The Definition of Domestic Violence in Malaysia: A Cross-National Comparison

Daleleer Kaur Randawar


Malaysia is the first Asian country to have laws to protect victims of domestic violence and has recognized domestic violence as an issue of public concern. The Domestic Violence Act 1994 in Malaysia was finally amended and gazetted on 9 February 2012. Desirable and much welcomed amendments addressed the outcry of many concerned parties involving domestic violence. Many crucial issues have been looked into and incorporated into the new amendments of the Domestic Violence Act such as focusing on the expanded definition of domestic violence, allowing the Act to be read together with the Penal Code or any written law involving offences relating to domestic violence and by making it possible that an Interim Protection Order be made by way of an application to the court. This article examines the recent amendments introduced by the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2012 (Malaysia, Act AA1414) to the Domestic Violence Act 1994 (Malaysia, Act 521) (hereafter referred to as the DVA 1994) specifically aimed at dealing with the definition and meaning of domestic violence in Malaysia. The article seeks to suggest legislative reforms which will involve a comparative study of other comparable jurisdictions. 

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