Chair: Martin Gill

Panellists:
David Sothie Naysado – Senior Lecturer at Saito University College (Malaysia)
Aaron Le Boutillier – CEO of LBG Le Boutillier Group (Thailand)

Key points

Both our panellists today are experienced professionals studying for doctorates.

David Dorai outlined the security situation in Malaysia. The country is still in the midst of the crisis, there are travel restrictions, vaccines are being rolled out. The economy has suffered and this has impacted on security where personnel have lost their jobs. In response, there has been a move for security companies to focus on other aspects of security in particular cyber. On a positive note, the private security sector personnel have been designated as essential workers and this has added recognition to their work. As David reminds us, working on the frontline protecting organisations and their employees is noble work. You will also witness an interesting discussion about the role of security at airports where personal searching by humans on humans is prevented by distancing requirements. David calls on authorities to effectively regulate security, to require a minimum and quality standard, ultimately that needs to be the response and the learning from the crisis, it is badly needed.

Aaron Le Boutillier notes that one of the differences about Asia generally, and Thailand is an example, is that compared to many parts of the world there is a more collectivist view amongst society; people listen to and look out for each other to a greater extent. He feels that in part this can explain why there was a better initial response, people took the threat seriously, understood Government’s tough stance and sought to work with it. That said there has been a second wave which has had a severe impact on Thailand. One emerging issue is the mental health of security managers. There is no data on this but his own work suggests that it is an area meriting much more attention; managers have to be helped to understand their own personal crises. Another has been the extent to which the security sector is suffering, in Thailand too economic adversity is leading to cutbacks. You will hear Aaron discuss the requirements for security as it enters the new normal, and he puts a big emphasis on training, in cyber of course, but also in understanding the stresses of being involved with and managing a crisis.

It is interesting that Aaron should raise mental health issues, our very next webinar is focussed on this point and specifically frontline workers (further details here).

This webinar provided a fascinating insight into two parts of the world that have hitherto escaped close focus. Nearly all countries are facing difficulties, and since Asia was the first to confront the crisis and looks to be first to come emerge from it other regions can look to learn and be guided. There are no easy solutions, but good communication, strong leadership and a commitment to work together are always going to be important as these panellists reminded us, that is the case whichever region is in focus.

Martin Gill
28th January 2021