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Dishonest members to face the music

13/10/2009 The Star

THE Security Services Association of Malaysia (SSAM) would like to take action against those unscrupulous members who franchise their licences to third parties pending approval by the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

SSAM president Datuk Shaheen Mirza Habib said there were indeed black sheep among their 350 members.

“To save costs, these third parties usually employ immigrants – legal or illegal – to work as security guards.

“As such, they are able to offer low rates to the residents associations that asked for security services,” he said.

It is difficult to prove that the members are franchising their licences as they often appoint the third party as “branch manager”.

“We can check the bank accounts of both – member and the third party – but it can be a tedious process,” Shaheen said.

Under the current circumstances, SSAM can only advise, but cannot warn, fine or expel its members even if they are found to be responsible for misconduct.

However, this situation will hopefully be a thing of the past soon.

“In our last annual general meeting in February, we decided to amend our constitution.

“We would like to set up a disciplinary committee to suspend or fine dishonest members.

“It will probably take a few more months, subject to the approval of ROS,” Shaheen said.

Under the law, it is prohibited to employ foreigners (except Nepalese) to work as security guards, and the locals must be citizens and not permanent residents.

“Our government only permits 4,700 Nepalese to work as guards in our country, and each security firm can only have 5% of Nepalese in their total guard force.

“The strict regulation specifies that only those Nepalese with permits to work as guards can be employed. Those with cleaning or plantation permits cannot work as guards,” Shaheen said.

To curb such misconduct, Shaheen said the onus was on the residents associations to ensure that they engaged proper security firms for their gated and guarded schemes.

However, the current trend is to call up a few firms to get their quotations, and then employ the one that suits their budget.

”Sometimes, they may be short of funds, so they tend to go for the cheaper one, but you get what you pay, really,” Shaheen said.

The residents associations are strongly advised to do a background check on the security companies by calling up SSAM.

They are encouraged to report any misconduct to the association, too.

“For instance, you can report to us if you suspect that the security firm is employing foreigners as guards.

“Our secretariat will investigate and if found to be true, we will report the firm to the Home Affairs Ministry for further action,” Shaheen said.

As for trained guards, Shaheen pointed out that the ministry specified that at least 65% of a company’s total guard force must be trained.

Otherwise, they would not be able to renew their annual licences.

“It is improving. Previously, it was only 20% and the figure may increase in the future.

“A company usually takes in a guard and then observes him for a period of time. If he sticks with the job and is deemed suitable, then only he is sent for training,” Shaheen added.

The SSAM has a training academy in Bangi, providing three-day training sessions six times a month.

The syllabuses include duties of a security guard, their rights, usage of baton and whistle and basic medical knowledge.

Shaheen, who is also the executive director of Securiforce, said it was not easy to safeguard a housing area.

“To achieve maximum results, you need to fence up the neighbourhood and install CCTV cameras.

“Eight out of 10 residents may be paying now but slowly, nobody pays in the end,” he said.

SSAM is located at 708, Block A, 7th Floor, Kelana Business Centre, Jalan SS7/2, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya.

It can be contacted at 03-7804 7359 or visit


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