KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Civil Defence Department received five new trucks and an amphibious boat worth about RM4 million on Wednesday.
Sabah state secretary Sukarti Wakiman handed over the new trucks and boat to the department’s director, Colonel Mulliadi Al Hamdi Ladin, during a ceremony near here.
The five-tonne MAN trucks are made in Germany while the Sealegs amphibious boat is from New Zealand.
The Sealegs is the first amphibious boat in Malaysia’s civil defence force’s fleet of sea transport.
Sukarti, who is also Sabah Disaster Management Committee secretary, said the new assets would help the Sabah civil defence force in its rescue operations during disasters.
“Although the Sabah defence forces’ assets and logistics are still not adequate, they can still carry out their duties quickly.”
Sukarti also praised the civil defence personnel’s quick response time and readiness.
He advised them to bear with the community during disasters.
“Sometimes, people don’t heed our advice to evacuate their homes because they think the floods will recede soon.
“But when the floods worsen instead, the people have to be rescued instead of being evacuated and this places unnecessary pressure on the rescue workers.
“We will launch campaigns to create more awareness among the people about the importance of evacuation before disasters strike or get worse.”
Mulliadi said the new assets would allow the department to carry out its duties more efficiently.
“The federal government has so far allocated 61 trucks, 15 of them for Sabah,” he said. “Today, we received five trucks and we will get the rest in phases.
“Twenty-nine amphibious boats have been allocated nationwide and Sabah’s share is two. Another boat will arrive later.”