Ministry looks into outsourcing police work

  • Nation
  • Friday, 20 Feb 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry is studying if certain police responsibilities can be outsourced to security firms.

Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said, for example, community policing could be undertaken by private firms.

“At one time people regarded community policing as entirely the responsibility of the police,” he said after opening the Security Services Association of Malaysia’s annual general meeting yesterday.

“If you want community involvement then maybe this industry can serve in that part.”

He also said that security at immigration checkpoints, now the responsibility of the police, was another area the ministry could look at.

Syed Hamid said outsourcing would allow policemen to be deployed to other critical areas. The police would still be responsible for peace and security in the country.

“We need to identify which areas require proper policing work and which can be undertaken by private security companies,” he said.

For example, he said, in Iraq, which was in a state of war, various security aspects considered the domain of the police and armed forces had been outsourced.

“But in this country we have to look at security and threats. We also do not want an increase in the use of firearms, so we have to study the various aspects carefully,” he said.

On the association’s request to him to reconsider his intention to stop the employment of Nepali or Gurkha security guards, Syed Hamid said the Home Ministry was being cautious, as there were currently 300,000 Nepali workers in the country.

He said Nepalis – though not all are Gurkhas – were military-trained, having undergone compulsory national service back home.

This meant there were more military-trained Nepalis than Malaysian police and armed forces personnel, who total about 200,000.

“We have to be careful that whatever we do will not affect our own security,” he said.

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