betty July 21, 2022

SINGAPORE – Incidents of security guards being abused make headlines and spark public furore, but discriminatory clauses in service agreements are more harmful to the private security industry.

That is because the clauses point to a systemic problem, said the umbrella body that represents the sector.

Mr Raj Joshua Thomas, president of the Security Association Singapore (SAS): “It is an even bigger problem than abuse – because abuse is incidental but discriminatory and unfair working conditions are systemic.”

Examples of discriminatory clauses include those that specify age limits or allow officers to be sacked without good reason or avenues of appeal, said Mr Thomas, who was speaking on Thursday (July 21) at an annual awards ceremony to recognise exemplary security officers.

He said: “Such clauses in service agreements are negotiated and agreed by the service buyer and the security agency, but affect the security officer.”

He added that SAS recently received notice of another tender that included a clause stipulating a maximum age for security officers.

He did not name the managing agent that put out the tender.

“What I shall share at this time is that this managing agent is a repeat offender,” he said.

SAS has in the past publicised discriminatory tenders for condominium security officers by managing agents Savills and Knight Frank.

It has not named the managing agent as it is still verifying the latest tender, Mr Thomas, who is also a nominated MP, told The Straits Times.

At the event, 150 awards were presented, with the top plaudits reserved for five officers that showed exceptional performance and dedication to their role.

Ms Geethaa Nalatamby and Mr Bharat Kumar Kanabathy received the Security Officer of The Year award, while Mr Pravin Manimaran, Mr Sures Perumal and Mr Neo Ah Whatt received the SAS President’s Medal for Professionalism.

Ms Geethaa, a 29-year-old Malaysian working for Certis, was lauded for comforting a distraught patron she stumbled upon in January while patrolling IMM mall, where she has worked for the last six years.