KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — Recording photos and videos of or streaming police officers during theirs raids or arrests in public places can constitute a crime, said the Home Ministry today in Parliament.
In a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (Kepong-PH) Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin said those who commit such an act can be prosecuted for allegedly preventing public servants from doing their duty or under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
"For your information, taking pictures or videos is not a criminal offence. However, it can be an offence when members of the public record videos or make live broadcasts using mobile phones when police officers raid or arrest the public while the police are on duty in a public place.
"Those who record can be prosecuted because it is considered to prevent public servants from carrying out their duties and can interfere with the investigation. It also contravenes the provision under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 which initiates transmission with the intention of disturbing others,” he said in the reply.
Lim also asked on what grounds the police are authorised to ask for and check the mobile phones of individuals.
Hamzah replied that the police may request or seize and have the right to check the mobile phones of persons suspected and involved in any ongoing investigation and not members of the public at random.
"The examination of the mobile phone is only carried out when the individual is suspected of committing a criminal offence under the provisions of the law as follows:
a) Penal Code [Act 574];
b) Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 [Act 588];
c) Sedition Act 1948 [Act 15];
d) Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 [Act 747];
e) Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 [Act 670]; or
f) Terrorism Prevention Act 2015 [Act 769],” he said.
In another matter, Hamzah also replied that the budget for the acquisition of body-worn cameras for use by members of the police has been approved by the government under Rolling Plan 1 of the 12th Malaysia Plan.
"This procurement is still under scrutiny by the Procurement Division of Home Ministry and some issues need to be resolved and are being resolved by the division together with the police,” he said.