Security firms lament being left out of govt aid

PETALING JAYA: They are listed as an essential service and part of the front line in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, but security guards are facing a battle of their own.

Private security companies say they have been left out in the cold, with many other essential services given assistance by the government. Former Selangor police chief Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah, who now operates Tun Security Services, said although the government formally recognised security guards as part of the front line, “we are not being treated as such”.

“We should be treated like the other frontliners. Our guards are there at the front too, checking visitors and taking their temperatures.

“No one has given us any masks, hand sanitisers or protective equipment, let alone food. We are being sidelined. Frankly, it’s as if we are non existent!” he said.

Tun Hisan, who was Deputy Commissioner before his optional retirement in 2013, said while the government previously announced 10 million masks would be distributed to frontliners first and then the public, security guards were not considered in the same category.

“Security companies are left to provide the guards with face masks and sanitisers. Imagine the cost. The guards are using them every day. They have to screen hundreds of people daily,” he said, in appealing to the government for help.

Tun Hisan said the Security Industry Association of Malaysia had written to the government for assistance but nothing had come of it.

Chico Force Sdn Bhd executive chairman Datuk Seri Juniur Khoo echoed the view, saying security guards “are the unsung heroes of the moment”. “Our guards are exposed to this invisible enemy and right now, they are only armed with their teeth,” he added.

Khoo said Chico Force was providing its guards with “whatever we have for now”.

“We spent about RM10,000 for face masks for our guards. But what about guards from the other companies? I see some not wearing masks. Some don’t even have enough uniforms and they reuse them. This is dangerous. Not just to themselves but also to everyone else,” he added.Khoo said security companies were not asking for more support than the rest.

“We just want what we deserve. Don’t take us for granted,” he added.
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