MALAYSIA - Individuals found to be members of terrorist groups can be jailed for life and be fined an undisclosed amount under the proposed amendments to the Penal Code Bill.
The amendments to the Penal Code, with the Criminal Procedure Code and Evidence Act -- were tabled in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday following the introduction of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill.
All four bills were tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz for first reading yesterday.
The new bill and the amendments will be debated next week.
The proposed amendment to the Penal Code deals with organised crimes, activities deemed detrimental to parliamentary democracy, sabotage and espionage.
The Penal Code sees the introduction of seven new offences.
They are activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy, attempt to commit activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy, dissemination of information, sabotage, attempt to commit sabotage, espionage and attempt to commit espionage.
Those found guilty of any of the seven offences can be jailed between five years and life imprisonment.
The remaining six are offences contained in the Internal Security Act but with modifications.
The six are printing or sale, possession, importation and receipt of documents and publications detrimental to parliamentary democracy; posting of placards and dissemination of false reports.
The bill includes a new clause for "organised crime" which is defined as an extraterritorial offence.
Another new provision of the bill seeks to make any person who commands another to do a criminal act be an "abettor".
The existing law provision does not cover those who instruct another to commit an offence. In an organised crime scenario, it is difficult to connect the person who instructs to the evidence of the crime committed. "Thus, the proposed new provision seeks to make any person who commands another to do a criminal act as abettor," the bill states.
The bill also seeks to penalise members of organised crime group by jailing them up to five years while those found guilty of assisting an organised crime group face a stiffer jail sentence of up to 10 years.
Meanwhile, the proposed amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) will have three new provisions to enhance the investigation powers of the police.
They are enabling police officers ranked Inspector and above be able to conduct search and seizure without warrant and as well as enabling officers to have access to computerised data and intercept communication respectively.
The amendments to CPC will see the introduction of the electronic monitoring device to be worn by a security offence suspect, while out on bail. This is in lieu of a bond.
The court has the duty to explain to the accused on failure to wear the device as well as other related conditions imposed.
Individuals who failed to comply with the electronic monitoring requirement can have their bail revoked by the court.
Those found tampering or destroying the devices can be fined up to RM5,000 (S$2100) or jailed up to three years or both. They are also liable to pay for any damage to the device.
Amendments to the Evidence Bill, will see a new provision to facilitate identification and proving the identity of an anonymous person involved in publication through the Internet.
"Publication" is defined as statement or a representation, whether in written, printed, pictorial, film, graphical, acoustic or other forms displayed on a computer screen.
This means that a person whose name, photograph or pseudonym appears on any publication depicting himself as the owner, host, administrator, editor or sub-editor, or who in any manner facilitates to publish or republish the publication is presumed to have published or-republished the contents of the publication unless it is proven otherwise.