Like Thailand, Malaysia faces issues to do with bureaucracy and its ethnic population; the latter to a lesser degree than Thailand. However, new infrastructure, whether government-sponsored or private, is always being built.
The Asian Professional Security Association's (APSA) Malaysia Chapter is not as involved in the local market as Western security associations are in theirs, admitted Alex Ng, Managing Director of Viewtech & Communication and Committee Member of APSA Malaysia. Raymond Low, Deputy President of APSA Malaysia and Managing Director of Cass Technology, added that APSA does not receive the respect accorded to Western security associations because of local disinterest in involvement for the good of the whole industry. "I believe other Southeast Asian countries' security associations suffer from the same problem. Our new committee plans to aggressively promote the benefits of having a strong industry association, and to raise awareness."
Main surveillance brands are Sony, Panasonic, Pelco, Bosch, Axis, Verint, Samsung, Honeywell, GeoVision, Vicon, Merit LILIN and Avermedia. Bosch is very strong in highway and urban roads surveillance. Leading intrusion brands are Supa 9 by local distributor Alarm & Automation, Paradox, Secom and ADT.
Leading brands in access control depend on market segment, explained Jimmy Low, International Sales Manager at Magnet Electronic & Automation. The low end market is dominated by low-cost, OEM'd, Chinese products. This segment mainly consists of vendors of standalone system catering to few system users, and no software requirements. The mid end segment mostly presents vendors whose solutions are for more than five readers networked with software integration. This segment is made up of small and medium enterprises, commercial buildings, and small government departments. Leading brands in this segment include local manufacturers MicroEngine and MicroID.
The high end market consists of big commercial buildings, government departments, and multi-branch enterprises. This market typically requires advanced integration and networking functionality, whereby operators in different sites are able to log on to a main server for centralized monitoring and control. Leading brands in this segment are Elid and Castle, again local brands. Fingertec, RCG and Vigilance are the leading brands when it comes to fingerprint biometric solutions.
Thomas Choo, CEO of Milestone partner KL Alarm, said that in terms of manufacturing, access control is the product segment that Malaysia stands out in. "However, I believe that my company is the only local manufacturer of fully IP access control solutions." Within SE Asia, the biggest markets for these solutions are banks such as HSBC and ANZac Bank, and government sectors such as Malaysiaˇs Ministry of Interior.
Distribution, Integration and Exports
On the whole, distributors try to sell as many brands as possible, rather than aiming to be sole distributors; thus price undercutting is a constant. Players also aim to have at least one own brand, which is usually OEMˇd from China or Taiwan. Well-known distributors are Alarm & Automation (known as A&A), Saxco, Stratel, Sensorlink, and Bricomp Technologies. Notable integrators are Chubb, Secom, O'Connor's, and Johnson Controls.
Malaysia has strong links with Mauritius because of their shared and sizable ethnic Indian communities, said Philip Saint-Pere, Managing Director of Stratel: Direct flights have been in place for many years, and a number of Malaysian vendors have business in the island state. Even though Mauritius is one of the most stable African states, it is also a popular tourist destination and thus security-conscious; in the past two years the government has encouraged the deployment of burglar alarm and other security systems, making the country the second largest African market for security after South Africa.
Upcoming and Recent Projects
Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS) is a comprehensive traffic information system developed for City Hall Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) to monitor traffic flow and analyze road data in the Klang Valley (which includes Kuala Lumpur) to provide real-time traffic information to road users. A traffic control surveillance system monitors areas within the network, including incident locations, traffic volumes, and congestion levels. Information is also available to mobile phone users. Phase one was launched in early 2007, revealed Wan Yat Hon, Managing Director of Gamma Solution. Phase two saw the implementation of 90-plus cameras, and phase three will see the installation of over 100 additional cameras. In total, there will be over 200 kilometers of roads which will be monitored.
Penang and Malacca are both seeing construction of prisons, said Michael Tan, Director, GSF Solutions. Kuala Lumpur's Mid Valley City, one of the country's largest urban development projects, boasts 11 buildings hosting both residential units and offices, two shopping complexes, and three hotels. Construction is still ongoing; meanwhile Pelco and Merit LILIN cameras have been installed within the complex, and Johnson Controls is among the systems integrators involved. Six hundred doors are also being secured with a fully IP solution.
Bandar Sunway, a community well-provided with amenities developed by conglomerate Sunway Group, has numerous schools, colleges, a hospital, places of worship, and vibrant commercial areas which include the shopping complex Sunway Pyramid user of Sony cameras. Outdoor areas within the community also utilize Sony systems, said Sammy Chiu, Network Solution Specialist, Broadcast & Professional Pacific Asia Division, Sony.
Other recent installations include a few hundred cameras deployed at Kuala Lumpur's Berjaya Times Square, a building containing a huge shopping center, two five-star hotels, and an indoor theme park, said C.F. Yong, Director of Lotus Action. Western Digital Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur manufacturing facilities, located in the cityˇs Free Industrial Zone, has also recently upgraded its system with over 300 new cameras. Malaysia is also home to a number of palm oil producers another lucrative vertical market, as the industry is an established and heavily regulated one.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is currently upgrading its 1997 video surveillance and access control systems. KLIA's network totals over 1,400 cameras, said Frankie Chai, General Manager of Secom Malaysia upgrading is taking place in phases but recording is at present only happening for 30 percent of these. Management is seeking to increase this to 50 percent. Sapura Poweraid has supplied and installed a security system capable of surveillance and access control a t over 1,700 locations throughout the airport; most cameras are by Panasonic.
Malaysia, like many countries across the world, is suffering heavy losses from copper cable theft, said Verghese Thirumala, Managing Director of Maxitulin. Maxis Communications, Malaysia's leading mobile phone service provider, has approximately 5,000 stations. The company is deploying, in the first phase of installment, intrusion systems at 300 of its sites, which are all located in remote areas. The second phase will consist of the installation of a new solution, at approximately 100 sites, that delivers video with alarm to the central monitoring station a system which was created specifically for the worldwide scrap metal theft problem. Tenaga Nasional, the nationˇs largest electricity utility company, is also suffering from the same theft problem.
High rates of hijackings carrying cargo have prompted increased investment in security on roads and highways, said Chai. Traffic control cameras are currently being installed by systems integrator Isolectra Malaysia; 5,000 units are planned nationwide. The majority of cameras present at highways and roads today are by Bosch, one of the leading providers to the Malaysian government due to established history in the Malaysian market.
Malaysia's Biggest Development
Iskandar Malaysia is one of the high-impact developments under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, making the area the new main southern development corridor in Johor. The former South Johor Economic Region (SJER) is the locus of a flurry of infrastructure and other construction activities, including for transportation and telecommunications, worth US$5 billion. As the area is the gateway to Singapore, the government hopes to create a zone which will offer residents a competitive edge over its neighboring city state, and where, unlike other Malaysian regions, profit-engendering infrastructure and organizations are wholly privatized. Tax incentives are hoped to be a big draw to businesses, both foreign and local; the government is also working to attract investment from the Middle East.