Consider Sikh ex-servicemen for security – STAR

5
2013
| The Star | Malaysia| 21 May 2016 | Asia Samachar |

police_sikhLetter to the editor at The Star, an English newspaper in Malaysia, which appeared on 21 May 2016. 

I REFER to your report “Licences of errant security firms to be revoked” (The Star, May 16).

This warning to cancel the licences of security companies that have violated the conditions of their licence, such as having illegal workers, has been repeated time and again but over the years there is little sign of change on the ground.

Often there are such hiccups and then it’s business as usual.

The crux of the matter is that there are just not enough locals who want to make a career as a security guard due to the long hours of work and low wages (RM 800/RM1,000/ basic per month).

Even our ex-servicemen shun this kind of job. The Nepali ex-servicemen that we had looked forward to working here are now opting for greener pastures in countries like those in the Middle East, where the pay and perks are comparatively higher. The Nepalis that are here are mostly civilians and they too don’t come here in droves.

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While we look once again at other countries for security guards I suggest we look in particular at Sikhs from India for our needs.

I know many Sikh military officers since my army days and they tell me that there are thousands of retired military personnel, between the ages of 45 and 55, fit, able and willing to serve as security guards.

An added advantage is that most speak reasonably good English. The Sikhs especially those from the army are generally tall and well built and have a reputation of being brave and fearless.

History will show that the Sikh soldiers under the British Raj fought and helped us win our wars in the then Malaya.

By the late eighteen century the Sikhs were already employed in the police forces of all Malay States and also British North Borneo and Sarawak.

Such was their reputation that till the late 60s when security services was in its infancy the local Sikh jaga (watchman) and his chapoi (stringed bed) were a common sight at banks and other business houses.

Given this backdrop I would strongly urge the Home Ministry’s Deputy Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed that when considering foreigners for work in our security services industry, to give the Sikhs from India an opportunity to prove themselves as the next better option.

I can assure him that he will not be disappointed.

LT COLONEL (R) MOHD IDRIS HASSAN 

Kuala Lumpur

 

[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]

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5 COMMENTS

  1. My thanks to both the Lt Colonels for their views and clarifications and my apologize of any misunderstanding on my part.

    It is hoped that those those who are directly/indirectly involved and/or effected by the proposal will provide their expertise for solution for the consideration of the relevant Authorities.

    The object of having a discussion/debate has been achieved and now hope that the relevant parties will be able to take positive steps in the right direction.

    Hope this proposal will not just remain in the website but there will be some positive developments.

  2. Dear Mr Gursharan Singh Ji ,
    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and speaking up so passionately for the retired Sikh Naujawans of India which actually compliments what I have said about them. However while doing so please don’t lose sight of the topic at hand which is (Consider Sikh ex-servicemen for security) My letter in the Star was to nudge the authorities to change their policy, and look at this particular source (Sikh ex Servicemen) for bulk our security needs. Once this has been agreed then it will have to be worked on a government to government basis with conditions attached. Then the relevant ministries will work out the details. Just like the employment of Indonesian maids where the government steps in to ensure a fair remuneration package and healthy working conditions agreed by both parties. As such I am baffled how I am supposed to have assumed that foreign Sikh ex-servicemen will accept current remuneration packages. Assuming what someone else’s thoughts may mean is certainly not advisable especially when it turns out to be a wrong assumption. I would like to inform that I am not involved in any form of security services directly or indirectly my thoughts are my personal views given the mess that many of our security companies are in resorting to hiring of illegal guards .

    I would to deviate from the topic for a while to thank Colonel Amreek Singh sahib for sharing his views and valuable input. A fine humble officer who served in the Royal Malaysian Rangers. A graduate of Sandhurst the best military academy in the world where he won the Commandants Baton of honor for being the best officer in the overseas category. A rare achievement aspired by many but achieve by very very few.

    Lt. Col (R) Mohd Idris Hassan

  3. Apologies if misunderstood. However I have talked with some immigrant Sikh security guards in my neighbouring housing estate but most are not satisfied with the remuneration package resulting in high turnover rate. Employers will need to improve their remuneration packages and working conditions to get the best including Sikhs. The Colonel’s assumption, if I am correct, that foreign Sikh ex-servicemen will accept current remuneration packages then he may need to reconsider his views.

  4. I read the article “Licences of errant security firms to be revoked” (The Star, May 16) by Lt Col (R) Mohd Idris bin Hassan and also the comments by our learned and respected Mr Gursharan Singh in Asia Samachar.

    From my reading and understanding, Col Idris qualified himself by saying that, “while we look once again at other countries for security guards I suggest we look in particular at Sikhs from India for our needs.” He is certainly not talking of Malaysian sikh ex-servicemen but sikh’s from India. This is where Mr Gursharan had misunderstood him.

    I too had been an ex-serviceman in the Malaysian army and also had worked two years in India, travelling widely. I have seen for myself that there are thousands of Indian Sikh ex-servicemen who will be an excellent alternative to fill in the acute shortage in the Malaysian security industry.

    I strongly agree with Col Idris’s article as it makes sense to bring in sikh ex-servicemen from India to work as security guards in Malaysia for the obvious reasons he had already stated for the remuneration the security industry here has to offer.

    Lt Col (R) Amreek Singh

  5. The retired Lt Colonel has stated that ‘I know many Sikh military officers since my army days and they tell me that there are thousands of retired military personnel, between the ages of 45 and 55, fit, able and willing to serve as security guards’ and he also has stated that ‘Even our ex-servicemen shun this kind of job. The Nepali ex-servicemen that we had looked forward to working here are now opting for greener pastures in countries like those in the Middle East, where the pay and perks are comparatively higher’.
    Thus knowing the poor remuneration packages I wonder what made the Retired Lt Colonel think that most Sikh ex-servicemen would want to accept this position at current low remuneration packages.
    It is common for most Sikhs to prepare financially for their retirement. It is common for most of them to acquire some skill during their service which can be used to have a good source of income on retirement and/or either educate their children with high qualifications who are professionals as this may be evident from the many lawyers, doctors, engineers, others, be they sons or daughters, whose parents were ex-servicemen.
    The Sikh ‘watchmen’ of the past also had another source of income where the other job could be done simultaneously and in most cases this was ‘money lending’ and thus were rarely dependent on the single salary as ‘watchmen’ and also educated their children to be professionals.
    Would be interesting to hear the views of retired ex-service Sikhs otherwise the statement by the Retired
    Lt Colonel may be accepted as a fact.
    SIKHS BY NATURE ARE TAUGHT TO BE SELF SUFFICIENT [BERDIKARI] and NOT ‘SUBSIDY’ MINDED and their GURUS TAUGHT THEM TO GIVE AND NOT TAKE. A Sikh beggar is a rarity and this should give some indication of his way of thinking.

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