Should the original proposal remain after public consultation ends this Saturday, all IMDA officers would have the authority to enter private property to seize possession of films that have not been approved for distribution or public exhibition, without the need for a warrant.
They would also lead the investigations without the need for the police’s involvement.
That means even the mere suspicion of working on a film deemed illegal by IMDA’s vague guidelines could send IMDA officers to your home. If you are not present, they can go ahead and knock your door down.
Even debt collectors don’t have that privilege.
This must be an exciting career development for most IMDA officers who rarely get their hands dirty outside of the office. Thus, we imagine what their standard operating procedures would look like if the changes are approved and public outcry is ignored.
You may wish to use this line to prevent confusion: “This is not a survey. We are here to conduct an investigation.”
2. If there is no response after two minutes, proceed with the lawful breaking and entering of the premises. Use flower pots and bricks to break glass windows, or a stainless steel dustbin to knock down the front door.
To kick down a door, apply a front kick on the keyhole. Avoid jump kicks as you will lose stability and thus power.
3. Search the premises thoroughly and confiscate all electronic items – PCs, laptops, tablets, phones and hard drives.
4. Remember to place the “Your house was searched by IMDA officers while you were away” card on the front porch.
5. If the suspect answers the door, display your identification clearly and proudly. Explain that IMDA has received complaints about an illegal film in his possession, and that according to the Films Act, you need to verify this.
6. If the suspect cooperates and lets you into the house, ask for the film in question to be shown. If the suspect denies you entry and tells you to leave, remain calm and polite. Kindly remind the suspect that you have the authorisation to enter the premises forcefully, and that he probably does not want his gate nor his bones to be broken. Remember to smile when saying this.
7. Once the film has been verified to have contravened the Films Act, inform the suspect that you would be confiscating all relevant personal items, and that you will be bringing him to IMDA for a kopi session.
You may or may not want to inform the suspect that there will not actually be kopi.
8. If suspect becomes agitated or rowdy and refuses to comply, remain calm and professional. Raise your voice sternly and remind him that this is in accordance with the law.
Only use force when visibly attacked. Place the suspect in a chokehold and hum a lullaby to calm his nerves before handcuffing him.
If you cannot physically restrain the suspect, especially if he is too large, it is possible to bore him into submission by narrating all 30 sections of the Films Act.
9. The entire commotion will certainly draw the attention of neighbours. You will most likely appear in a viral video on social media, which can be a good form of advertisement for IMDA – as long as you are not getting your ass kicked by the suspect.
Always look professional and appear to be winning the fight. Do not embarrass IMDA with wimpy punches and badly concocted vulgarities.
10. Accountability is important. Always conduct raids in a pair (at the very minimum). But IMDA also understands that since you are not exactly well-equipped or well-trained for this kind of operation, having a partner will allow the both of you to push the blame to each other in the event of an unsuccessful raid.
11. In the event that film in question is found to be legal, or there is indeed no such film in existence, bow to the suspect apologetically and offer a Spotify gift card for his troubles.