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Effective Administration of the Police and the Prosecution in Criminal Justice in Malaysia (From UNAFEI Annual Report for 2001 and Resource Material Series No. 60, P 149-157, 2003, Sean Eratt, ed. -- See NCJ-201693)

NCJ Number
Azmi Bin Ariffin
Date Published
February 2003
9 pages
After an overview of the system of criminal justice administration in Malaysia, this paper explains the functions and structure of prosecutions, with attention to the role of prosecutors in criminal investigations, followed by a discussion of police investigations and cooperation between the police and the prosecutors.
The investigation of crimes in Malaysia is the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies. Prosecution is solely in the hands of the attorney general, who has the discretionary power to institute, conduct, or discontinue any criminal proceedings; however, the attorney general's discretion can only be exercised on the basis of the outcome of the investigation conducted by the appropriate enforcement agency. This paper outlines current Malaysian laws, regulations, and directives that govern the conduct of prosecutors. Police are empowered under the Police Act 1967 to investigate the commission of any offense and to apprehend the suspect. Based on the evidence obtained through the police investigation, the prosecutor must decide whether or not to bring charges against the suspect. The purpose of the prosecution is not to obtain a conviction, but rather to lay before a judge what the prosecution considers credible evidence relevant to the alleged crime. Prosecutors have a duty to present all evidence relevant to the case in a fair and impartial manner. Prosecutors are not investigators in Malaysia; however, they do hold consultative meetings with investigating officers, scrutinize the progress and outcomes of investigations, offer legal advice and instructions to the police regarding an investigation, and ensure that all the evidence in the case was legally obtained. The paper presents a chart to show the chronology of the steps in prosecutorial case screening.