Foreigners guarding key points


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 01 Feb 2003

BY SA’ODAH ELIAS

PUTRAJAYA: Some high security areas and installations in the country, considered as security key points, are being guarded by foreign workers. 

In an immediate move, a government committee on security which made the discovery has told the relevant agencies to remove these workers. 

Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Aseh Che Mat, who chaired the Security Key Points Committee meeting here yesterday, said the committee was disturbed at finding that some high security plants in Sabah were guarded by foreign workers. 

This practice, he said, could not be condoned and the Government would take the necessary steps to make sure that it did not recur. 

He said foreign workers were not allowed to work as security guards, let alone at high security and sensitive areas like airports, radar installation plants or Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd and water authority plants. 

A total of 408 installations in the country have been classified as security key points. 

Of these, 119 are categorised as number one security areas and are guarded by either police or armed forces personnel while the rest are under normal security guards with a high security clearance. 

Aseh said the level of security in all these places would also be increased in preparation for the Non-Aligned Movement summit later this month and the OIC meeting later this year. 

He also warned security guard firms that they would lose their licences if they were found to have hired foreign workers as security guards. 

Aseh said the only foreigners allowed by law to work as security guards in the country were the Gurkhas who had previously worked in the British Army. 

To weed out the problem of foreign workers being employed as security guards, his ministry would make it compulsory for all 150,000 security guards in the country to carry the smart card where details of their background would be encrypted into the cards. 

He said that at present only newly-employed security guards would be issued the cards after they had completed their basic training but by the end of the year, the card would be issued to all security guards and those working in security firms, including their owner and board of directors. 

He said owners and the board of directors of security firms would also be required to attend specific training to be conducted by the Home Ministry to guarantee a high level of professionalism in the industry. 

On the new ruling requiring foreign workers to undergo a second medical check-up upon entering the country, Aseh said the move was necessary because the percentage of such workers found to be suffering from contagious diseases was very high. 

He said the percentage included those who were subjected to random check-ups and those who underwent the required medical check-ups after having been in the country for a year. 

“We need this new policy because our findings point to the possibility of some hanky-panky in the medical screening of such workers by the relevant agencies in their own countries,” he added. 

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