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KUALA LUMPUR, June 16:

The government reserves the right to tap phone calls of Malaysian citizens, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and de facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri.

In a written reply to Kluang Member of Parliament Liew Chin Tong, Nancy revealed that the Public Prosecutor had this right, as stipulated under Section 116C of the Penal Code.

“The Public Prosecutor is empowered to allow the police to intercept communications should he or she feel that the communications may contain any information pertaining to the commission of an offence.”

Nancy said that there were three ways to intercept.

First, is by intercepting, apprehending and opening any item via postal delivery, secondly, by intercepting any message sent and received via any telecommunication mode, or by intercepting, listening or recording any telecommunication conversation.

Nancy also listed other laws which contained provisions for such actions, namely Section 27A of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, Section 11 of the Kidnapping Act 1961, Section 43 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 and Section 6 of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.

Nancy was responding to a question by Liew as to the regularity the deputy public prosecutor had been permitted to intercept emails, telecommunications and posts of politicians and criminals, as well as members of the public between 1998 and 2014.

“From 2009 onwards, there was no communication interception involving any politicians.

“Requests for communication interception are usually made during investigation or intelligence gathering by police or other enforcement agencies.

“The request usually does not refer to any specific subject, but more for communications which need to be intercepted for information gathering and evidence, for intelligence gathering and criminal investigation.”

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