Police have right to check mobile phones, says Pakatan Harapan Minister

(Bernama) – Police personnel can inspect mobile phones belonging to individuals to ensure there are no forms of communications that are obscene, offensive, or threatening to the security of the people and nation, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said the matter was allowed to maintain public order in accordance with the provisions under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

“However, the public should be aware of their rights during a random check, including requesting the identity of the police officer conducting the search for record purposes, in case there is a breach of the standard operating procedures (SOP),” he said when replying a question by Chan Ming Kai (PH-Alor Setar).

Chan wanted to know if there were any reports of SOP violations against police personnel while inspecting the mobile phones of members of the public.

Azis said if an individual felt the police personnel had violated any SOP, they could report it to the nearest police station or at Bukit Aman.

Meanwhile, Azis said police would use any means including ‘phone bugging’ or ‘tapping’ to ensure investigations could be carried out in cases involving security.

“It does not matter if the person is a politician, a businessman or just anyone who is suspected of having the potential to breach security issues and I believe the police will take the appropriate action,” he said.

He said this in response to a question by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) on whether the police were bugging or tapping the phone communications of politicians from the opposition.