Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar inspects the guard of honour during the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department’s monthly assembly in Bukit Jelutong. Pic by MUHAMMAD SULAIMAN.

SHAH ALAM: The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry is backing the Fire and Rescue Department in its push for an increase in the monthly critical allowance for over 13,000 firefighters in the country.

Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said that he presented papers arguing in favour of the increase at a recent Cabinet meeting, and subsequently highlighted the issue in Parliament.

The Fire and Rescue Department had earlier proposed that the monthly critical allowance of firefighters be hiked up to RM200 to be on par with other uniformed bodies in Malaysia.

“I hope it will be approved by Cabinet soon. It is high time that the critical allowance provided to the Department be the same as for the others, such as the police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

“I hope to get a positive response from the government soon. If all goes well, I will ask that it be implemented as soon as possible,” said Noh on Monday.

He was speaking during the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department’s monthly assembly at the state headquarters in Bukit Jelutong here.

Noh said firemen deserve the hike in allowance, as they, like other uniformed bodies, put their lives on the line on a daily basis.

“They risk their lives and face hazardous situations during their course of duty. Recently, there was an incident in which several firemen sustained burns (and suffered electric shock) when attempting to put out a fire.

“When the monsoon season arrives, there is a freeze on their annual leave as they have to be on standby and prepare for any eventuality,” he added.

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