New rule to counter stalkers among enhanced anti-harassment law to be introduced

Posed photo of a stalker and the victim. A new rule to deal with stalkers who cause distress to their victims, and self-help remedies such as the possibility of applying to a court to order the removal of false information posted online, are among pr
Posed photo of a stalker and the victim. A new rule to deal with stalkers who cause distress to their victims, and self-help remedies such as the possibility of applying to a court to order the removal of false information posted online, are among proposed enhancements to laws against harassment. -- FILE PHOTO: TNP

A new rule to deal with stalkers who cause distress to their victims, and self-help remedies such as the possibility of applying to a court to order the removal of false information posted online, are among proposed enhancements to laws against harassment.

These are contained in the Protection from Harassment Bill 2014, which will be tabled in Parliament by Law Minister K. Shanmugam next Monday, the Law and Home Affairs ministries said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The proposed law aims to provide a range of self-help measures, civil remedies and criminal sanctions to better protect people from harassment and related anti-social behaviour. It was done in consultation with stakeholder institutions such as Aware and the Singapore Children's Society, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Law Dr Beh Swan Gin said at a media briefing.

Some enhancements proposed in the new law include the extension of protection for "public servants" to workers who deliver essential services to the general public, such as public healthcare and transport workers. It will replace existing rules relating to harassment contained in the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act.

Offenders in some cases will face jail terms in addition to fines, and penalties will be increased for repeat offenders.