Let Malaysians work as part-time guards, says association

Currently, Nepalis are the only foreigners allowed to work as security guards in Malaysia. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: A security association has called on the government to stop the intake of foreign security guards and allow people to work in the industry on a part-time basis if it wants more Malaysians to fill vacancies.

Security Training and Development Association (Stadam) president Khirudin Tajudin said security guard jobs in Malaysia were not attractive to local residents because of their poor salaries and the stigma that they were lowly.

He was commenting on the human resources ministry’s reiteration that it was the government’s policy to prioritise Malaysians in filling vacancies and only allow job openings to foreigners in approved sectors, especially less skilled jobs like security guards.

This came after the home ministry clarified that Nepalis are the only foreigners allowed to work as guards for registered security companies in the country, following news reports that Malaysia is turning to Pakistan for such manpower.

Khirudin said although there were training programmes for security guards, it did not make much difference as clients were not willing to pay more for better trained personnel.

The crux of the problem, he said, was that clients measured security by the number of guards which fit their budget rather than the desired security outcomes.

“I used to have 30 guards who had the Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia certificate, all of them Malaysians, but they have joined other industries because of the pay. I cannot afford to pay more when clients are only willing to pay low rates,” he told FMT.

To enable more Malaysians to join the industry, he said, regulations barring people from working part-time should be abolished.

“I think if you allow people to work as guards part-time, we can get more locals. For them, it will be extra income,” he said, adding that this was allowed in some countries.

Khirudin also urged the government to act against errant security companies who were exploiting guards or not paying their Employees Provident Fund contributions on time.

“These are things which make local people not wanting to be in the industry. I think the government should take a bold step and stop the intake of foreign guards. This will boost the government’s plan to employ more citizens.”

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president Abdul Halim Mansor said the government needed to make the industry more attractive to local residents by greater regulation of the industry, especially where standards were concerned.

“Now, even the government sees it as a less skilled job, so local people don’t see the career prospects,” he said, adding that the authorities should look into how security could be developed into a proper profession.

“In other countries, security guards undergo proper training. They get certification for training courses and this helps in their career development, similar to how police officers or soldiers can progress in their professions,” he said.