Bomba not getting the promised allowance after all

(MMO) – Malaysian firefighters will not receive the RM200 critical allowance promised last year, the housing and local government minister said today.

Zuraida Kamaruddin explained that there were certain procedures that needed to be looked at before the government could give out the allowance currently given to other public servants like the police and armed forces who have high risks jobs.

“Sad to say, but JBPM will not be getting the allowance this year,” she told reporters, referring to the Perak Fire and Rescue Department by its Malay initials, better known as “bomba”.

“If they get it by this year, then it is a bonus. But based on my view is not easy to get it by this year,” she added after launching the state department’s new headquarters in Meru here.

Zuraida said the request for the critical allowance needs the approval of the Cabinet but is still under review by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“The discussion is still going on with the treasurer on how to implement it,” she said, adding that the government needed to look at its financial capacity too.

The critical allowance to the firefighters was promised by Zuraida’s predecessor Tan Sri Noh Omar in April 2018, just before the May general election. It would have benefitted roughly 14,000 Bomba personnel nationwide.

Zuraida said she had met with both the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Perak Sultan to discuss the welfare and needs of the firemen.

“They both are concerned about the firemen. I have also discussed with the Perak Sultan on plans to upgrade the grading of the firefighters and give them special attention as the work they are doing is very risky.

“At the moment, the government had prepared 15,000 fire resistant clothing for them. Around 6,000 clothes had been distributed to several states with the balance will be distributed soon,” she said.