Unlike police and auxiliary police officers who are empowered to carry firearms for self-defence, private security guards do not have such a right.
But when faced with an aggressive individual, they have a right to protect themselves ("Guard in 'gongfu' fight sent for counselling"; Tuesday).
In this case, the security guard was "doing his job" by stopping a man from selling keychains, as acknowledged by his company's general manager.
It is natural to react defensively when one is attacked. Contacting the control room, as dictated by protocol, may not always be feasible under the circumstances.
The Security Association of Singapore could seek permission from the authorities to arm security guards with batons. They could be made to complete a training course before being allowed to carry them.
Security guards need to be protected while they are carrying out their duties.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.