Why this abuse video of a security officer will make you question everything


Last Updated on 2016-08-31 , 4:49 pm

When we came across this video, we can’t help but want to share it with you. This video shows a young security executive who started beating on his 62-year-old security officer because of issues on the ground.

Now, we can’t claim to know what’s going on, and we have no idea whether the reaction is justified or not, but honestly, to escalate it to violence and beating on a guy old enough to be his father, maybe even his grandfather is taking it a tad bit too far, right? And that’s not all.

When another security officer attempted to stop the assault, the security executive physically assaulted him as well, hitting him a few times before walking away in a huff. And a bit of swagger, although we’re not sure if that’s real, or just from our overactive imagination.

The Union of Security Employees (USE) has lodged a report with the police to investigate the incident.

Steve Tan, Executive Secretary of the Union of Security Employees said, “USE was alerted to the incident by our ground officials. We are currently looking into the matter and will work with the authorities on the necessary enforcement measures. We condemn any abuses of our officers and will do our utmost to protect our members.”

Did you know you may be responsible for this state of affairs?

Some time ago, we wrote about security officers in our article as one of the most overworked and under-appreciated jobs in Singapore, and it’s still true even till today.

Ask most Singaporeans what they think about security officers, and they’ll tell you that it’s a dumping ground for ex-police officers and ex-regulars of the SAF when they finished their contracts and have nowhere to go.


Go to other countries and ask anybody about what “private security” means to them, and they’ll most probably think “burly men, thick set jaws and a penchant for violence.

Legalized to act on their violent tendency to boot!” But come to Singapore, ask about private security, and most will tell you, “botak cek, old, fat, and have a good life because they get paid to sit around.”

In a nutshell, security officers in Singapore are not respected. And you can see that from the abuse incident.

Why is this your problem?

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has been targeting the low- wage workers in Singapore for quite some time.

They’ve managed to wrestle the cleaning sector into some semblance of order when they managed to license the Progressive Wage Model as one of the licensing requirements where cleaners are now paid higher based on their productivity and contributions to the company.


NTUC has set its sights on the private security sector which now occupies the position of “lowest-paying sector” in Singapore.

NTUC’s Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing has highlighted that in order for the private security industry to improve the pay, condition and image of the industry, we must first change our mindset about security officers.

Image: unscrambled.sg
Image: unscrambled.sg

Don’t believe? Try putting yourselves in their shoes.

Do you say hi to your security officer, these men and women who are responsible for your day-to-day security?

It is a shame if they are only given jobs to open and close gates.

Toh Yong Chuan, a Straits Times reporter who went undercover as a security officer, wrote, “What I liked least was having to spend an hour stuffing letterboxes with a notice about the swimming pool closure and checking at the start of the day that more than 500 light bulbs in the lift lobbies, walkways and carpark were working.”


“In just two days there, I felt my self-esteem being nibbled away, not least because I learnt quickly that a security guard does his job best when he is invisible and doesn’t draw notice to himself.”

“Just smile, do your job, don’t engage with residents, don’t give them any opportunity to complain. Over two days, only twice did people thank me,” he laments.

Image: saseye.com
Image: saseye.com

Why do some of them feel unmotivated? Because who will treat them well if neither their superior nor you bother to respect them?

Question yourselves, why are they poorly trained to deal with emergencies?

Do the security agencies earn enough from their clients (e.g. building owners) to invest in these officers? Don’t pretend that it is not a Singaporean habit to look for the cheapest deal and expect more discounts year after year.

Image: asiaone.com
Image: asiaone.com

Would you be willing to do a secondary job for no extra pay? And if you don’t agree, you get a pay cut?

Some officers are forced to clean up messes because the building cleaner is not on duty, and if they don’t, the tenant can threaten their security agency with penalties of failing to ensure public safety (aka liquidated damages, read more about it here).

Image: wragge-law.com
Image: wragge-law.com

Can you accept a pay cut year after year?

Some of these officers have to accept it because their clients want to squeeze every cent out of their agency by asking for cheaper contracts every year (aka cheap-sourcing), and penalizing the agency if even 1 officer doesn’t show up for work due to MC for by finding other faults with the company (liquidated damages again, where the agency “pays” to please the client, and docks their officers’ pay).

Image: aspirantsg.com
Image: aspirantsg.com

We shouldn’t be surprised if there are many other cases of abuse of security officers, but question yourselves, are you responsible for abusing their right to fair wages and workplaces because you cheap source without thinking of the consequences?


If not, the incident that you see above? It’s just going to happen again. And again. And again.