Some 12,000 security guards have lost their jobs after the Education Ministry introduced a new shift system. The Malaysian Safety Industry Association (PIKM) said the ministry had introduced a new three-shift system with only one guard per shift. “In the past, we had two guards each for two different shifts, but the new system has reduced the number of guards, resulting in loss of jobs for these workers,” said its president Datuk Seri Mustapa Ali.  Mustapa said some 40,000 staff members were initially hired to guard 12,000 schools across the country. He said most of those who had lost their jobs have been in the field for many years and would have a tough time finding jobs in other professions.

Mustapa said they had written several times to the ministry to review its decision for the benefit of the workers and their families. The new shift system also limits working hours to eight compared with 12 in the past. “Since their working hours have been reduced, their wages have also reduced by half to RM1,200 per person,” he added. He said this during a press conference organised with PIKM’s deputy president Datuk Sri Ramli Yusuff and honorary secretary Shah Jahankhir Hameed in Subang Jaya on Monday (Feb 25). There was also a suggestion by the Home Ministry to use the services of Rela members to substitute underperforming security companies at schools. PIKM was told that this was a cost savings directive by the Finance Ministry.

However, Ramli said that the move was not feasible, especially since Rela officers were not covered by insurance. “The government may feel that using Rela is a cheaper solution since Rela officers are only paid an allowance of RM6 per hour. However, there is a lot of hidden costs involved,” said Ramli. The government, he added, would have to look at providing uniforms and logistics for Rela officers as additional expenses while security companies include all these costs in their quotations. The alternative, added Shah Jahankhir, was to give other members of the association the opportunity to take over the contracts. “We should also encourage more people and Rela members to join the security industry instead, to ensure stable jobs with (employee) provident funds and Socso contributions,” he added. Ramli said there was a memorandum of understanding signed with Rela members in 2010 to hire them as security guards but the response was poor.

On another matter, PIKM said their members have been badly affected by the Nepalese government’s decision to bar their people from working in Malaysia. Most of their members have paid the levy, visa and other payments needed to bring in 5,000 Nepalese workers. Mustapa said the security companies needed these workers to replace those with expiring work permits. “To resolve this problem, we suggested another source country – Bangladesh. However, our request was turned down. We hope this will be resolved soon,” he added. The monopoly of one source country providing workers are proving to be a problem, added Mustapa. He said there should be several countries to provide workers to ensure a healthy competition and more options for security companies.


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