Jul 04, 2013

    Malaysian food outlets hire armed guards

    WITH violent snatch thefts, assaults and robberies of restaurants and their patrons in Malaysia, food outlets are resorting to hiring armed guards to protect them.

    South Sea Seafood Restaurant in Kampung Baru Subang, in Selangor, is one such restaurant which has invested in extra security to ensure customers feel safe.

    "It is an unusual and costly move for a restaurant, but we feel that prevention is better than cure," said restaurant owner Terence Wong.

    The failure to hire armed guards proved costly for the owners of Lala Chong Seafood Restaurant, which has two outlets. Robbers armed with parangs hit its Ara Damansara outlet in Selangor in April.

    Manager Wong Thian Foh said the company has had security personnel for its Kayu Ara restaurant since 2008, but felt that the one in Ara Damansara was secure enough because it was located in a posh neighbourhood.

    Last month, several restaurants in Kuala Lumpur's Pudu and Cheras areas suffered a similar fate.

    The rise in crime could be linked to a repeal of the Emergency Ordinance (EO) last year, which saw some 2,000 detainees being freed.

    If even a third of them returned to crime, that means that there are about 800 hardcore criminals on the loose in the country. Police, however, believe the number could be far bigger.

    Most of the youth released from detention under the EO usually return to their old ways, a police officer who requested anonymity said.