Bodyguards in hot demand in Malaysia


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PETALING JAYA - Demand for armed bodyguards has soared in the wake of shootings and other cases of violent crime in Malaysia.

Banks, multinationals and others are hiring armed bodyguards to keep top executives safe, with demand so strong that even prominent businessmen are relegated to a waiting list.

A security specialist in Kuala Lumpur said demand rose sharply after the July murder of Arab-Malaysian Development Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi in a brazen daylight shooting in the city centre.

"Almost every rich Datuk and public-listed company head in town now has at least one armed bodyguard," said the security specialist, who declined to be named. "Businessmen have rivals and they won't know who they've offended in the course of sealing a deal."

Although overall crime is down, violent crime is up. Some restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor have also hired armed guards following recent attacks on diners by robbers armed with parangs.

Police attribute the crime wave to the release of some 2,000 hardened criminals after the government repealed the Emergency Ordinance (EO) in 2011, which allowed detention without trial. But opposition leaders say police simply need to do a better job policing.

As part of an ongoing crackdown, police detained 18 suspected gangsters from the Desa Mentari apartments in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

Meanwhile, a small but growing number of citizens are not taking any chances.

There are now at least 600 trained bodyguards in the country. Eagle Eye Security executive director Noell Kailas said he has received at least 12 requests for armed security from corporate clients in recent weeks.

Filling those requests is not easy. Foreigners employed as

bodyguards are forbidden by law to carry arms. "So, we have to source for local bodyguards who are as good and that's not easy," he said.

One businessman, who wanted to be known only as Datuk Seri Tan, said he hired an armed bodyguard in May after police advised him to.

"I had received threatening letters and phone calls and a friend even overheard someone saying that he would harm me," he said.

Mr Tan chose to have a bodyguard stay close to him - hoping that would deter would-be attackers - rather than have a bodyguard who tailed him at a distance.

The bodyguard comes to his home each morning and waits outside his office during the work day.

"When I walk, he follows. When I'm at the kopitiam, he'll sit at the next table. It's uncomfortable, but I'm paying the price for having a recognisable face," he said.

Re: Bodyguards in hot demand in Malaysia

Datuk is VVIP ... need to get highly qualified bodyguard

Re: Bodyguards in hot demand in Malaysia

Another good bodyguard for hire....


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