PETALING JAYA - Taking photographs in a public area does not constitute a criminal offence as long as they are clothed, said a prominent lawyer.
"I honestly don't see anything wrong with it legally as they are clothed. It might not be acceptable to some, but I don't see how it can be a criminal offence, said lawyer Syahredzan Johan.
Photographs of a skimpily-dressed couple in Ipoh, initially believed to be for wedding photographs, surfaced on social media recently, but a wedding gallery manager involved has since clarified that it was for a fashion shoot and not for a real married couple.
"I think the question should be if there is anything wrong in what they did.
"There should be something more than posing in skimpy clothes to constitute a public nuisance under Section 268 of the Penal Code," said Syahredzan.
Lawyer New Sin Yew also believes the act does not constitute a public nuisance as defined by the Penal Code.
"An essential element of the public nuisance crime is that it must affect the community or a section of it, rather than individuals.
"Further, it seems that the intention of the photoshoot was not to cause a nuisance to the public, but for their own private use.
"More importantly, the choice of clothes the couple chose to wear or chose not to wear is entirely their right. They are exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression," said New.
The wedding gallery general manager, who only wished to be known as Koo, had clarified it was merely a photo shoot and the couple were models.
Koo, who organised the photo shoot, said the photographers were merely exploring "creativity" and was surprised by the negative response.
The "groom" was shirtless and wearing just a bow tie and black pants, while the "bride" was clad in white undergarments and wore a wedding veil.
When contacted, Perak police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the matter would be investigated under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act.