Ample laws to allow phone tapping in criminal probes, Parliament told

Law enforcers in the country are empowered under five different laws to tap any communications done by suspects of criminal investigations, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri said today. — AFP pic
Law enforcers in the country are empowered under five different laws to tap any communications done by suspects of criminal investigations, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri said today. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — Law enforcers in the country are empowered under five different laws to tap any communications done by suspects of criminal investigations, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri said today.

The de facto law minister said in a parliamentary reply that the public prosecutor can order the police to intercept communications that are believed to contain any information related to an offence.

This would include intercepting, confiscating and opening any package sent via post, intercepting any messages sent or received through any means of telecommunication, and to intercept, listen to and record any conversations over telecommunications networks.

Nancy said the provisions are found under Section 116C of the Criminal Procedure Code, and also under Section 27A of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, Section 11 of the Kidnapping Act 1961, Section 43 of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission Act 2009, and Section 6 of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.

The minister, however, stressed that since 2009, the authorities have not carried out any telecommunications tapping involving politicians.

“Communications tapping is applied for during the intelligence gathering and investigation process by the police and other law enforcers.

“Applications typically do not refer to any specific subject but more on communications that need to be intercepted for the purpose of acquiring information and statements necessary for intelligence and criminal investigation,” she said in a written reply to DAP’s Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong.

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