Section 507A of the Penal Code of Malaysia is a new provision that was introduced in 2023 to criminalize stalking. The section defines stalking as “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.”
The section goes on to list some examples of acts that can constitute stalking, including:
Following a person in any manner or by any means
Communicating or attempting to communicate with a person in any manner or by any means
Loitering at the place of residence or business of a person
Giving or sending anything to a person in any manner or by any means
The section also specifies that the acts of harassment must be repeated on at least two occasions in order to constitute stalking.
The punishment for stalking under Section 507A is imprisonment for a term of up to three years, a fine, or both.
The introduction of Section 507A is a significant step in the fight against stalking in Malaysia. The section provides victims of stalking with legal recourse and sends a clear message that stalking is a serious crime.
Here are some additional things to note about Section 507A:
The section applies to both physical and online stalking.
The section does not require that the victim be aware of the stalker’s identity.
The section does not require that the stalker’s actions actually cause the victim to feel distress, fear, or alarm. It is sufficient that the stalker knows or ought to know that their actions are likely to cause these emotions.
Stalked for 8 years: The story of Acacia Diana.
Acacia Diana is a Malaysian photographer who was stalked for eight years by a man she did not know. The stalking began in 2016 when the man started leaving comments on her blog and sending her lewd content. He also introduced himself to her when she was at a fast-food restaurant and has allegedly gone to her house before.
The stalking escalated when the man followed Diana to London, where she was studying at the time. He attended a volunteer event that she was at and was arrested by the police. He was released on bail with the condition that he could not contact Diana or be near her, but he breached his bail and fled the UK.
Diana has filed three police reports about the stalking, but the case has not been successfully prosecuted. In July 2023, she went public with her story in the hope that it would help to raise awareness of stalking and the need for stronger laws to protect victims.
The stalking has had a significant impact on Diana’s life. She has been forced to move house several times and has had to change her phone number and email address. She has also been diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
Despite the challenges she has faced, Diana has shown great courage and resilience. She has spoken out about her experience in the hope that it will help other victims of stalking. She has also worked with the Malaysian government to improve the country’s laws on stalking.
In July 2023, the Malaysian government passed a new law that makes stalking a criminal offense. The law carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine. Diana has welcomed the new law, saying that it is a step in the right direction.
If you believe that you or someone you know is being stalked, you should contact the police immediately. You can also seek help from a support group or counseling service.