Kanun Prosedur Jenayah (Akta 593): A Guide to the Criminal Procedure Code of Malaysia
The Kanun Prosedur Jenayah (Akta 593) or the Criminal Procedure Code (Act 593) is a law that regulates the procedure for criminal cases in Malaysia. It covers various aspects of criminal justice, such as the powers and duties of the police, the courts, the prosecutors and the defence lawyers, the arrest and bail of suspects, the investigation and trial of offences, the sentencing and execution of punishments, and the appeals and revisions of judgments.
The Kanun Prosedur Jenayah (Akta 593) was enacted in 1999 and came into force on 1 April 2000. It replaced the previous Criminal Procedure Code (F.M.S. Cap. 6), which was based on the Indian Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898. The new code aimed to modernize and streamline the criminal procedure in Malaysia, as well as to incorporate some provisions from the Islamic law (syariah) and customary law (adat).
The Kanun Prosedur Jenayah (Akta 593) consists of 446 sections divided into 37 chapters and four schedules. It applies to all criminal offences under the Penal Code (Act 574) and other laws, except for those offences that are exclusively within the jurisdiction of the syariah courts or the native courts. The code also provides for some exceptions and modifications for certain cases, such as those involving juveniles, security offences, corruption offences, drug offences, and offences committed by public servants.
The Kanun Prosedur Jenayah (Akta 593) is an important source of reference for anyone who is involved or interested in criminal law and justice in Malaysia. It can be accessed online or downloaded as a PDF file from various websites, such as Scribd[^1^] [^2^] [^3^]. However, one should also be aware of the amendments and updates that have been made to the code over time, as well as the relevant case laws and interpretations that may affect its application.
Some of the challenges or controversies regarding the Kanun Prosedur Jenayah (Akta 593) are related to its implementation and enforcement, its compatibility with the constitutional and human rights framework, and its responsiveness to the changing social and security context in Malaysia. Some of these issues are discussed below:
Implementation and enforcement: Despite the introduction of new provisions to safeguard the rights and interests of suspects and accused persons, such as the right to legal representation, the right to remain silent, the right to be informed of the grounds of arrest, and the right to bail, there have been reports of non-compliance or violation of these rights by the police or other authorities. For instance, some suspects have been denied access to lawyers or family members, subjected to torture or ill-treatment, coerced into making confessions or statements, or detained beyond the prescribed period without judicial oversight. Moreover, some of the new provisions are vague or ambiguous, such as the definition of \"reasonable grounds\" for arrest without warrant, or the criteria for granting bail or remand. These leave room for discretion and abuse by the police or the magistrates. Therefore, there is a need for more training, education, monitoring and accountability mechanisms to ensure that the police and other actors in the criminal justice system adhere to the law and respect the rights of suspects and accused persons.
Compatibility with constitutional and human rights framework: Although the Kanun Prosedur Jenayah (Akta 593) has incorporated some elements of human rights protection into its provisions, such as the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial, and the prohibition of double jeopardy, there are still some areas where the code may conflict with or undermine the constitutional and human rights framework in Malaysia. For example, some provisions allow for preventive detention without trial for certain categories of offences or persons, such as those related to terrorism, organized crime, corruption, drugs, or national security. These provisions may violate the right to liberty, due process, and judicial review guaranteed by Article 5 of the Federal Constitution. Furthermore, some provisions may infringe on other constitutional rights, such as freedom of expression, assembly, association, religion, or movement. For instance, some provisions empower the police to impose restrictions or conditions on public gatherings or processions, to ban publications or materials that are deemed seditious or prejudicial to public order or morality, or to prohibit persons from leaving or entering certain areas. These provisions may limit the exercise of civil and political rights by individuals or groups in Malaysia.
Responsiveness to changing social and security context: The Kanun Prosedur Jenayah (Akta 593) was enacted in 1999 and came into force in 2000. Since then, Malaysia has undergone significant social and security changes that may require further review and reform of the code. For example, Malaysia has faced new challenges and threats from transnational crimes, such as human trafficking, cybercrime, money laundering, terrorism, and piracy. These crimes pose complex legal and practical problems for investigation and prosecution under the existing code. Moreover, Malaysia has witnessed increased public awareness and demand for greater transparency, accountability, and justice in the criminal justice system. This has led to more public scrutiny and criticism of police misconduct, judicial corruption, prosecutorial bias, political interference, or miscarriage of justice in criminal cases. These issues have eroded public trust and confidence in the criminal justice system and have called for more reforms to enhance its integrity and efficiency.
In conclusion, the Kanun Prosedur Jenayah (Akta 593) is a landmark legislation that has brought significant changes to the criminal procedure in Malaysia. It has introduced some progressive measures to protect suspects and accused persons from abuse and injustice pre-trial. However, it also faces some challenges and controversies regarding its implementation and enforcement; its compatibility with constitutional and human rights framework; and its responsiveness to changing social and security context in Malaysia. Therefore, there is a need for continuous monitoring; evaluation; consultation; amendment; and improvement of the code to ensure that it serves its purpose of delivering fair; effective; and humane justice for all. 061ffe29dd