PETALING JAYA: An anti-crime NGO wants the government to determine the authenticity of the legal status of all security guards in Malaysia, following the revelation by the police that seven suspected Abu Sayyaf militants with fake MyKads were found working as private guards.
Malaysians Against Rape, Assault & Snatch Theft (Marah) founder Dave Avran said the National Registration Department must check all guards in the country due to the number of cases of foreigners with false identity cards finding employment in the security industry.
In a statement today, he said appropriate action should already have been taken after the fatal shooting of bank officer Norazita Abu Talib by an Indonesian guard with a fake MyKad in the Subang Jaya AmBank robbery in Oct 2013.
In February last year, the Federal Court of Appeal rejected an appeal from La Ode Ardi Rasila, who was sentenced to death for the murder by the Shah Alam High Court in August 2014.
“This clearly shows that nothing has changed in the last four years as far as security companies are concerned,” Avran said in a statement today.
He said the operators in the industry should also get MyKad readers and devices to read data on the chips of the guards’ identity cards for verification, as the chip inside a MyKad cannot be counterfeited.
“The application programme interface for these and the dongles are relatively cheap and easily available so it would be a cost-effective exercise for the private sector, including security companies, to use this method,” he said.
“Other suggestions Marah can offer would be fingerprint-scanning before security guards are issued firearms, and yearly reviews of gun permits for renewal.
“At the end of the day, it’s the security companies’ responsibility to submit the criminal background checks of new recruits to PDRM for vetting,” he added.
Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun announced yesterday that Bukit Aman’s Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division had traced the seven individuals suspected of involvement with Abu Sayyaf which has pledged its allegiance with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist network.
He said the men, who were arrested on Sept 14, were working as security guards for private companies in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
Avran said the case raised a lot of questions. “Firstly, shouldn’t all security companies have immediately updated their guard-hiring policies after the Ambank shooting incident?”
“Did these militant ‘guards’ get their salaries banked into their bank accounts?” he added.
“If yes, how did they acquire bank accounts with a fake MyKad when a biometric thumbprint verification is a standard requirement?
“Then again what about their group insurance, EPF and Socso accounts? Were these also created with their fake MyKad? How did these slip through the necessary verification processes?” he asked.
Earlier on Sept 5, police announced the arrest of 19 men suspected of having active links with the IS, some of whom were planning to launch attacks during the closing ceremony of the 2017 SEA Games on Aug 30 and the 60th Merdeka Day parade the following day.
The suspects, arrested in an operation from July 4 till Aug 30, included 11 foreigners from Bangladesh, the Maldives, Iraq, Palestine, Indonesia and the Philippines. A few of them had directly participated in terrorist planning and killings, as well as other combat activities with the IS or its affiliates.