Starting next year, all personal security guards or bodyguards are required to undergo special training and be commissioned by the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).
Ministry of Home Affairs secretary-general Alwi Ibrahim said the training will be made mandatory for the renewal of licences to carry and handle firearms by private security guards annually.
"This measure is necessary to ensure that security companies do not arbitrarily rent firearms to any individual on the basis of being a private security guard," he said when closing the Certified Security Guards (CSG) 38/2016 Series Training Programme in Kuala Lumpur today.
In addition, Alwi said the training aims to enhance supervision and the quality of private security guards to ensure all security guards are adequately trained in addition to being the eyes and ears of the police.
At the event, a total of 408 security guards completed their CSG training held for six days at Police Training Centre (Pulapol) which started on Monday.
Also present were deputy inspector-general of police Noor Rashid Ibrahim and Security Services Association of Malaysia (PPKKM) president Mustapa Ali.
Meanwhile, Personal Bodyguard Association president Basri Ali hailed the ministry's decision to put the recruitment of bodyguards under PDRM.
"These changes set a new benchmark for personal bodyguard services and is logical and reasonable to put into practice," said the defence minister's bodyguard when contacted by Bernama.
Basri said the association which has a membership of over 200 bodyguard companies nationwide supported the government's decision to enhance the safety level of individuals in need of such services.
Global Protection Secure Personal Escort Training Centre adviser Mohd Rani Abdul Rashid said security screening is necessary to avoid hiring drug addicts, thugs and mentally-ill individuals as bodyguards.
Mohd Rani, a former commander of Vat 69 Commando Unit, said the government's decision requiring new bodyguards to undergo training under PDRM supervision is a more diligent approach to produce disciplined and reliable bodyguards.
A ministry statement circulated at the event said this year, it had cancelled the licences of 10 security companies while 10 others were given final warnings.
This followed the 332 integrated enforcement operations conducted by the ministry together with PDRM, Immigration Department and National Registration Department.
Checks were also carried out at 195 schools and 21 hospitals to ensure that companies and security guards comply with all regulations, circulars and Private Agencies Act 1971.