Nowadays, we often see footages of individuals recording themselves when being confronted by the police. The question is; are we allowed to do so?

MyWatch chairman Datuk Sri Sanjeevan Ramakrishnan clarified that there’s no law stating that a person is refuted from taking pictures or recording videos of others in public.


However, one is not allowed to take any obscene photos or anything that may affect a person’s reputation. This refers to Section 509 of the Penal Code.


“If you take a picture of someone in an enclosed place (such as a toilet or a room) with the intention of damaging their reputation, and the picture contains pornographic elements, then you could be jailed for up to 5 years,” explained Sanjeevan.

However, the person is allowed to record if they feel that the police’s action was inappropriate. But they must abide by these three conditions:

1. First of all, the action doesn’t interfere with the policeman carrying out his duties. When recording, you are refuted from provoking the police officer on duty, in a way that the police are interrupted from doing their work. In this case, the recorder could be detained under Section 186 of the Penal Code.

2. The second condition is courtesy. It would be better if the recorder asked for permission from the officer in advance to record this incident and explain which part of the action that they felt was inappropriate before recording it.

3. Lastly, do not slander the police. It is considered an offence if the recorder spreads the video online using a slanderous caption, such as twisting the facts of the story. Unless, it is clearly depicted in the clip that the police were the ones in the wrong.


Source: Sanjeevan Ramakrishnan.

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