SAMARAHAN, Jan 21: The Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak is planning to hire security guard services to help monitor and enforce standard operating procedures (SOP) at all 12 ferry terminals Statewide by this year.
Minister for Infrastructure and Port Development Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas emphasised that this is to ensure all ferry users put their safety first by complying with the SOP and following instructions to prevent unwanted accidents.
This includes requiring all vehicle passengers and drivers to put on life jackets while on board, which may seem trivial but vital in emergencies while travelling on water.
“One of our grave concerns is the reluctance among ferry users to put on the life jackets provided.
“The reasons were that they did not like the idea that the jackets are commonly shared or are dirty. But the workers frequently sanitise the jackets.
“We want all to observe the SOP because all accidents can be avoided if proper safety procedures are followed,” he said in a statement today.
Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, together with his Assistant Minister Datuk Majang Renggi and JKR deputy director Richard Tajang, had visited the Triso and Saribas ferry terminals here yesterday.
Richard pointed out another problem ferry operators face where an estimated 200 life jackets go missing per month.
“We hope by getting the service of the security company, we can put an end to or minimise these problems.
“If passengers refuse to use jackets provided, they can bring their own or buy one costing RM35,” he added.
Uggah also urged all ferry users to not jump the queue except for emergency vehicles — ambulance, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), police, and Civil Defence Force (APM) when the siren or emergency light is switched on.
“Also, no one is allowed to park their vehicles on the ferry ramps.
“All these rules and instructions are made to prevent any untoward incidents. So I hope all users will give their best cooperation.
“I also hope the ferry operators will ensure all these SOP, rules, and instructions are to be followed closely,” he said. — DayakDaily