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Is it an offence to kiss in Malaysian taxi?

February 14th, 2008 · 6 Comments

Today is Valentine’s Day, read this post before you kiss your girl friend… 

I was informed by some of my foreign friends that they were surprised when they saw the “no kissing” sign in Malaysian taxi. Why is passenger prohibited to kiss in Malaysian taxi? Is it an offence?

On another event, you may also hear of couple being fined for holding hands in a park. (will discuss this issue in my next post) 

Few weeks ago I have also received a comment from one of my readers stating that his friends were threaten to be fined for RM2,000 by the police when they were caught to be kissing and hugging in the car. 

I guess you must be wondering what are the laws or rules governing this area. Do we have something like indecency or obscenity law in Malaysia?


Photo source:

(translation of the text on the sign: Please be polite, don’t do offensive thing in taxi)


Relevant Malaysian Laws

Section 268 of Penal Code provides that
(1) A person is guilty of a public nuisance, who does any act, or is guilty of an illegal omission, which causes any common injury, danger, or annoyance to the public, or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger, or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right

(2) A common nuisance is not excused on the ground that it causes some convenience or advantage

Read literally, it would mean that if anyone does an act which causes annoyance to the public in general, it can amount to an offence under this Act. Annoyance here must be something which will offend the public in general.

Section 290 of Penal Code provides for punishment for anyone found guilty of the offence of a public nuisance under Section 268 of the same Act.

Section 290 of Penal Code stipulates that whoever commits a public nuisance in any case not otherwise punishable by this Code, shall be punished with fine which may extend to four hundred ringgit.

Do you think a mere act of kissing in taxi will constitute to public nuisance or offensive? This issue has not been tested in court, anyway. May be the sign is not prohibiting mere act of kissing but prohibiting one to do something which is offensive.

I guess the key issue is not so much of what you have done but whether the public deem that such an act is annoying.

Again what is offensive to you may not be offensive to me.

The test perhaps should be a subjectively objective one i.e. not so much of what would that particular taxi driver feel instead would an ordinary Malaysian taxi driver deem that a mere act of kissing in taxi is offensive?

Perhaps you have not been a taxi driver, you won’t know. But would you feel offensive if a couple are kissing in your car while you are driving?

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Tags: -==Legal Tips==-

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kean-Jin Lim // Feb 14, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Good to know.

  • 2 Kitkat // Feb 17, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Free show in the car… why not?

  • 3 Eddie Law // Feb 19, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Kean-Jin Lim- thanks for dropping by.

    Kikat- distraction leh

  • 4 iCalvyn // Feb 21, 2008 at 11:53 am

    here everything also cannot… that why people here look like frog in the jungle.

  • 5 Is it an offence to hold hand in the park in Malaysia? // Feb 24, 2008 at 10:59 am

    [...] RSS ← Is it an offence to kiss in Malaysian taxi? [...]

  • 6 Eddie Law // Feb 24, 2008 at 11:03 am

    iCalvyn – I thought it should be “frog under the well”

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