KUALA LUMPUR (July 20): Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today expressed his concern for the needs and welfare of firemen including the critical allowance still being considered by the government.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the Agong was concerned about the role of firemen as frontliners who often went to the aid of the people.
“The Agong talked to me today about the critical allowance, I said it had not yet been approved,” she told reporters after attending the International Firefighters’ Day 2019 at Dataran Merdeka here.
Sultan Abdullah who was accompanied by the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah graced the event with the theme “Fire Brigade the Pillar of National Rescue” .
Meanwhile, director-general of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said he hoped the government will give immediate consideration to the critical allowance to the 14,500 members of the JBPM.
If implemented this year, an estimated RM18 million is needed to be distributed to firemen at a rate of RM200 a month.
“We believe the government will give due consideration and look at the risks and the nature of work faced by the fire-fighters and rescuers,” he said.
Zuraida had previously been reported as saying the allowance which will benefit more than 14,000 firefighters throughout the country may not be given out this year.
Other than the approval from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, there were other procedures which had to be looked at, including the country’s finances.