KUALA LUMPUR: The Security Industry Association of Malaysia (PIKM) has called on the government to consider placing private security guards in the priority category for vaccination as soon as possible.
Its president Datuk Seri Ramli Yusuff said there are 900 security companies licensed by the Home Ministry across the country that provide security guards to various industries and government agencies.
"More than 120,000 security guards work around the clock to ensure the safety of their clients, and this function obviously assists the police in managing the safety of society.
"Most of the guards belong to the 25 to 60 age group.
"The most-affected are Nepalese security guards, although the number is not large, who have contracted Covid-19 while on duty," he said on Sunday (June 20).
Ramli said the association had written to the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme in February and appealed for priority vaccination for security guards.
"Following which, the Health Ministry informed us to advise our members and security guards to register individually through MySejahtera.
"We also wrote to Khairy Jamaluddin, the coordinating minister for the programme, on May 31 and we sincerely hope he will address our appeal. This appeal was also extended to the National Security Council," he added.
While the number of guards who have been vaccinated could not be ascertained as members have been advised to register via MySejahtera, Ramli said based on feedback from association members, the bulk have not been vaccinated yet.
Ramli said an estimated 70,000 guards are deployed at shopping malls, retail areas, banks, other commercial places and residential complexes throughout the country while 50,000 others man hospitals and schools and other government-linked agencies.
"Private security guards interact with the public closely as part of their job, making them vulnerable to infection.
"The guards are frontliners at all guarded premises and they are at high risk of being infected.
"They are tasked with ensuring all visitors or shoppers (including employees) go through temperature checks and registration," he added.
Ramli added that the security sector was not categorised as one of the sectors under the International Trade and Industry Ministry's Public-Private Partnership Covid-19 Industry Immunisation Programme (Pikas).