The PDRM or the Police Diraja Malaysia, is the country’s main police force and they can do somethings in the name of justice.
For one, they are able to set roadblocks for whenever there are people who try to circumvent traffic offenses (such as driving with an expired license) or if they are trying to look for someone as a result of a follow-up operation (mainly done to apprehend criminals).
In most cases, if you did not do anything wrong, the police will never stop you. However, there are some instances where they might stop you and they may check your belongings as well. Do note that this is only done if they have an absolutely valid reason for them to do so.
That being said, as citizens of Malaysia, you actually have rights as well and in the event that the PDRM oversteps their boundaries, then you can get some law services to represent and provide some much-needed help in this regard.
What are your rights when it comes to the PDRM checking you? Read on to find out.
Can the Police Go Through Your Belongings?
The answer is actually both yes and no. In section 24 of the Police Act of 1967, it states that any police offer can stop or detain a person whom they see is in a possession of something that is considered illegal (such as possession of firearms or illegal drugs).
If the police officer confronts the person, they are given the go-signal to look at what the person is holding. This means that they can take a look at your permits, licenses, and even your personal belongings such as your bag or cellphone.
To put it succinctly, the PDRM is authorized by law to do a stop-and-search if they suspect that someone is in possession of something considered to be illegal or if someone is acting suspiciously.
In most cases, the police officer would just ask you a few questions and may just check your identification cards as a verifying procedure. However, in the event that they would need to check your personal belongings, they can only do so, provided that they are accompanied by an officer ranked Inspector or higher. This is stipulated in the red book.
What If They’ve Overstepped Your Boundaries?
As mentioned earlier, they will only go through your personal belongings like your cellphone if they deem it as practical. In the event that you’ve been wronged by the PDRM, you can file a complaint.
This is actually part of your rights as a citizen of the country. Keep in mind that even though the police may have certain powers over regular citizens; this doesn’t give them the license to overstep your boundaries.
Police officers are still human at the end of the day, which means that they, too, can commit mistakes. If you are going to file a complaint, you can either go to the police department or have an attorney help you.