The Position of Similar Fact Evidence in Malaysia

Ramalinggam Rajamanickam, Saw Wei Siang, Anisah Che Ngah, Rizal Rahman


Generally, evidence of bad character of a person especially accused in a case cannot be tendered as it is inadmissible. However, there are few situations where the evidence of bad character may be adduced as relevant in a case if it is provided under the ambit of Evidence Law. Among others, similar fact evidence may be given in a case although it will amount to a bad character of the accused. This article addresses the issue of relevancy of similar fact evidence in Malaysia by referring to the provisions under the Evidence Act 1950 and the decided cases. This article further explains the factors to be considered by the courts before admitting similar fact evidence against the accused in Malaysia. The article found that “striking similarity” which has been used as a main component in admitting similar fact evidence in Malaysia has been relaxed by the Malaysian apex court in the case of Public Prosecutor v Mohamad Roslan bin Desa. The article also found that though the Evidence Act 1950 does not contain any direct provisions relating to similar fact evidence, sections 14 and 15 have been used as similar fact provisions in Malaysia.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n4p539

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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