KUCHING: The Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) is working with the Sarawak government to identify the best approach to inform homestays and small hotels to have proper documentations in accordance with Bomba requirements.
Its director Khirudin Drahman explained that the Joint Technical Consultant Committee (JTCC) was a task force established to view and assess the community’s concerns relating to the growth of many homestays and small hotels not built in accordance with Bomba requirements.
“We see that there are difficulties for them (business owners) to get accurate information to operate their business properly.
“Hence, we (the department) are responsible for giving advice to them and we are finding solutions on how to address this issue prudently. Because we understand the current economic situation where everyone wants to survive.
“However, we cannot set aside safety aspects and this is a big challenge,” he said when met by reporters after officiating the Fire Certificate (FC) presentation to 10 premises at UCSI Hotel Kuching on Tuesday (Oct 6).
He further noted that the Sarawak government through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and local authorities were in the midst of finding ways to advise these business owners.
Khirudin pointed out that “the need to inform them is there, just the method to do so in terms of legality.”
“We will give space and opportunity to study (the matter) and advise them. Not all of the premises are operating illegally…it is on documentation compliance in terms of licenses and permission letters, where some experienced delay in the process.
“So they want to speed up this matter by going behind the law and it is not a good thing. As an enforcement agency at the federal and state level, the department prioritises the safety of lives.”
On another issue regarding whether homestays needed to have FC or not, he explained that it was not clear whether they (homestays) were in residential or in commercial areas.
“From the legal point of view, the department does not want when it (FC needed in homestays) is implemented and they will challenge it in court.
“Therefore, there must be an amendment made to the Sarawak Building Ordinance (SBO) and it is there. But, the amendment to SBO has to go through the State Legislative Assembly before it comes into force.”