KUALA LUMPUR: Installation of surveillance cameras should be made a licensing requirement for commercial accommodation.
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) criminologist Dr P. Sundramoorthy said a clear-cut policy should be outlined, requiring closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) to be installed in all hotels and resorts.
“Installation of CCTVs should be made a requirement for licensing of all commercial accommodation.
“Whether budget, homestay, or high-end resorts, including those in remote areas, CCTVs should be mandatory for all,” he told the
New Straits Times yesterday.
Sundramoorthy, who is USM security director, said relevant ministries or agencies should consult security and safety experts to draft a standard operating procedure (SOP) for hotels, with a clear policy spelled out.
The policy, he said, should include specifications of the camera, footage quality, maintenance schedule, privacy concerns and the number of CCTVs that must be installed, depending on the size of the property.
He said hotels should not be given autonomy in this matter as the safety and security of guests should be prioritised.
“Hotels must set aside funds to sustain and maintain the surveillance cameras. Dummy cameras should not be allowed.
“At the end of the day, regardless of the size and rating of the premises, if the management does not prioritise security and safety, then it has failed in taking care of guests and visitors.”
The Malaysian Association of Hotels said there was no SOP on installing surveillance cameras in hotels.
Its president, Samuel Cheah Swee Hee, said it was up to hotels to instal CCTVs and that there were no plans to introduce a formal policy.
“Installing CCTVs is based on individual properties. They are fixed in public areas to maintain guests’ privacy.
“It is up to hotel operators where or how many cameras they want to instal.”
Sundramoorthy and Cheah were commenting on the fact that only one CCTV was installed at The Dusun resort in Seremban where French-Irish special needs teen Nora Anne Quoirin was reported missing and eventually found dead.
It was reported that the CCTV at the resort, installed in a secluded area, was pointed to the reception area.
Nora went missing a day after she and her family arrived for a two-week holiday on Aug 3.
Her body was found 2.5km from the resort on Tuesday.
Post-mortem results showed she died of starvation.
In Putrajaya, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi urged all hotel operators and tourist facilities to instal CCTVs to ensure the safety of their guests.
“We cannot guarantee the safety of tourists because accidents or untoward incidents can happen.
“The case of Nora in Seremban must be made a lesson. Tourists are always reminded to use licensed and ministry-registered tour agents and to be prepared with safety gear for outdoor activities,” he said at a press briefing on last year’s domestic tourism performance.
He said the ministry planned to conduct security checks on lodging premises.
“We urge properties without CCTVs to instal them. Apart from attracting more tourists to your hotel, it also ensures their safety.”
This article first appeared on NST.