By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, Jan 30: The state Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) has no issue in granting leave to Chinese officers in light of the Chinese New Year celebration amidst the current monsoon season.
State Bomba director Khirudin Drahman said all is well on the ground at the moment, as the agency continues to monitor the flood situation across the state.
Collaboration with other agencies made it possible for immediate rescue and evacuation exercise, including the channelling of food and other aids to flood victims.
“We were told that leave is frozen from November last year till March unless for those who are really in need. However, when it comes to the Chinese New Year celebration, we don’t really have much problem as we have a small number of Chinese officers.
“We are allowed to grant leave to about 10 per cent of our officers, so priority is given to our Chinese colleagues,” he told reporters after the launching of the state fire safety awareness campaign here today.
There are about 21 Chinese Bomba officers in Sarawak, he said.
With regards to the flood preparedness in light of the monsoon season, the manpower issue had always been addressed much earlier, Khirudin pointed out.
“We will continue to monitor potential flood areas based on the meteorological department reports and take early action. So far, evacuation exercises have been running smoothly in flood-hit areas across the state, including dissemination of food and other aids.
“We did not receive any complaint from the affected community as well as the local elected representatives,” he said.
Khirudin commended the state Natural Disaster Management Committee, headed by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, for being able to organise all relevant agencies to work together to manage flood incidents.
Meanwhile, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii expressed content with the state Bomba for their dedication and commitment to ensuring public safety throughout the monsoon season.
This is especially considering that some personnel would be given leave during the Chinese New Year celebration.
He advised the public to also play their part in ensuring public safety, especially in fire and crime prevention, to ensure that Bomba and other agencies have a smooth festive season. — DayakDaily