KUALA LUMPUR - The Home Ministry has capped the number of security firms in the country at 800.
It is learnt that with 780 licences already issued, there would be an allocation for only 20 more new licences.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the restriction was effective immediately.
"Only if there are companies whose licences are cancelled will we consider approving new applications," he told a press conference after attending the annual general meeting of the Security Ser-vices Association of Malaysia (PPKKM) at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.
"This is to reduce competition between security companies as the market (for security) is already very limited."
There are an estimated 200,000 guards employed by some 780 companies in the country.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also urged security firms to abide by the regulations.
He said that the ministry had taken action against 693 security guards, cancelled the licences of nine firms and issued final warnings to 33 firms for not complying with the regulations.
Meanwhile, PPKKM president Datuk Shaheen Mirza Habib welcomed the move to cap the number of security firms at 800.
"There will be more problems when more and more companies come into the market," he said, adding that if too many new companies were allowed to operate, there would be undercutting.