PETALING JAYA: Malls, clubs and hotels in the country are taking their own steps to improve security to complement efforts made by the police.
This comes as Indonesian police shot dead three suspected militants over plans to bomb a police post during this holiday season.
According to the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association, patrons’ safety has always been a top priority and malls are well manned when it comes to security, with larger malls having more than 100 personnel as well as the help of the auxiliary police.
Association adviser HC Chan said the number of mall visitors can increase by 50% during the year-end holidays.
“A mall can have tens of thousands of people at any one time during this period so naturally security personnel are required,” he said.
However, Chan said patrons also have a part to play in security.
“Certain malls go further by putting up notices to remind visitors about the steps they can take if they notice someone or something suspicious. In a way, they are also educating patrons to be vigilant,” said Chan.
Malls also rely on CCTVs to help keep a better eye on the happenings and provide evidence to authorities should the need arise.
Chan said these CCTVs had been used in the past to identify suspects for petty crimes committed in malls and could prove useful in more complex situations, too.
He is also grateful that Malaysian malls have so far been spared the violence.
He added that violent incidents have prompted malls in Thailand and Indonesia to employ tighter security measures such as having bag scanners at entry points.
“These strict measures may not be needed here at the moment as the police are helping keep the situation under control,” said Chan.
Roen Cian Nagapan, operating partner of The Group that owns the Roof in Bandar Utama said the company took security very seriously.
Patrons are subjected to patdowns to detect illegal items such as weapons or drugs.
“Personnel are also trained on security matters and we also personally attend to any altercations that might happen in our club,” he said.
Roen said the club was preparing for the influx of patrons on the eve of Christmas and New Year as both events fall on a Saturday.
“We will beef up to the best of our ability and we are quite fortunate because we have the help of the auxiliary police at our building too,” he said.
Hotels have also been taking necessary steps to ensure safety of patrons remain top priority.
According to the Malaysian Association of Hotel’s chairman, Cheah Swee Hee, hoteliers have drawn up standard operating procedures to deal with emergencies and crises.
“Terror situations and how to handle them have also become topics at conferences and we are also educating ourselves.
“We will continue to be vigilant to deal with any situation from the petty to the major ones,” he said.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said that it has taken immediate steps to further strengthen the security measures at the airports under its management.
“Some general measures include tighter controls over the issuance of airport security passes, increase in patrol frequency by our aviation security personnel, increase inspection on all access doors as well as heightening the overall security checks at all security checkpoints involving passengers, goods, and airport personnel,” said a spokesman from MAHB, adding that it is also enhancing collaboration among all relevant agencies and authorities to ensure the highest level of security at the airports.-thestar