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By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Aug 10: In the wake of a fire which razed the only existing longhouse in the Kuching urban area last night, a new Fire and Rescue Station costing RM2.1 million will be built for Batu Kawah area where the longhouse was located.
Batu Kawah assemblyman Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian revealed that the Federal government has approved the funds for the construction of a new fire station.
“We have fire engines and firemen ready to be deployed but a fire station is needed (to be built first),” said Dr Sim in a social media post last night.
Dr Sim, who is also Minister for Local Government and Housing, stressed that his ministry has been persistently applying for the funding from the Federal government since 2018 for a new fire station to be built in Batu Kawa.
Meanwhile, Dr Sim expressed his regret over the fire, which burned down the longhouse in Kampung Sekubang, Batu Kawa last night.
“(I am) always worried about fires at the longhouses (in Batu Kawa). This longhouse has been equipped with solar power electricity for each door since 2018.
“Despite spending about RM80,000 to upgrade the water pipes for a fire hydrant in front of the longhouse the year before (2020), the worst fear of fire still came true,” said Dr Sim.
Even though it was too late to prevent the fire, Dr Sim said it was never too late to have the new fire station built.
Last night, a fire broke out at the 21-door Kampung Sekubang longhouse which was located within the vicinity of the Batu Kawa old township.
More than 120 residents including 66 children were affected and they have since been relocated to the school hall of SMK Min Lit.
The cause of fire and estimation of total loss are still being investigated. — DayakDaily