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CoVid-19 - Implications on the Protection Industry in Southeast Asia

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

Whilst the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia and equivalent lockdown procedures are imposed in different countries, we have gathered some inputs from providers of protective services and security guarding around the Southeast Asian region.

This is what one of our operatives has to say about the current situation:-

Since the government has issued the MCO, like any other industry, close protection has taken quite a blow. Although there are some industries which allow people to work from home, close protection is not one of them for obvious reasons.

This has proven to be problematic for us on several aspects, one of them is recruiting. The idea of virtual interviews is great, and there are many platforms for an organization to utilise for recruiting purposes, platforms such as Skype, Google Meet, Google Hangouts and WhatsApp video call.

However, they only work to an extent that the internet connection is stable enough and this situation has only gotten worse with practically everyone in the country using the internet under current circumstances. Virtual interviews also mean that as interviewers, we miss out on valuable face-to-face interaction and picking up non-verbal cues from a candidate, which is paramount in this line of work.

Another major issue that a Close Protection Operative faces during the movement control as a private contractor is the uncertainty of contracts. Since the MCO requires everyone to stay at home, all business deals have to be put on hold.

As a result, we cannot possibly foresee the outcome of those contracts that are still under negotiation until the MCO is over. This makes it almost impossible to evaluate the financial forecast for the next quarter or so.

Although recruitment and contract uncertainty are major issues faced by employers in the close protection industry, the truth is that there are many other problems that a CP Operative faces during movement control such as health issues, logistics, manpower and even shift rotation.

With the Covid-19 cases on the rise, it seems like we cannot predict anything for even the next few weeks, what more an unforeseeable future.


From QC Protection and Investigations, a partner agency

QC Protection and Investigations Sdn Bhd, a licensed security agency have been at the forefront of security services for the past 15 years.

Helmed by YM Tunku Kamil Shah from the Malaysian Royal Family and run by Mr Chandrashekar Rao, they were the pioneers of bringing Nepalese guards into Malaysia during its conception.


By: YM Tunku Aznal Shahabudin bin Tunku Kamil - Business Development Officer

On 16th March our Malaysian Prime Minister made an announcement to restrict movement nationwide starting 18th March until 31st March (now further extended to 14th April) in a bid to stem the rising number of COVID-19 cases.) in a bid to stem the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Included in the announcement is the order to temporarily close offices and businesses, except for essential services.

As our industry is security, we are a part of those essential services. We have decided to let our administration staff work from home. The only people who are needed to operate during this time are our operational team as we have over 500 security guards nationwide.

Our business isn’t affected because we are the 1st line of defence; the only difference is that we have taken extra precautionary measures to limit the exposure such as providing hand sanitizers, masks, educating our security guards practise proper hygiene, social distancing and to stay safe while at work

We are continuously educating our frontline staff on the importance of adhering to the safety precautions; as their health and wellbeing is vital, not only to safeguard our respective clients but also because our employees are our biggest assets.


From John McVey, former British Royal Military Police, CEO of Shield Global.

Shield Global (SG) is a Security Training and Management Company. Our services are delivered by an ‘International Team’ made up from an elite group of security specialists, with the capacity for worldwide cover.

Bringing together the very best in the market, we provide training, management and bespoke services for a range of clients and projects. SG is an ambitious new company born out of strong core values, high standards of professionalism and a commitment to always deliver a first-class service.


As we celebrated the start of a new decade, an unwelcome guest began its journey across the globe in the form of a vicious coronavirus, now known as Covid-19. The impact on all businesses globally due to Covid-19 has already been immense.

Shield Global is a Security Management and Training Company, delivering services through an ‘International Team’ of security specialists, with the capacity for worldwide cover.

Countries going into lockdown/isolation and strict rules for travelling and operating within those countries meant within a couple of weeks our workload had gone from extremely busy to virtually ‘zero’.

‘Zero’ was our initial synopsis, but it is not ‘zero’. Our trainers were scheduled to be in Asia for the first quarter of our training calendar, this continent has seen a rapid spread of the virus. So, not to take any unnecessary risks we postponed this work and focused our energy on business in Africa and Europe. Unknown to us at this stage, we were to be faced with a global pandemic that would halt most of our business.

Therefore, the swift decision was made to put all our overseas training and consultancy work on hold for a few months.

Like ourselves, many businesses are having to quickly adapt, for example moving their workforce out of offices and into their homes, of course working from home has its own challenges and limitations.

Were we prepared for this?

We know this crisis will be resolved, but we don’t know when and what the long-term impact will be.

The real question is how can we ensure our company can work through this and survive?

We need a strategy.

An effective strategy must apply proactive, mature and intelligent strategic business decisions. Organisations whose model is to respond in a knee-jerk, reactive manner will ultimately fail and lead to them disappearing from the marketplace.

Building ‘resilience’ into our strategy is more important than ever, this includes understanding the difficulties that may be faced and having options for solutions to deal with them.

There is and will always be a requirement for work in the security industry, we just need to be able to understand the current climate and adjust accordingly.

Businesses, premises, assets and people still need to be protected. Currently we are working with clients and partners preparing security teams who will be required to assist in this crisis. If the current situation escalates further, our other emergency services will not be able to cope, security will be ‘front line’ requirement.

The challenge to being able to continue as a provider or supplier is less that of a security specialist but more as a business professional, being able to navigate the complexities of management and leadership during not only a crisis but also for when the world returns back to ‘normal’.


Remember: Stay at Home, and stay safe!

We know that it is frustrating being cooped up at home, and everyone feels it too.

But rest assured that this too, shall pass. We will emerge stronger than ever, and band together in this time of uncertainty.

Thank you to all the frontliners in the health, police and military service who are putting their lives on the line for us every day as well as the essential workers in supermarkets, cleaning and maintenance.

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