The Home Ministry views claims and reports on some 30,000 illegal foreign security guards being employed in the country seriously and will continue to take decisive action to overcome the problem.

The ministry's secretary-general Datuk Alwi Ibrahim in a statement Sunday said stern action would be taken in accordance with the rules under the Private Agencies Act 1971, the Immigration Act 1959/1963 and the National Registration Act 1959.

"The ministry only allows Malaysians and Nepalese to be employed by security companies licensed by the ministry," said Alwi when commenting on a Bernama July 1 report, which quoted Security Services Association of Malaysia (PPKKM) president Datuk Seri Mustapa Ali as saying that at least 30,000 illegal security guards were working in the country.

Alwi said the ministry had initiated an integrated enforcement operation involving the police, Immigration Department and the National Registration Department and formed a task force on Nov 1, 2013, to tackle the issue.

"The integrated enforcement operations have been carried out every week on premises such as schools, housing estates, condominiums, business premises, shopping centres and financial institutions or banks," he said.

He added that from 2013 to June 2016, the ministry had cancelled the licenses of 48 security companies while 60 companies were issued final warnings for various offences, including using illegal foreign security guards.

According to him, 1,208 foreigners working as security guards illegally had been arrested, charged and deported from the country since the operation began in 2013.

Alwi said each year the ministry conducted a management audit of security companies to ensure they complied with all regulations and circulars under the Private Agencies Act 1971.

"Starting this year, the ministry also held meetings with clients who used security services to brief them the importance of engaging security guards who had been vetted by licensed security companies," he said.

Alwi added that the influx of illegal foreign security guards was also due to the fact that certain security companies engaged them to make profits.

"By engaging illegal security guards (security companies) do not have to pay levy, service tax, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and also do not have to look after the welfare of workers, as set forth by the government.

"There are also security companies who purposely do not renew the Temporary Work Visit Passes for the Nepalese security guards who worked with them," he said.

Alwi explained that the ministry did not have detailed information on the number of illegal foreign nationals working as security guards in the country.

He however, urged all parties, including the public and PPKKM to report or provide information and proof regarding the matter to the ministry or its agencies, including the Private Agency Unit at 03-88868034, or email to [email protected].

He also reminded resident associations and housing managements to play their role to ensure only legal Malaysians and Nepalese security guards from licensed security companies are hired.

The ministry will continue to intensify enforcement operations and efforts to reduce illegal foreign security guards, he said.