PUTRAJAYA: Amendments to the Private Agencies Act 1971 are set to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat in October to rein in the problem-ridden security industry.
Deputy Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said there should be tighter leasing control of security licences to third parties.
Under the proposed amendment to the Act, companies can only lease their security licences to others with the ministry’s approval.
He said gangs had been exploiting this loophole to venture into the security business.
Wan Junaidi told The Star that the ministry formed a taskforce with the police to probe the extent of secret societies’ involvement in local security firms after last month’s turf war in Bandar Bukit Raja, Klang.
He said security firm licences were usually given to former police or military personnel.
“The problem arises when these owners are approached by businessmen to expand their company by opening branches in other states.
“On the surface it all looks fine but some branches become part of the shady dealings as gangs penetrate them. When we ask the owners, they seem to be clueless of what is going on,” he said.
He said investigations were tedious as the industry had been left unchecked all these years and gangs had made it difficult for authorities to prove their involvement.
“At the moment we cannot confirm direct gang involvement but from what has happened, we have our suspicions.
“We are checking the background of about 30,000 people to see if they have any links to gangs,” said Wan Junaidi.
He said the ministry would also introduce amendments to the Act to make it illegal for companies to open branches without proper vetting and approval and to hold company owners accountable for those operating their branches.
Other amendments may include penalties for hiring overage guards or untrained guards and for not paying the minimum wage and the Employees Provident Fund.
Wan Junaidi said 14,821 guards had been trained and vetted since 2014 under the Certified Security Guard programme.