PETALING JAYA: Neither the media nor the public should be barred from telling the truth, says human rights activist Jerald Joseph.
The former Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner was in the Pudu Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) in Kuala Lumpur and witnessed the incident involving the two journalists and a security officer.
Joseph also said the public was also shouted at and warned not to take any videos.
"There was a private (security) guard walking, screaming and shouting, trying to scold people to get into lines where there was no clear system for lining up from the start.
"He warned people not to take any videos or he would call the police.
"People should be allowed to use their handphones, journalists must be allowed to move freely in public spaces to do their work.
"Fear of informing people is trying to hide messy systems of managing crowds for services," said Joseph.
Earlier on Saturday, two journalists from a news portal said they were harassed by a security guard while reporting on a story about long queues for passport renewals.
The journalists were told that they are not allowed to take pictures and speak to those standing in line along the corridors without formal approval.
A one-minute-long video of the incident was uploaded on Twitter.
In the footage, a security guard can be heard yelling at a reporter, who is heard questioning why he is not allowed to report the situation at the Immigration Department in Pudu UTC.
Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Noor Dellhan Yahaya said that the police were aware of the matter.
"The security guard lodged a report at 12.09pm. It is understood that the representatives from the news portal are in the midst of making their own," he said.