Postponed: Deployment of Malaysian firefighters to Australia

13 Jan 2020 / 20:38 H.

PENGKALAN HULU: The scheduled deployment of 40 Malaysian firefighters to Australia on Wednesday to help put out the raging bushfires there, has been put on hold until the actual Australian need has been identified, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said today.

“If we can identify the Australian need, we will send the team,” she told reporters after visiting the Pengkalan Hulu Fire Station, here today.

Earlier, at a press conference in Kuala Sepetang, Taiping, Zuraida informed that all 40 fire personnel along with 20 other individuals from other government agencies would leave for the site of the fires in New South Wales on Wednesday.

According to media reports, the bushfires in Australia have killed 24 people, destroyed nearly 2,000 homes and millions of animals have perished as the fires ravaged three states in Australia involving five million hectares of land.

In another development, Zuraida urged the Fire and Rescue Academy to recruit more women in an effort to increase their participation in the department which now only has about 500 women.

Commenting on the upgrading works at the Kuala Sepetang jetty, involving an allocation of RM2 million, Zuraida said the jetty would be more modern and comfortable with toilet facilities and a more organised parking lot, which is set to be ready by the end of this year.

“In addition, there are plans to create a new attraction such as the floating market, namely boats selling food and river-based products along the riverbank,” she said after visiting the Kuala Sepetang Jetty Upgrading Development project, here today.

“We will start the floating market on a small scale first for tourists travelling by boats around the river for about an hour to stop and enjoy the scenery,” she said.

Zuraida also presented 10 microphones to tour guides at the jetty to help them give briefings and information on the history and places of interest to tourists as they sailed along the river. - Bernama

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