24 June 2007

Civil defence dept wants to take lead in disaster ops

The Star

KUCHING: The Civil Defence Department wants to be the lead agency in managing disasters.

Deputy director-general Selamat Dahalan said disaster management in the country was currently under the purview of the National Security Division, which coordinates the duties of the various agencies.

“There is no single agency which specifically handles disaster situations and it is not clear which agency should take the lead when a disaster occurs.

“It is our long-term vision to become the lead agency in heading disaster management operations,” he told reporters after attending a Civil Defence Day at the Waterfront here yesterday.

He said the department would need to first strengthen its organisational structure, manpower, assets and logistics.

“We will discuss with the National Security Division on how to divide our duties,” he said, adding that it could take 10 to 15 years for the department to achieve its vision.

Selamat earlier handed over medals for excellence and long service to state Civil Defence personnel.

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