Sep 17, 2013

    Geese join crime fight in Malaysia

    FROM jabbering geese to electric fences, Malaysians are resorting to extraordinary security measures in the face of increasing crime.

    Electric fences designed to shock intruders with non-lethal doses of between 5,000 and 10,000 volts are becoming a feature atop the walls of homes in gated communities and bungalows.

    Mr Teoh Beng Teik, whose company installs electric fences, said inquiries have increased by up to 70 per cent in the last six months.

    "There are more people (considering them), including individual home owners, developers and residents' associations," he said.

    Home owners can expect to pay between RM18,000 (S$7,000) and RM30,000 for an electric fence around a small- or medium-sized bungalow.

    A less drastic measure is the Alarm Spray, which integrates a powerful pepper spray and motion detector. It is priced at RM1,380.

    The system is capable of incapacitating intruders who trigger the motion sensor, and can be activated by remote control as well.

    Security expert Edmund De Run said there have been instances of burglars being knocked out for between 35 and 40 minutes, giving owners enough time to call the police.

    The alarm spray was adapted from a system in South Africa and is gaining popularity.

    Mr De Run said he has also seen an increase in demand for trained guard dogs, with popular breeds like Belgian and German shepherds costing between RM7,000 and RM35,000.

    However, some Klang Valley residents are turning to geese to protect their homes.

    Ms Zainab Yahya said she got the birds 13 years ago to safeguard her home, next to Gasing Hill, from snakes. The noisy birds, which are very territorial, also serve as an early warning system and deterrent to human intruders.

    Ms Zainab, 55, said that her shoes have not gone missing since she got the birds.

    "A few years ago, a man came to collect betel leaves from our garden, but was cornered by the geese. He had to plead with me to call them off and I told him to ask for permission next time," said the teacher, who gave two hatchlings to her neighbours two years ago.