No screening for security guard applicants


No screening for security guard applicants: Would you hire these guys?
-by Halim Said , Kalbana Perimbanayagam and Nuradzimmah Daim -

POST: Security guard. Mandatory requirements: Have arms and legs. Optional requirements: Walking ability and experience. Background: Criminals, grandfathers, psychopaths and schizophrenics are welcome to apply.

If you think this is funny, we advise you to stop grinning. This is serious.

The above job description, tongue-in-cheek it may be, sums up the frustrating state of affairs of the local security industry, as The Weekend Mail test on Thursday revealed.

Prompted by the recent revelation that one of the guards detained in connection with the RM3 million heist in Shah Alam on June 11 had been arrested under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) several years ago, we sent two reporters to apply for a job as security guards. It was a cakewalk.

All they had to do was answer simple questions and fill out forms.
It seems that no one has heard of the Private Agencies Act 1971 that requires mandatory vetting of an applicants background before he is employed.

Our test on Thursday revealed that the Act remains just that mere words, neatly bound in leather and tucked away in some obscure bookshelf somewhere.

Not that anyones really bothered that we managed to pull it off, AGAIN. Yes, The Malay Mail had run the same test in 1990 and 1992.
Sixteen years on, we find that nothing much has changed. Hang on. Better make that NOTHING has changed.

It was so ridiculously easy. Our reporters were sent to guard an office-cum-service-apartment building and, get this, a bank, of all places; a day after applying for the job!

The companies clearly dropped the ball on this one; not even bothering to check our reporters background. Neither were they asked to undergo a medical check-up. Not even a simple urine test.

No wonder Selangor police chief Datuk Yahaya Udin was furious the other day when he found out that one of the security guards detained in the Shah Alam heist had a shady past.

In that incident, robbers had sprayed bullets at an armoured car ferrying money to a bank before escaping with RM3 million.

Four security guards were subsequently rounded up, including the one with the colourful past.

The authorities were moved to say something. They did, but chucked originality out the window. Their words were exactly same as their predecessors.

Expect more of that in the next few days after our report hits the streets.

We are tempted to print some of the recycled statements but then again, we dont want to bore you with deja vu.

We do pity the guards, though, as many are earning less than RM300, working 12-hour days, putting their lives on the line daily to ferry millions for their bosses.

That, too, is not new. Read what our reporters went through, and decide if you want to laugh, cry, or continue with the services of your guard.

MM says: Another SSDD, bro? Same Story, Different Day.