Friday, June 26, 2015

Why is Dr Mahathir so worried?

Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad asked as to why the Thai authorities are taking action against Xavier Andre Justo. “What makes me puzzled is that he didn't commit a crime in Thailand. He committed the crime in Saudi Arabia,” said Dr Mahathir.

Actually, under the Computer Crimes Act 1997, computer crimes are borderless -- just like terrorism, money laundering, drug trafficking, war crimes, etc. Dr Mahathir should know this since in 1997 he was still Malaysia’s Prime Minister.

The Computer Crimes Act 1997 says:

9. (1) The provisions of this Act shall, in relation to any person, whatever his nationality or citizenship, have effect outside as well as within Malaysia, and where an offence under this Act is committed by any person in any place outside Malaysia, he may be dealt with in respect of such offence as if it was committed at any place within Malaysia.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), this Act shall apply if, for the offence in question, the computer, program or data was in Malaysia or capable of being connected to or sent to or used by or with a computer in Malaysia at the material time.

So there is no such thing as jurisdiction in computer crimes, plus the other crimes mentioned above.

Dr Mahathir also suggested that the government sue Sarawak Report and The Edge if they had committed a crime by publishing false reports based on fabricated documents.

Why does the government need to do that? This matter is now the subject of an international criminal investigation and if a crime has been established then the government can consider civil action later on.

In the meanwhile let the criminal action take its course, as civil action can be the next option once a criminal act has been confirmed. Anyway, if Xavier Andre Justo is indicted and found guilty, that itself would vindicate the government and civil action would no longer be necessary since the truth would then be established.

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