©New Straits Times (Used by permission)
KUALA LUMPUR – The Bar Council yesterday launched its own version of the “little red book”.
Instead of the thoughts of communist leader Mao Zedong, the booklet explains in simple language to the layman his rights when stopped or detained by police.
Titled Police and Your Basic Rights, the 31–page booklet published in four languages tells you what to do when stopped for questioning and when arrested or under remand.
The booklet also explains a person’s right to remain silent, right to ask an officer to show his authority card and what to do and ask during a body search.
Police and Basic Rights was launched by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz at the council’s headquarters. Nazri said most people were “completely ignorant” of their rights. “They do not have the slightest idea of what the police can or cannot do”.
He said there was a need for mutual respect between the police force and the common man.
“We must co–operate with the police and not be confrontational with them.
“We need to strike a balance between maintaining peace and stability and maintaining the rights of an individual to his dignity,” he said.
He said as the police force strived to improve itself, the public could encourage the process of reform by being aware of their rights.
He said those aware of their rights and prepared to exert them were likely to receive better treatment when detained by police.
Meanwhile, Bar Council president Yeo Yang Poh said the association came up with the booklet following the recent nude squat incident.