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7 Jun 2019

5 Illegal Things You Didn’t Know You’re Guilty Of

Just because you’ve never been charged with a crime or have never been thrown in jail doesn’t mean you’re entirely innocent when it comes to performing illegal acts.

In fact, many of us break the law every day — without even knowing it. Curious to know if you’re one of them? Read on to find out if you’re guilty of doing any of these illegal things below.

#1. Using someone else’s WiFi

Illegal Doings-Using someones wifi

You’ve probably done this at least once in your lifetime. After all, piggybacking on someone else’s WiFi seems insignificant and doesn’t affect anyone. But in reality, you could be breaking the law.

According to Malaysia’s Computer Crimes Act 1997, a person is guilty of an offence if he intends to secure unauthorised access to computer material of any kind. This means that accessing any secured or unsecured wireless network — including your neighbour’s WiFi — is considered illegal. In countries like the UK, India and Germany, piggybacking wifi is a clear crime because people could use it to get away with criminal activities.

Perhaps it’s a good idea to get your own internet plan.

#2. Jaywalking

Illegal Doings-Jaywalking

Did you know that according to the law in Malaysia, the act of crossing the road unaided (also known as jaywalking) is actually an offence?

So, if you’re caught crossing the road when there is a bridge or zebra crossing within 100 metres of where you are, you could be fined a penalty of up to RM500. Moreover, if you’re jaywalking and a car happens to hit you accidentally, you may not be able to make a full claim against the driver due to your own negligence.

Makes you think twice about dashing across the road, doesn’t it?

#3. Wearing camouflage prints

Illegal Doings-Wearing camouflage prints

If you love wearing your camouflage-printed pants because it makes you feel cool and badass, we’re sorry to burst your bubble.

Although camouflage-printed clothing was fashionable back in the day, according to Malaysia’s Minor Offences Act 1995, it is actually illegal for anyone who is not a member of the armed forces to wear camouflage clothing. Anyone with the possession of clothing resembling camouflage uniform similar to the armed forces could be fined up to RM500, face imprisonment or both.

Yikes, time to Marie-Kondo your wardrobe and ditch those camo pants!

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#4. Using commercial music and images for your assignments

Illegal Doings-Using commercial music and images

Are you freely including images from the internet in your assignments or using the latest pop songs to spice up your presentations? You may think that crediting the photographer or artist is sufficient, but in fact, you may be in violation of Malaysia’s Copyright Act 1987.

Content such as music, images, films and sound recordings are considered intellectual property of the creator. If the creator decides to take legal action for unlawful use of their content, you could be fined up to RM20,000 for each instance that violates the copyright.

Stay on the safe side by using royalty-free stock photos from sites such as Pexels, Unsplash and Pixabay. For royalty-free music, check out Bensound and HookSounds.

#5. Shaming someone on social media

Illegal Doings-Shaming someone on social media

Did a road bully force you off the road? Witnessed someone pretending to be asleep on the MRT so that he didn’t have to give up his seat to an elderly? It’s easy to snap a photo and post on social media to vent your frustrations. But did you know that you could be sued for defamation?

According to Section 499 of the Penal Code, a victim can sue a person who has made a statement that damages their reputation. Even if you did not use the person’s name in your social media post, it can be considered defamatory as long as some people can figure out who the person is. Not only that, you can even get sued for sharing a defamatory post.

So, do think twice before posting something nasty on social media. If you’re determined to share your experience to warn others, make sure you only state the facts and refrain from attacking the person’s character.

Have we missed out any other illegal things most people are guilty of? Let us know in the comments below!

Has this piqued your curiosity about the law? Learn more about studying a Law Degree in Malaysia in our comprehensive guide here.

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