Bukit Aman: No Search Warrant Needed But Uniformed Cops A Must While Carrying Out Searches
Bukit Aman has issued a new directive for plainclothes police personnel who visit homes of individuals for investigations.
Under the directive, plainclothes personnel must be accompanied by uniformed police personnel when carrying out searches.
Today, 15 July, The Star reported Federal Crime Investigation Department director CP Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hassan saying that the directive has been issued to prevent impersonations and remove any doubts of owners or caretakers to the identity of the investigating policemen who visited their premises.
"The raiding officer can also furnish the premises' owner or caretaker with the number of the nearest police station to verify the policemen's identities if they are still doubtful," Jalil said.
Jalil also stated that officers with the rank of Inspector or higher do not need to produce a search warrant to carry out their investigations
The same was conveyed by Penang police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain, who said that police do not need a warrant to do a premises search if they are investigating an arrestable offence.
According to Shuhaily, while owners of private premises have the right to refuse entry to anyone, they cannot do so with the police if they are there to raid the premises as the police have the right to enter any private premises with the intention of arresting a suspect without a warrant, reported Malay Mail.
Anyone not cooperating with the police can face action under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing a public servant from carrying out their duty, Shuhaily added.
The section carries two years' jail, or RM10,000 fine, or both upon conviction.
The directive comes after a video showing a recent incident in George Town, Penang went viral. During the incident, several plainclothes cops were seen attempting to enter a woman's apartment late at night.
The incident happened on 12 July and was livestreamed on Facebook for 52 minutes by the woman, who refused to let the plainclothes policemen enter her home as she had doubts about their identities.
In the video, which was recorded by the woman from behind her closed grille door, a group of men are seen in plainclothes with only one of them wearing a yellow 'PDRM' vest.
A man, who appears to be one of the security guards at the condominium, is also seen in the video.
During the late night incident, one of the plainclothes policemen was carrying a set of bolt-cutters and demanded that the woman open the door or they will have to pry open the door grille.
The woman, who appears afraid, tells them that she doesn't believe they are real cops.
This goes on for almost an hour during which they urged the woman to even call 999 to confirm their identity but to no avail, as the woman said that they did not have a search warrant either.
The stand-off finally ended after two uniformed policemen arrived and assured her that the group of men waiting there were real police, following which she cooperated and allowed the team to carry out their search.
Shuhaily stated that the team was there in search of a male suspect in relation to a cheating case. However, the raid found that the man was not at the scene so no arrests or seizures were made that night.
Earlier, IGP Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani assured that police officers will be prohibited from conducting random checks on foreigners:
In May this year, three plainclothes police officers were arrested for attempting to extort an unmarried couple in Johor: