PETALING JAYA: The government’s plan to amend current laws to make them more effective against cybercrime should begin with increasing the punishment for such offences, says criminologist Datuk Dr P. Sundramoorthy.
He said although cybercrimes are non-violent in nature, it is critical to increase their penalties due to the rampant number of such cases.
“The financial losses are huge and scammers have caused so much misery to victims.
“As such, incarceration even for first-time offenders must be made mandatory,” he said, adding that heavy sentences must be imposed against cybercriminals.
Sundramoorthy, who is from the Centre for Policy Research at Universiti Sains Malaysia, said the government must also make it compulsory for financial institutions and ecommerce platforms to form a unit that specialises in identifying potential scamming activities related to their companies.
With such units in place, the companies can effectively prevent cybercriminals from their end, he added.
On scams related to cryptocurrency, Sundramoorthy said Bank Negara Malaysia should be given the power to freeze funds used in such scams.
As for the government’s aim to see Malaysia in the top 25 countries in the Global Corruption Perception Index within the next 10 years, he said it was imperative that authorities have the political will to stop criminals.
He said the root cause of corruption must be addressed.
“Special corruption courts should be created and schoolchildren should be provided with early education against corruption,” he added.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that the government aims to achieve a Top 25 spot for Malaysia in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in 10 years.
He also said laws related to cybercrime would be amended as nearly 55,000 cases with a loss of RM1.8bil were reported between 2021 and July this year.