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Keeping checks on private bodyguards’ use of firearms

KUALA LUMPUR: All armed private bodyguards will have to undergo a two-tier training system to renew their "carry and use" firearms permits beginning next year.  
“The requirement is aimed at addressing the abuse of firearms held by security companies that could be directed towards terrorism, gangsterism or activities that pose a threat and detriment to public safety,” said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid.
From next January, armed bodyguards must undergo training and be a Certified Security Guard (CSG) in order to be considered for permit renewal, he said when addressing the Security Guards Board of Directors and Management meeting here on Thursday.
He said that 64,085 locals guards had undergone CSG training since the programme was implemented in 2014.  
He added that companies offering private armed bodyguards will be required to send their personnel for training with the police and Home Ministry.  
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the move would ensure that security firms do not easily rent their weapons out to those employed as private bodyguards.  
He added that members of the public can check the status and background details of a security company with the Home Ministry online from Oct 1.  
This was among several initiatives aimed at improving the nation’s private security industry.  
Dr Ahmad Zahid said that the National Anti-Drug Agency would be conducting nationwide random urine tests on security guards.  
He said uniforms, logo and accessories of security guards will be gazetted to further improve the profession. 
He said Sirim is also developing a Code of Good Practice to improve the quality of security guard services.  
He added that security firms would be required to renew their permits once every two years instead of annually after Dec 31.  
Dr Ahmad Zahid said that he would raise several requests made by the industry with the Cabinet next Wednesday.  
These requests include standardising the contracts for security guards employed by government departments and agencies to be of a three-year duration with an additional two-year option.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also said that the Government is still mulling whether to allow foreigners, aside from trained Nepalese guards, to be employed as security guards.
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