Crackdown on security personnel leaves many worried over safety

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 05 Mar 2016

Watching the watchmen: A security guard from Bangladesh manning a security post at a housing area in Petaling Jaya.

PETALING JAYA: A crackdown on illegal security guards by the Immigration Department is giving residents of guarded communities the jitters.

The department is coming down hard on guards who are from Indonesia, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.

This is because under the law, only Nepalis can be employed as security guards but such guards are expensive.

Immigration director-general Datuk Sakib Kusmi said operations to weed out illegals working as security guards would go on.

“Some of them came in for work in other sectors but ended up as security guards,” he told MStar in an interview.

Some residents are worried that the crackdown will leave them without guards and that crime in their areas will spike.

“If there is a shortage of guards, we will have to bear the risk of more break-ins and other crimes,” said Hoh Choo Kim, 61, chairman of the USJ20/ 1-3 RA.

“We welcome guards of all nationalities, as long as thorough background checks are done.”

Sakib, however, said the department was looking at reviewing the policy, which was introduced in 2006.

“It is not so easy to get Nepali guards with a military or police background these days.

“A review will allow trained guards from other source countries to be hired,” he added.

Sakib noted that such guards would still be required to have military or police experience.

He warned that housing associations and their management could face problems if they hired un­trained foreign security guards.

“They (the guards) can easily run away anytime they do something wrong,” he added.

He also said the review could consider allowing locals with a military or police background to be employ­ed as housing area security guards.

“We have many Malaysians who are former army or police personnel. They can be trained to be security guards,” he added.

Based on the Home Ministry’s re­­cords, there are some 24,000 Nepalis registered as security guards.

Between 2014 and 2015, the Home Ministry cancelled the licences of 40 security guard companies and issued final warning notices to 49 others for various offences, including hiring untrained illegals as guards.

A total of 347 enforcement operations were conducted between 2013 and March 1 this year which saw 1,116 illegal security guards and 26 employers detained.

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