PENANG — Penang Gerakan Youth urged the Home Affairs Ministry to conduct an investigation to ascertain whether the security company, which owed its guards salaries for two and half months at the Penang Hospital, had violated the law.
Penang Gerakan Youth Chief Hng Chee Wey said if there was violation, the Ministry should not hesitate to blacklist and freeze the company’s licence.
“Appropriate action should be taken against the security firm as their integrity and the efficiency to manage the company are in doubt. Hardly a year after being given the contract, the issue of outstanding arrears of salaries cropped up which is detrimental to the running of this service at a government hospital which provides an essential service to the public,” said Hng in a statement.
Hng, who is also Bukit Bendera Gerakan division chairman, was commenting on the plight of the security guards whose firm was engaged by the hospital’s management.
Hng expressed hope that both the Ministries of Health and Home Affairs would pay special attention on this issue.
He said Gerakan would bring up this issue with Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Hilmi Yahaya via the Barisan Nasional channel to ensure similar incident will not recur
According to press reports, a group of security guards on duty at Penang Hospital went on strike on Oct 19 because they have not received their salaries for two and a half months. On Oct 20, some of the guards did not report for duty, resulting in certain departments at the hospital opened without any guard on duty.
Although the security company concerned had on Oct 21 managed to settle the outstanding arrears, some of the guards still refused to report for duty.
Hng stressed that Gerakan was concerned with the matter because the hospital is a place opened to the public and it cannot run without security guards to ensure public order. Any fault in the security measures will invariably create anxiety among the patients, medical personnel as well as the public.
“Two and a half months without salaries for the security guards concerned, how are they and their families going to survive?” said Hng.
He hoped the hospital has some contingency measures to ensure that similar incidents will not recur, including initiating action to repudiate the agreement with the security firm concerned.