MALAYSIA WEAPONS ACT 1958




Introduction

Are you familiar with the Malaysia Weapons Act 1958 to see what is categorized as corrosive, explosive and offensive weapons? Are you aware of the punishments for possessing items that we may not necessarily consider as weapons? This is very important for tertiary students in Malaysia not just for head knowledge but to be able to take meaningful action and legal protection should a situation deteriorate to a point where this Act may be invoked. So what does the Malaysia Weapons Act 1958 involve and how can this information benefit tertiary students in Malaysia?


Important definitions in the Malaysia Weapons Act 1958

The following definitions are important to have in mind in relation to the Malaysia Weapons Act 1958:

  • Corrosive substances include acids and substances and other chemicals that are capable of causing hurt to the human body through corrosion
  • Explosive substances include substances like bombs, grenades and other machines intended to be used in whole or in part to cause or contribute to cause an explosion
  • An offensive weapon includes any instrument if used as a weapon of offense is capable of causing hurt
  • “Scheduled weapons” (listed below) are offensive weapons mentioned in Schedule 2 of the Act  (Weapons Act 1958).

 

Provisions of Malaysia Weapons Act 1958 and its relevant to tertiary students

1. Possessing, carrying or having under control an explosive or corrosive substance with a reasonable presumption that it is intended to be used or given to another person to use to cause hurt is an offence under this act.

Punishment: Imprisonment not more than 3 years and unspecified whipping                (Chapter 3).


2. Using or attempting to use a corrosive or an explosive substance or offensive weapon to cause or attempt to cause hurt irrespective of whether the hurt has been caused or not is an offence under this Act.

Punishment: Imprisonment not exceeding 7 years and unspecified whipping   (Chapter 4).


3. Anyone found in the company of or liaises with someone with a corrosive or explosive  substance under his/her control with a reasonable presumption that it was intended to be used to cause hurt irrespective of whether the hurt has been caused or not will be guilty under this Act and deserves the same punishment as the person in the custody of the corrosive and explosive substance unless the accompanying person can prove that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the person in custody of the corrosive or explosive substance did so lawfully (Chapter 5).


4. Possessing, carrying, or having under control an offensive weapons without lawful authority is an offence under this Act.

Punishment: Imprisonment not more than 2 years and unspecified whipping (Chapter 6 – subsection 1).


5. Anyone who is found in possession of, carries, manufactures, sells, hires, exposes to sale or hire  a scheduled weapon is guilty of an offence .

Punishment: Imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or fine not exceeding two thousand Ringgits or both on first conviction (Chapter 7 – subsection 1).


6. Anyone found in the company of or liaises with someone with an offensive weapon under his/her control will be guilty under this Act and deserves the same punishment as the person in the custody of the offensive weapon unless the accompanying person can prove that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the person in custody of the offensive weapon did so lawfully. Offences in this category are non-bailable (Chapter 8).


7. Any police officer may with or without warrant and with or without assistance stop and search a person or vehicle on public roads if there is reasonable ground to suspect that an offence may be committed under this Act. The rank of police Inspector or above may carry out stop and search activities whether in public place or not. No woman will be searched by a male officer (Chapter 9).

 

Materials considered as corrosive or explosive under this Act (First schedule)

Sulphuric acid

Nitric acid    

Hydrochloric acid 

Formic acid       

Acetic acid

                    Phenols

                    Ammonia

              Potassium hydroxide

              Sodium hydroxide



Some materials considered as offensive weapons under this Act (Second schedule)


  • Any knife with a blade that opens automatically or attached to the handle of a knife where the user can press a button or any other action to operate it.
  • Any knife that extends and keeps its blades in place through gravity or when the knife is swung around.
  • Any blade or whip made from bicycle parts capable of being used for cutting or stabbing.
  • Any knife with three edges and a pointed tip.
  • Any small axe usually used as a weapon.
  • Any sword, Taser, shot gun or club.


Implications for tertiary students in Malaysia

  • Tertiary students in Malaysia should minimize contact and if possible avoid storing or found in possession of corrosive and explosive substances. An offence is committed under the Malaysia Weapons Act 1958 even if no hurt have been caused.

  •  Since bail will not be granted for offences involving offensive weapons, it should be avoided.
  • Since the definition of “reasonable grounds” is subject to the interpretation of the police officer, tertiary students should avoid vicinities that will present you as being in the company of another person with an offensive weapon.
  • International students should avoid offences in this Act as it is extremely difficult to continue your studies if convicted.
  • Submit to a stop and search by police officers willingly to avoid raising unnecessary suspicions in public places.  Avoid pocket knives common with students when attending night parties.
  • Wherever possible employ the services of an attorney (lawyer) to represent you in any involvement with law enforcement.


Conclusion

The Malaysian Corrosive and Explosive substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1958 provides information on what is considered corrosive or explosive substance and offensive weapons that should be avoided.

No punishment on conviction is less than a two year jail sentence with or without an unspecified number of whipping and with or without a fine. Tertiary students should avoid being victims of this Act.


Reference

Malaysia Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1958.



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