Can security guards at condominiums and apartments inspect and detain MyKad or identification documents?
This practice is common in stratified and non-stratified residential areas. In reference to the National Registration Regulations 1990, security guards do not have the authority to inspect or detain a visitor’s identity card.
Regulation 7 defines the category of officers who have the power to inspect: “A registration officer, police officer, Customs officer or any member of the armed forces while on sentry or prowler duty and any other officer or class or description of public officer authorised in writing on behalf of the director-general may inspect the identity card of any person.”
Regulation 8A makes it an offence for any unauthorised personnel to detain visitors’ ICs: “Detaining an identity card of another person is an offence. It is punishable under Regulation 25 for any person, not being an officer referred to under subregulation 7(1), to unreasonably detain any identity card other than his own.”
According to the Private Agency Circular No. 2 of 2007, passed by the Home Ministry, it directed security guards to stop the practice of detaining a person’s IC.
It said security guards could only request cards for record purposes to show entry into premises and they must return them to the owners.
In my opinion, checking is inspecting. The difference is the degree of scrutiny and this may conflict with the regulations.
The question of the legality of security guards obtaining the particulars from the IC arises. Why did the regulations limit the authorised personnel? Is recording a visitor’s data from the IC against the National Registration Regulations 1990?
Security guards are instructed by the premises’ joint management body or management corporation to detain or record the details.
Sometimes, these are laid out in by-laws, but these cannot conflict specifically with the by-laws prescribed under the Third Schedule of the Strata Management (Maintenance and Management) Regulations 2015 and, generally, with any other law or regulation, for example, the National Registration Regulations 1990.
Perhaps the by-laws under the Third Schedule should be amended to insert the rules that prohibit security guards from inspecting and detaining ICs of visitors in line with the National Registration Regulations 1990.
Additional by-laws can be challenged in the courts or in the Strata Management Tribunal.
Under Part 2 of the Fourth Schedule of the Strata Management Act 2013, the tribunal has the power and jurisdiction to order the rectification, setting aside the variation of a contract or additional by-laws, wholly or in part.
Those who had their IC detained by unauthorised personnel should check with the Department of Insolvency on their status.
ARIFF SHAH R.K.
George Town, Penang