PETALING JAYA - The recent spate of shooting incidents and other violent crimes has resulted in a sharp rise in the need for services of armed bodyguards and security personnel.
Several security firms are reporting a shortage of trained armed personnel and are rushing to train more skilled guards, with one company saying there had been a three-fold increase in demand.
Security Services Association of Malaysia president Datuk Seri Mustapa Ali said security firms were training more armed personnel.
"The use of former police and special forces personnel as armed bodyguards is no longer enough to cater to the demand.
"We have had several meetings with the police and Home Ministry to discuss the training of civilians as armed bodyguards," he said.
Mustapa said security firms charged between RM8,000 (S$2,700) and RM10,000 a month for armed bodyguards which he said was "not cheap".
He said the training of civilians to complement the Certified Security Guard programme was expected to start after the Hari Raya holidays.
"Candidates will have to go through a two-week crash course by the police before they are allowed to handle firearms," he said.
Chico Force Sdn Bhd executive director Niho Khoo said the firm's armed personnel services were "sold out".
"The demand for armed bodyguards is so high that we are really hard-pressed,'' she added.
Khoo said there was a new demand for a bodyguard who also doubled up as a personal aide.
"There are clients who want not just a security member but someone who can take up other corporate duties such as manage the boss' itinerary, flight plans, accommodation and to even sit in and take notes during meetings," she added.
Khoo said the executive aide-de-camp (EADC) project involved training for between six months and a year, covering firearms, close-combat techniques, defensive driving and close protection skills.
"All EADCs trained are snapped up. There is a long waiting list for such services," she added.
Khoo said there were companies which even sent personal assistants for security training.