Criminal intimidation according to section 503 of Penal Code stated that whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits criminal intimidation.

What punishment can be imposed on the perpetrator?

Section 506 of Penal Code provides that whoever commits the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both; if the threat is to cause death or grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or imprisonment, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or to impute unchastity to a woman, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or with fine or with both. 

What are the important elements that need to be proven for criminal intimidation?

The intention to do criminal intimidation and there must be a threat to injure a person, reputation or property, or any person must be proven in order to strengthen the case.

I am being threatened and I feel so scared. What initial action do I need to take?

Recently, I have been frequently threatened by individual A on WhatsApp and Facebook. Does this situation count as a criminal offense under the Penal Code and what should I do?

First of all, you can make a police report or report to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission. The Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 provides provisions for the offence of threatening through social media.

Individuals who make such threats can be investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 which states that a person who commits an offence under this section when convicted can be fined not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisoned for a period not exceeding one year or both and shall also be liable to a further fine of RM1,000 for each day or part of a day the offense continues after conviction.

What cases have been decided in the Court regarding the crime of intimidation?

The case of Sinnasamy A/L Kaliappan v Public Prosecutor [2005] 7 MLJ 570

is an appeal from the accused against the decision of the magistrate who had found the accused guilty of an offence of criminal intimidation under s 503 of the Penal Code. The evidence adduced in the trial court revealed that the complainant was at a house when she heard a loud voice in front of the house. She came out of the house and saw the accused holding a parang.

The accused threatened the complainant by asking her to pay a sum of RM50,000 in five days, otherwise the accused would kill the complainant and her family.

The court dismissed the appeal because the facts did show that the accused had used the parang to hit the metal gate of the house, thereby leaving numerous marks thereon and that the accused had also threatened to kill the complainant.

This was corroborated by the first information report lodged by the complainant and the evidence of other prosecution witnesses. The accused’s intent by its very nature cannot be proved by direct evidence but may be inferred from all the circumstances of the case. It was clear that the magistrate had made the correct inference that the accused had the necessary intent to cause alarm to the complainant.

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