The Malaysian Bar Council’s publication titled Police and Your Basic Rights is one good source for young people to get information on what to do when stopped by the police.
Here are some of the information provided:
When the police stop you
If they are not in uniform, ask for identification or their police authority cards:
Police authority card
Red: Suspended police officer. He has no authority to do anything to you. Walk away.
Blue: Rank of Inspector and above
Yellow: Below the rank of Inspector
White: Reserve police
If they are in uniform:
Note their names and ID numbers on their uniforms.
If they are in a police vehicle:
Note the number plate of the patrol car or motorcycle.
If police question you when stopped
Only give your name, ID card number and address.
The police ask other questions:
Politely ask “Am I under arrest?”
When you are under arrest:
You are arrested if the police:
– tells you “yes”;
– does not allow you to leave/want to take you to the police station; or
– handcuffs you
If you are not under arrest:
You may walk away/refuse to follow him back to the police station or anywhere else, if asked.
When you cannot be arrested:
The police cannot arrest you just because you are a potential witness and want to take a statement from you (112/Witness Statement).
For more information about your rights when approached by the police, have a look at the Malaysian Bar’s booklet titled “Police and Your Basic Rights”, also known as the “Red Book” available from its website atwww.malaysianbar.org.my.