KUALA LUMPUR: THE implementation of the Certified Security Guards Training Programme is very timely and long over due, said the Security Services Association of Malaysia.
Lauding the programme, its president, Datuk Shaheen Mirza Habib, said it demonstrated the Home Ministry’s will to work closely with security guard companies to address the various ills that have been plaguing the industry for decades.
“For long, we have had to endure the negative perception cast upon guards who are seen as sloppy, untrained and unreliable.
“Now, with the programme conducted by police, the trained guards can walk tall as they are armed with authentic certificates from a highly-recognised academy.
“The public can no longer have negative notions of guards, who now carry with them pride and a high morale to serve the industry diligently,” he said.
He said the role of guards was pertinent in assisting enforcement agencies like police in combating crime.
“Guards are stationed in many strategic locations like schools, commercial offices and business houses, housing estates, condominiums, factories and plantations.
“They are the eyes and ears of the public and first on the scene to provide vital information to the authorities in times of need,” he said, referring to the graduation of the pioneer batch of 602 guards from 170 companies at the Police Training College in Kuala Kubu Baru on Friday.
On the cost of training, Shaheen said the companies have agreed to bear the RM350 for each guard for the week’s programme.
“The cost involves classroom briefing on the ‘dos and don’ts’, meals, marching drills, uniforms and accommo dation. This is a very reasonable figure readily absorbed by the companies, considering the quality of guards being churned out.
“More importantly, the guards take pride in being trained in a prestigious academy. It gives them recognition and boosts their morale. We thank the ministry and police for their cooperation,” he said.
It will take about RM83 million to train the 237,000 guards nationwide with 772 companies.
The Home Ministry has made it mandatory for the guards to undergo a week’s training in police institutions and has given them a year from September to do so, in order for the companies to renew their business licences.
It is also mandatory for new company directors to attend a management course conducted by the ministry.
Due to the large number of guards to be trained, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the ministry would rope in Rela and the Civil Defence De partment to conduct the programme along the National Blue Ocean Strategy guidelines.
Guard applicants will also have to first verify their iden tities by physically presenting themselves at the National Registration Department for biometric processing before their applications are forwarded to the ministry for screen ing.
“These are among the measures adopted by the ministry to improve the security service industry, which has been beset by allegations of sub-standard quality of service, hiring of illegals as security guards and illegal possession of firearms,” said Zahid.
Other than Nepalis, only citizens are permitted to be employed as security guards. Guards from Nepal must have had military or police training and must obtain accreditation from their own country before being employed here.
However, they have to attend a four-day refresher course every year they work here.
Between Sept 1 last year and June 23, 659 illegal guards were rounded up nationwide, eight companies had their licences revoked and 25 others were issued with final warnings.
Zahid said the programme was not aimed at burdening the industry but to safeguard credibility and improve the service quality of guards so that they could earn higher wages.
“Currently, the minimum basic salary is RM900. With allowances and overtime payment, they can take home up to RM1,900. Armed guards can earn up to RM2,500 a month or more,” he said.
To further improve their image, the ministry will rebrand their uniforms into three categories — static guards, armed guards handling cash-in-transit, and maritime guards.