Fire safety awareness should be strengthened as it affects investor confidence, says Bandar Kuching rep

Firefighters, police and civil defence personnel in a group photo with Dr Yii (standing ninth left) at Padungan's famous cat statue.

by Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Jan 21: Inculcating public awareness about fire prevention and safety is crucial as it is one of the key considerations in foreign investors’ financial analysis.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said the public may think that the amount of damage in fire incidents will not have much effect but if they look at the ‘micro’ losses, it will give a negative impact about the country’s economic growth.

“Foreign investors will evaluate the level of fire safety in a country before they decide to come in to invest. They will analyse and if the statistics are poor, they can choose to leave and invest in another country,” Dr Yii said today.

Speaking at the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) fire safety awareness campaign at Padungan fire station today, Dr Yii added therefore it is important for the public to realise this and have fire safety and prevention awareness nurtured from home and at an early age.

“I am happy to note that here in Sarawak, Bomba has been aggressively implementing its education programmes such as 3K Club (Kelab Kanak-Kanak) at kindergarten level and Fire Cadets at secondary level. Inculcating the habit of fire safety and prevention among children should be turned into daily practices,” he asserted.

Dr Yii also contributed RM20,000 to Bomba Kuching in appreciation for the sacrifice, hard work and efforts of firefighters.

He thanked the firefighters for taking great care of the community, not only by putting out fires to save human lives and property but also saving animals and assisting throughout many other ‘odd’ emergencies, while at the same time putting their lives on the line every day.

Kindergarten and preschool children in a group photo with Dr Yii (back row, black shirt), Khirudin (on Dr Yii’s left) and firefighters at the fire safety awareness programme at Padungan fire station.

Meanwhile, Bomba Sarawak director Khirudin Drahman warned the public that fire incidents could happen to anybody, regardless of social status and background.

“Fire is blind. It does not select its victims. That is why it is important for us to strengthen community participation when it comes to fire safety awareness. For this coming Chinese New Year, I also urged those celebrating to think: with people spending more time at home such as cooking while entertaining or relaxing with family or friends, and over usage of electrical appliances, the risk of fire increases. People are more likely to be distracted during this time of year and therefore more vulnerable to fire,” he asserted.

Khirudin gave assurance that the department will continue to strengthen their efforts to raise awareness because they do want to see people before any fire incidents, not after.

“When fighting fire happens, it is already a losing battle because the victims will suffer losses,” he said.

Fire and safety campaigns in conjunction with any festive season usually begin seven days before and ends seven days after.

Since Jan 18, the department has recorded 16 rescue and five fire cases, as compared to 199 rescue and 59 fire cases over the same campaign period last year. — DayakDaily