KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 6, 2014): Being a security guard will no longer be viewed as a low-paying job, especially with most of the security companies planning to increase their wages this year, thanks to the RM900 minimum wage policy gazetted last year. The windfall for about 220,000 security guards working in some 772 licensed firms will hopefully also see less turnover. The guards can now expect to be paid at least RM2,200 monthly with overtime, EPF and Socso contributions. However, what hovers over the minds of the public, especially residential associations, corporate organisations and all those who hire guards is – will this put an end to the some 40,000 illegal and incompetent security guards who offer their services at a cheaper rate? Security Services Association of Malaysia president Datuk Shaheen Mirza Habib said the price for security guard services has gone up as much as 35% which works out to be from RM7 to RM8 per hour. "This adds up to about RM2,200 a month," he said, adding that employers will now have to fork out more money if they want to hire legal, competent and trustworthy guards. "There are companies that can offer security services for a cheaper price, but most often these guards are illegal and do not have any standing in the eyes of the law," he said. Commenting on security services at residential areas, Shaheen said: "If every household agrees to pay for the services, then the burden is lesser as compared to only a handful requiring the services of the guards." He said residents have to be realistic of the pay hike if they want their homes to be guarded while they are away. "They can also opt not to have the security services but should their homes be burgled, then the loss incurred outweighs the small monthly contribution they have to pay for the security services," he added. Meanwhile, Bukit Bandaraya Resident Association president Datuk Mumtaz Ali said that residents have no choice but to accept the increased prices with the implementation of the Minimum Wage Act as the service providers have been considerate enough not to increase the price last year. "We were informed of the increase, but this will be reflected only at the end of the first quarter or second quarter of this year," she said, adding that house owners have to absorb the cost if they want a crime-free environment. Damansara Jaya Zone A chairman Datuk Yew Cheng Hoe, however differs in his opinion as he feels that the hike would be a burden to residents who will not be able to pay since the overall cost of living has also increased.