Friday, 1 November 2013

Whither the Security Guards Companies Part 2 - Shameful Expose

By: Danny Liew Shan Lee

Shameful!  Yesterday’s robbery at Tomei (a local jewellery chain) at Festival City Mall, Setapak here in Kuala Lumpur was again committed by an armed guard.  Whilst there was no casualty, the beleaguered industry took yet another beating on its image.

Early news reports had indicated that the security guard-turned robber was believed also to have gotten the job using identification documents obtained via dubious means (Armed security guard with fake ID robs goldsmith shop in Setapak,  

While in the first robbery, Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) can be absolved from being faulted; there is almost no reason to absolve them for this robbery. 

Wrong Priorities
The first robbery should have prompted immediate action by the police force to do a sweep over the roll-call of individuals working in the industry, focusing on those who have access to arms.  Yet, the first few arrests were made on security guards without weapons. 

Painful Revelation

What comes next is bitter to swallow.  In a press conference yesterday by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi revealed that the Kawalan Prima Sdn Bhd, the employer of the murderous guard, had been penalized three times for offences ranging from employing illegal immigrants and individuals with criminal records (Zahid Hamidi: Operations by 'killer guard' security firm now illegal,  


The lack of follow up action by the Home Ministry before the tragic murder of Madam Norazita is extremely discouraging.  Had a proper follow up action to account for the validity of all the employees of the security firm, Madam Norazita would still be with her family today (Disclaimer: at no point the Minister had disclosed when the offences had been committed.  If the last offence was committed more than one year ago, the ministry is off the hook).


Efforts to prevent recurrence

 When we published our first article on this issue (Whither the Security Guard Companies – Bank Officer Murder Opens a Can of Worms, published 27 October 2013), we did not expect to broach on this topic again so soon.  

In the wake of incidents that bring doubt to the service provided by the industry, we would like to call upon the Home Minister to consider the following options.

  1. Enforce a freeze in licensing in the industry.

Freeze in licensing will stop the growth in the industry in terms of number of companies.  In our previous article, we mentioned that there were more than 400 companies.  However, according to Home Ministry figure, this has since reached more than 600 companies.  

  1. Enforce minimum wage in the industry.

Operators that could not sustain their operations with minimum wages in place will be forced to close down.  Currently, some of the larger security firms do not have sufficient manpower to operate, which is also a contributing factor for the industry in cutting corners by hiring illegal immigrants.

  1. Consider to set a minimum professional fee for the whole industry.

Currently, some security firms were not able to compete with newer security firms which are willing to provide service at lower fee, thus undercutting firms which are more established.  These firms are usually in for the contract, rather than to provide proper service to their clients.

  1. Enforce security firms to pay wages via bank account crediting.

It is an open secret that employers of illegal immigrant have to pay the wages in cash.  Thus, enforcing security firms to pay their wages via bank account will force the industry to employ Malaysians with valid identification documents, or at least Gurkhas with valid working documents.

To force a buy in in the idea, the Home Ministry should consider getting banks to waive all fees related to the wages crediting.


Two cases is one too many to swallow.  Safety of all Malaysians is at stake.  Let Madam Norazita’s death not be in vain and hers be the last.  One death alone is already too much to bear.

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