THE Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM) Penang (northeast district) and Penang Muslim League have successfully set up a Civil Defence Emergency Response Team (CDERT) to assist in disaster relief.
The team, called CDERT Liga Muslim, was officially formed today at a ceremony in Dewan Uma, Transfer Road.
Some 30 CDERT Liga Muslim members will undergo professional trainings from the APM.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow praised those involved in the setting up of CDERT Liga Muslim.
“The services which will be provided by CDERT Liga Muslim are not limited to only fire rescues. They will be involved in many other emergency cases.
“This is a fine example of a true spirit of volunteerism. We have many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Penang.
“These NGOs are involved in various societal aspects in the state.
“We, the state government, want to assist them as they play their roles for the benefit of the state.
“Some NGOs may start off with limited members and resources; but with perseverence to serve, these NGOs can grow and play effective roles,” he said in his speech at the official launching of CDERT Liga Muslim and the fire safety awareness campaign today.
Chow mentioned that there were 32 volunteer fire brigades in the state.
“Some may have set up their centres at open spaces and they may not have building approval.
“We care for the volunteer fire brigades and we have decided to implement program pemutihan (legalisation programme) to enable them to obtain temporary occupation licence (TOL) from the district land office,” he said.
On fire safety awareness, Chow said knowledge is important for the public to be ‘first responders’ during a fire emergency.
“Besides that, the concept of ‘one home, one fire extinguisher’ would be very helpful and should be practised together,” he added.
Penang Island City Council (MBPP) councillor Datuk Dr Shahul Hameed Syed Mohamed stressed the importance of basic fire fighting knowledge.
“It is good to have a fire extinguisher at home, and it is equally important to know how to use it.
“Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher and having one can help to save life and property.
“You can help to control the fire from spreading,” he said in his speech.
The MBPP and Penang Muslim League also distributed 43 fire extinguishers to several NGOs during the event.
Among those present were Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng, Penang APM director Kol Ishak Mohd Radzi, Penang APM northeast district officer Capt Muhammad Aizat Abdul Ghani and Penang Muslim League president Datuk Najmudeen Kader.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Law Suun Ting
Video by Alissala Thian