Malaysia sets new rules for private security companies

Armed private bodyguards must undergo a two-tier training pro¬g¬ramme to renew their “carry and use” firearms permits starting January next year. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced this and several other initiatives aimed at improving the private security industry. He said the new requirements were aimed at helping to prevent misuse of firearms held by security companies and keeping them from being “directed towards terrorism, gangsterism or other activities that threaten public safety”.

Armed bodyguards must undergo training and be a Certified Security Guard (CSG) before their “carry and use” permits will be consi¬dered for renewal, he said at a meeting of security companies. Companies offering private armed bodyguards will now be required to send their personnel for training by the police and Home Ministry. Dr Ahmad Zahid said this would ensure that security firms do not just rent out their weapons to those employed as private bodyguards. He said the public could go to the Home Ministry website to check the status and background of any security services company from Oct 1.

“Also to be implemented in October is random urine testing on security guards by the National Anti-Drug Agency,” he said. The uniforms, logos and accessories of security guard companies will be gazetted soon to further improve the profession, while Sirim is developing a Code of Good Practices for them. “We are also looking at calling them ‘security officers’, rather than pak guard or even ‘security guards’,” he said.