Fire aid: Standard procedure for Sarawak govt to give RM70,000 for each family in longhouse or village

Bomba Sarawak director Datuk Khirudin Drahman symbolically puts on an apron for Uggah (centre) at the launch of a fire safety campaign in conjunction with Gawai Dayak held at the Sarawak Bomba headquarters here today. (May 30, 2022) On the right is assistant director of Bomba Sarawak (Safety) Mohd Fauzi Mohd Kifli.

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 30: The Sarawak government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has been giving away compassionate aid of a maximum of RM70,000 for each family in a longhouse or village affected by fire.

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said such aid has been available since Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg took over the government.  

He said whenever there is a fire, the case will be reported to the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) and then to the Resident’s Office, where the information will later be sent to the secretariat of the Sarawak government.

To better help the rural population during natural disasters such as floods, fires, and other calamities, he said an Emergency Response Team (ERT) had been formed in each rural community.  

“People must be empowered and understand their roles in managing fires in their respective areas.

“We have community ERT, Bomba, Rela (People’s Volunteer Corps), those involved in the kampung (village), who assist to be the bridge between the government and the people,” said Uggah at a press conference after the official launch of a fire safety campaign in conjunction with Gawai Dayak held at the Sarawak Bomba headquarters here today.  

The ERT, initiated as early as 2015, has been set up in more than 5,000 longhouse settlements in Sarawak.

Uggah said the role of the ERT is to assist in any emergency, especially in the interior. 

“Whenever there is a disaster, the community must know what to do. For example, they must evacuate the villagers to a safer place during a flood and make sure that everyone is prepared to leave their houses,” said Uggah.

He said in an emergency, community leaders will first evacuate the people to safety before contacting the government through amateur radio. Upon receiving the information, the government will mobilise its various agencies to move to the interior to give the necessary assistance.

Meanwhile, Uggah also congratulated Bomba Sarawak for its many fire prevention initiatives, including Celik Suri, a training programme to increase awareness among housewives in fire prevention steps.  — DayakDaily