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BFM Podcast: IS IT WRONG TO FILM THE POLICE?

Source: screencap from Wong Yan Ke’s video

I was asked by BFM Radio to comment on whether it is an offence to film the police. This issue came about when UM graduate Wong Yan Ke was arrested for filming the arrest of his friend. He was arrested and later charged under s. 188 of the Penal Code.

S. 188 of the Penal Code provides the following-

188 Disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant

Whoever, knowing that by an order promulgated public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order he is directed to abstain from a certain act, or to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management, disobeys such direction, shall, if such disobedience causes or tends to cause obstruction, annoyance or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any person lawfully employed, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to four hundred ringgit or with both; and if such disobedience causes or tends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to two thousand ringgit or with both.

Explanation – It is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm.

ILLUSTRATION

An order is promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, directing that a religious procession shall not pass down a certain street. A knowingly disobeys the order, and thereby causes danger of riot. A has committed the offence defined in this section.



UM graduate Wong Yan Ke was charged in court today, after he livestreamed a police raid on a house in Selangor last week, and disobeyed a police officer’s order to stop. We speak with Foong Cheng Leong about whether the public has the right to record the police.

Produced by: Kelvin Yee
Presented by: Lee Chwi Lynn, Hezril Asyraaf

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