Local security company explains why AKB48 attack would never happen in Singapore

29 May 2014 / 2 years 4 months ago

The New Paper
Thursday, May 29, 2014

Screwdrivers and penknives found in fans' bags won't be allowed into the venue at events here, much less a 50cm-long saw.

A spokesman for the security company in charge of protecting Japanese girl group AKB48 during their visits here in recent years said that the slashing would never have happened in Singapore.

Mr Michael Ho, the operations manager at Events Security Specialists, has seen it all.

His company is known for providing security here for US singer Lady Gaga, Australian actor Hugh Jackman, Hong Kong stars Andy Lau and Jackie Chan, Taiwanese singer Jay Chou and South Korean groups Girls' Generation and Super Junior.

Mr Ho told The New Paper yesterday: "We will ask fans who are going on stage to meet stars to empty their hands. "Even on stage, we will stand behind the fans so that we can react the moment they whip out something they are not supposed to.

"During bag checks, we will ask fans to discard potentially dangerous objects like penknives and letter openers if we find them." Mr Ho remembered a man who had a screwdriver in his bag. "He said he was a mechanic. I told him he had to throw it away regardless.

"If not, he would be barred from the event." He said: "Sometimes, if we feel that someone who is carrying dangerous objects is suspicious, we advise the organiser to call the police."

Mr Ho said that a body search has never been done at fan events since his company started handling them in 2008. Should that be required, he would tell the organiser to bring in the auxiliary police officers.

A spokesman for Fast Track Events, which has organised many Korean star fan meetings, told TNP: "The security (personnel) always alert us when they find sharp objects which can be used as weapons.

"But this is very rare. On the whole, fans in Singapore are obedient and nice." A fan meeting or concert here can see up to 100 security specialists being deployed to protect the artist and fans. In Mr Ho's experience, anyone can be potentially dangerous.

"So both men and women are on the security specialists' radar. The most shocking "attack" he had witnessed was on a local female celebrity at an event where a teenage girl tried to slap her after failing to kiss her.

"I stepped in and grabbed the fan before she could slap the artist," Mr Ho said. "The fan started yelling vulgarities at her and we pulled her away quickly before any harm was done."

Get The New Paper for more stories.

Join in the talk