69 fire stations nationwide that are over 50 years old to be upgraded

SEREMBAN: A total of 69 fire and rescue stations that are over 50 years old nationwide need to be upgraded, said Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming.

He said that of the total, 11 each are located in Perak and Johor; Selangor (10); Kedah (eight); Pahang and Penang (seven each); Sarawak (six); Negeri Sembilan (five); Terengganu (three); and Melaka (one).

He said the ministry would ensure the upgrading proposals could be implemented in stages according to priority and the government’s current financial capability.

“Of the list, 15 fire and rescue stations have been fully upgraded, two are undergoing upgrading work and one has been included in the application for upgrading under the 2024 4th Rolling Plan (RP4).

“In addition, the Bintangor Fire and Rescue Station in Sarawak has been replaced with a new building,” he said at the launch of the Seremban Fire and Rescue Station, here, today.

Also present were Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook and Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) director-general Datuk Abdul Wahab Mat Yasin.

The 63-year-old Seremban Fire and Rescue Station resumed operation on Feb 21 after the government approved its upgrading project in 2020, which cost RM6.12 million.

He said that, so far, the state has a total of 20 fire and rescue stations and one more will be built this year in Palong 6, Jempol.

“To upgrade and maintain all fire and rescue stations in the state, an additional allocation of RM3 million has been approved and work will be carried out this year,” he said.

Nga also visited the Seremban Market, Padang Lobak, Jalan Tun Dr Ismail Flats, Ampangan Market and Kampung Baru Cina Mambau to observe the basic facilities and related needs of each location.

He said a total of 38 projects amounting to RM13 million have been approved in the state for, among others, the upgrading and maintenance of fire and rescue stations; maintenance of the Seremban Market, upgrading Dataran Lobak and related works as well as the maintenance of the Tun Dr Ismail Flats, Rasah Jaya Market, Jalan Lee Sam Bazaar and Taman Bahau Indah apartments.

The allocation, he added, was to provide comfortable facilities to the local community and to boost the economy to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Regarding the issue of a Member of Parliament allegedly using water from a fire hydrant, Nga said anyone wanting to do so should get written approval.

“This is very important. When fire breaks out, the JBPM will have problems fighting fires due to low water pressure and, eventually, the people will suffer. Last year, fires caused losses amounting to RM1.3 billion. This is a serious matter.

“I understand, through media reports, that the MP used the water with permission. But the state fire and rescue department’s investigation confirmed that no such approval was given,” he said.

The media reported yesterday that Rantau Panjang MP Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusof denied she had used water from a fire hydrant as has gone viral since Saturday (May 6).

Siti Zailah posted on Facebook that the water was for distribution to local residents affected by water supply problems. –Bernama