Fire chief hopes more Chinese sign up to serve

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KUCHING: The State Fire and Rescue Department (BOMBA) is keen to rope in more people, especially from among the Chinese community, to join the service.

Its director Datuk Khirudin Drahman said this is in line with the vision of Keluarga Malaysia which among others puts great advocacy and emphasis on inclusivity.

“There are clearly no quotas set for any ethnicity to join us. Hence, any ethnicity is welcome to join,” he said when contacted by New Sarawak Tribune on Saturday (Mar 12).

Khirudin stated that back when he was Sibu Fire Station Chief between 1990 and 1999, almost 25 per cent of his team of 101 personnel were Chinese.

He added that this is mostly due to the fact that majority of Sibu residents are Chinese.

“Most of them are pump operators and section leaders. Having multi-ethnic staff in the department makes the tasks we have to conduct easier especially when it comes to dealing with the community.

“The team would be more beautiful in its dynamic if we have all combinations of ethnicity,” he said.

As to the reason behind the lack of Chinese joining the service, he stated that the Chinese community (in most districts and remote towns) prefer to be actively involved with Pasukan Bomba Sukarela (PBS) instead.

“They prefer to become auxiliary firefighters by volunteering with PBS at their own leisure and do community work then.

“Looking at the Government General Order and remuneration as well as workload, I believe they actually prefer to do their own business with less hassle in their daily life,” he added.

In a recent statement, BOMBA Malaysia announced that it is seeking to recruit new blood from the non-Bumiputera community, particularly the Chinese.

Its director-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said the department will continue to work through various channels to encourage members of the community to be firefighters.

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