PETALING JAYA: They are paid to protect the innocent and the vulnerable. They are armed. They are given access to Malaysia’s most protected places, even the cockpits of commercial planes.
Background checks? That would be a joke, if the risks they pose were not so dangerous.
Meet Malaysia’s security guards. And have a look at what some of them have been up to:
- On Wednesday the police arrested three suspects linked to Islamic State (IS) — two of them were armed security guards in Kuantan for separate companies. One of the two was working for Malaysia Airlines, with access to its cockpits and most protected places.
- Last month there was a bank robbery attempt in Sungai Petani in which the suspect, an employee of a security company, wielded a revolver.
- Last month, a Taiping court sentenced to death Mohd Hafizuddin because the security guard with Safeguards G4S robbed RM1.2 million from his employer and fired shots that killed his 28-year-old colleague.
- In June last year, a security guard was arrested as police investigated an incident where five masked men took less than 10 minutes to blow up two ATM machines and grab the metal containers with the cash inside at a bank near Kota Kinabalu.
- In May last year, 60 foreign security guards who didn’t have any documents were among 92 guards arrested in a special operation in the Klang Valley. City deputy police chief Abdul Hamid Mohd Ali said his team conducted 815 checks on armed and other guards in various locations including schools, shopping malls, banks, jewellery shops, moneychangers, neighbourhood areas and construction sites.
Bukit Aman’s Special Branch Counter-terrorism Division principal assistant director Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay had said in a report published by NST today that there is a need for security companies to conduct more strict screening.
He said that it was critical that the country put its guard up as Islamic State continued to make its mark on this side of the world.
He added that security companies cannot depend only on normal checks and that they must go beyond just checking their applicants’ background to see if they have a criminal record.
In the same report, Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the procedures to vet the guards have been set by the ministry and must be followed “to the tee”.
He also warned security companies that if they failed to follow the guidelines, action would be taken and their license will be revoked -FMT