Women harassed by stalker but language barrier gets in the way when seeking help from foreign security guards

HOW often have you asked for directions or simple assistance from a foreigner working as a security guard, only to be confronted by a non-comprende blank look?

This was what happened to a group of young women who sought assistance from a security guard after being harassed by a stalker in the car park of the Pavilion Damansara Heights.

TikTok user @qstiena (also known as Tina) shared her harrowing experience via a video which had been viewed almost 2 million times before being taken down. In the video, the young lady recounted how she was suspicious of a strange man who appeared to be waiting for her to alight from her vehicle in the basement parking lot.

She remained in her car while waiting for her friends whom she had contacted to arrive. The perpetrator is seen clutching his private parts while insisting in engaging with the victim in conversation. He also took pictures of Tina and her friends despite them refusing his request for snapshots.

According to the New Straits Times, they sought aid from mall security personnel but language barrier hampered efficient assistance. Fearing for their safety, they sought refuge in the ladies’ room, deeply affected by the distressing situation.

Quality of security guards

The revelation of the encounter prompted netizens’ concern over the security guards at shopping malls as well as the safety of the young ladies. Troubling news indeed and the point that needs to be raised is the quality of security personnel being hired to ensure safety of patrons.

The Pavilion Damansara Height is an upmarket establishment and surely visitors should expect that security guards can offer assistance when required, not least when a group of young women is being harassed by a pervert.

A Facebook pic of a security guard at Suria KLCC who is well-trained to carry out his job

The issue of undocumented foreigners being hired as security guards have been highlighted over the years. This particular case clearly highlights the lack of proper training for those whose job it is to ensure safety of patrons, in this case lacking basic communication skills.

There is little point in hiring security firms that simply decorate the mall with walking uniforms when they do not possess basic language skills to offer meaningful assistance.

One would have thought that the management of such a swanky establishment would have been more stringent in appointing security firms. They should have insisted that the criteria for security guards include ability to speak English and/or Malay.

It is very lucky that the young women concerned were physically unharmed though they are probably mentally traumatised from the experience. Businesses really should do better in this respect in ensuring the safety of its patrons.

Let’s not have a repeat of the case of Canny Ong who was raped and murdered after being abducted in the carpark of Bangsar Shopping Complex before meaningful action is taken.  – Nov 30, 2023

Main pic credit: Hype MY

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