KUANTAN, Nov 10 — Only 20 per cent of the 14,400 Fire and Rescue Department (FRDM) officers and firemen were allowed to take leave in the monsoon season, said Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Senator Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad Baharuddin Shah.
He said the permission to go on leave would also depend on logical excuse and (this directive) would be in force until the end of February, as a measure to boost the department’s preparedness for flood disaster rescue operations.
“Our preparation and strength in facing major floods (is important) because we are aware that in matters linked to disasters, the fire and rescue department is among the earliest involved. We must make maximum preparation because the flood trend currently is uncertain and hard to predict,” he said.
Raja Kamarul Bahrin was speaking at a media conference after a 2019 Water Safety Awareness Campaign in Teluk Cempedak here today which was attended by the State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Abd Rahim Muda and Pahang FRDM director Nor Hisham Mohammad.
He also reminded parents to observe the movements of their children especially during the monsoon season which was expected to happen during the school holidays, to reduce the risks of untoward incidents like drowning.
“It is no longer suitable to regard the flood season as a water festival as was done in the past and this view should be ended. It is better to take the safe route such as not taking easy the early directive of the FRDM to move out, if there is a need to do so,” he said.
On another development, Raja Kamarul Bahrin said the FRDM statistics over drownng deaths had also dropped, namely, 171 cases as of September, compared to 186 cases during the same period in 2018 while 327 cases were reported in the whole of 2017. — Bernama