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Police have right to check handphones, says deputy home minister

The police are allowed to inspect mobile phones to ensure there are no obscene, offensive, or communication threatening the security of the people and nation, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Home Minister 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 to Chan Ming Kai (PH-Alor Star).

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

Azis, who is also Sepanggar MP, said if an individual felt the police officers 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. I believe the police will take appropriate action." 

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


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