalking, which were tabled in parliament today.
Stalking can cause intense psychological distress and is often a precursor to more violent acts of abuse and harassment. A survey conducted by WAO in 2021 found that 88% of respondents had experienced stalking-related acts. Criminalising stalking has been found to result in effective charges and convictions, and many countries have introduced anti-stalking legislation including Singapore, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, India, and South Korea.
This is the second time that the anti-stalking measures have been tabled in the Malaysian parliament. During the October 2022 parliamentary session, the measures passed in the Dewan Rakyat by unanimous voice vote from 192 MPs; however, because parliament was dissolved to make way for the 15th General Elections, the measures did not pass through the Dewan Negara.
We applaud the government for its swift action to reintroduce these important measures for debate. We look forward to Malaysia joining the ranks of countries that have criminalised stalking, and we also urge all elected representatives and members of the public to support these measures to bring safety and justice to survivors of stalking.