Setting up of new Kuching fire station on the cards

State Bomba director Nor Hisham Mohammad (third from left) presents a souvenir to Dr Kelvin Yii.

KUCHING, June 6: The State Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) is looking into setting up another station in the city.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said one of the needs brought up by the department was to set up new branches in Kuching, with one of them in Batu Kawah.

In the event of a fire in the Batu Kawah area, the nearest fire station is at Batu Lintang, which is not considered ideal, base on the distance and response time.

“Setting up a new station in Batu Kawah to cater for areas surrounding it should be a priority. We will look into this issue and pursue it actively. We will use the platform which we were entrusted with to make the necessary request for the betterment and safety of the people,” Dr Yii said in a statement yesterday.

When contacted by DayakDaily, Bomba state director Nor Hisham Mohammad said the proposed Batu Kawah station has been in their pipeline for Kuching, and will cost at least RM5 million as a Category C facility.

Last week, Dr Yii and a delegation from Democratic Action Party (DAP) paid a courtesy visit to Nor Hisham at the department’s headquarters in Tabuan Jaya.

Another issue discussed was fire safety requirements for hotels, tourist hostels and homestays that are mushrooming across the city.

“While fire safety approval may be given to certain commercial units for certain business purposes, there are many premises that were eventually renovated into hotels or hostels after obtaining their licences. These premises will house a significant amount of guests and it is not in accordance to the original licence approved by the department.

“We were also told that many of these premises will continue their business without fire safety approval due to lack of enforcement from other departments,” Dr Yii said.

Recalling the recent fire at Pusat Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah religious centre at Kampung Datuk Keramat, KL last year which took 26 young lives, Dr Yii said he agreed with Bomba that there should not be another similar incident.

During the recent visit, he was also briefed by Nor Hisham on the department’s daily operations and services, as well as the various initiatives and programmes carried out to further educate members of the public and business owners on fire safety and regulations.

“We will work with different relevant agencies to tackle this matter including addressing the issues of enforcement. We will also work together with state Bomba to promote greater awareness of fire safety even among students, children and parents,” Dr Yii added. — DayakDaily