Abdul Karim slams Bomba for calling off SAR operation ‘too early’

From left: Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) general manager Abdul Hadi Abdul Kadir; Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) secretary-general Datuk Wira Dr Noor Zari Hamat; Motac Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri; Abdul Karim; Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak's permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee and Sarawak Cultural Village general manager Jane Lian Labang pose for a photograph at the press conference on Oct 3, 2021.

KUCHING, Oct 3: Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah criticised the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) for postponing the search and rescue (SAR) operation for 10 missing anglers as early as 6.30pm.

He was referring to the incident where a boat carrying 10 anglers was believed to have capsised some 21 nautical miles off Pulau Satang Besar in Telaga Air yesterday (Oct 2).

Abdul Karim said he was informed that the Bomba has postponed the SAR operation for the missing anglers as early as 6.30pm yesterday.

“The weather yesterday evening was quite good so why must there be an ‘office hour’ limit for the SAR operation?

“The locals (villagers) on the other hand continued the search last night looking for the victims and managed to rescue nine of them at 1am this morning.

“If the villagers were able to continue their search until late, why can’t the SAR team do the same?

“And where is the Sarawak Coast Guard? We purchased many boats… are they to be tied at the jetty only?” he told reporters at a press conference during his working visit to Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) in Kuching today. — DayakDaily