PETALING JAYA: Big security companies are sub-contracting their work out to smaller unqualified firms to operate under their name for profits.
Industry players claim that the vetting and hiring of guards are left to the discretion of their sub-contractors.
Labelling them as "franchises", Chico Force Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri Juniur Khoo said such firms were "destroying" the integrity of the security industry.
"These small firms generally cut costs by not properly hiring and training guards," Khoo claimed.
He said such action allowed the firms to offer security services at a lower cost compared to other companies whose guards go through the proper vetting and training process.
"People would go for the cheaper alternative but don't realise they (the firms) offer poorer services, which should not be allowed," said Khoo, whose firm manages security at several major malls.
He advised residents' associations and businesses looking to hire security guards to be stringent in their questioning and only accept guards with proper training and documents.
There are 751 private security firms licensed to operate in the country, of which 125 were granted firearms licences.
Another security company director who wanted to be known only as Sheikh said there was a problem of illegal immigrants working in the industry.
Sheikh said that many illegal workers called his company for jobs but they were rejected.
Security Services Association of Malaysia president Datuk Shaheen Mirza Habib said that under the Private Agency Act 1971, security firms are only allowed to hire Malaysians or selected Nepalese to work as security guards here.
"But anyone can see that this is not being enforced as there are unscrupulous companies hiring other nationalities and even illegal immigrants because they can work for less.
"Moreover, these firms usually do not check on them or provide proper training, but they get customers because they can provide a service for a cheaper price," Shaheen said, adding that around 10% of the security industry hired illegals.
Shaheen also believes 30% or 150,000 security guards in the country were illegals.