Jumaat, 6 Disember 2013

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The Star Online: Nation

Fire and Rescue Department ready to wade in and help


PETALING JAYA: The Fire and Rescue Department has launched a large-scale Ops Banjir (Flood Ops), mobilising more than 13,000 firemen nationwide to be deployed to flood-hit states, says director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim.

"All leave for firemen has been frozen. Our personnel will be on duty on 24-hour shifts for flood operations," he said.

The department is working closely with other agencies and departments in coordinating rescue efforts in Terengganu, Pahang, Johor and Kelantan.

Wan Mohd Nor said yesterday that the department had adequate logistics, including 500 boats, more than 130 lorries and seven helicopters nationwide.

"We have already deployed five lorry-loads of personnel to Pahang," he added.

Wan Mohd Nor also advised flood victims to follow evacuation orders issued by the authorities.

"Hesitation or delay in following such orders will jeopardise their safety.

"Please do not wait until the last minute to move to the evacuation centres," he added.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Government had no intention to declare emergency in the states badly hit by floods.

"We have mobilised all of our assets to help the people," he said at PWTC yesterday.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said that nearly 5,000 policemen, personnel from the Civil Defence Department and Rela have been rushed to the flood-hit areas in five states, while more than 400 boats of the police and Civil Defence are being used to evacuate victims.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said the National Registration Department had been directed to help issue replacement identification documents to victims.

"I have also asked the Immigration Department to issue replacement passports for free to victims who still had a valid passport. Only those with expired passports would need to pay," he added.

Apart from agencies under the Home Ministry, other ministries involved in Ops Banjir are the Defence and Health ministries and the National Security Council.

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Kedah to rediscover secrets of Sungai Batu, says Mukhriz


KUALA LUMPUR: Kedah is planning to unravel the secret that lies beneath the lost Sungai Batu that was once the lifeline of the ancient civilisation of Lembah Bujang.

Mentri Besar Datuk Paduka Mukhriz Mahathir said they have discovered remnants of ancient jetties located 30m apart, indicating that Sungai Batu was once a wide river.

"Ships once sailed along Sungai Batu, as narrated in Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa.

"This is an indication that the river was very deep.

"As the river has disappeared, I cannot wait to discover the secrets beneath the site where a major river once flowed," he said.

Mukhriz said there were many other interesting findings at the site that was once a flourishing civilisation dating as far back as the first century.

"We are trying to gather more evidence following findings in India, West Asia and Arab countries that say the best steel swords were imported from Sungai Batu," he said.

Mukhriz said Bujang Valley was once a centre of power complete with defence, trade and administrative facilities.

"We are also looking into exploring Gunung Jerai, which was also part of the Lembah Bujang," he said.

He said the Kedah Government was discussing with Tourism Ministry to develop the Bujang Valley by preserving and reconstructing structures of significant interest including the candi and iron smelting facilities.

"We want to promote this historical site as a tourist destination," he said, adding that many of the sites in Lembah Bujang had been gazetted.

He said the unfortunate incident had created awareness on the importance of conserving the ruins of the ancient civilisation.

"Lembah Bujang has become well known now," he said.

Related story:

Keeping mum on candi issue

Fake cigarettes worth RM165,000 seized


KOTA KINABALU: Customs officials uncovered 750,000 packets of fake Manchester brand cigarettes made to look like the original during a raid here.

The cigarettes, valued at RM165,000, were found to have an off scent and taste when several were tested during the raid at a premises in Cyber City near Kepayan not far from the state capital.

Sabah Customs Department deputy director of enforcement and compliance, Hamzah Sundang said a man in his 30s was subsequently detained following the 2pm operation on Wednesday.

The cigarettes were packed to look like the original but when tests were carried out, it was found that the items were fake, he said, adding that this was the department's first cigarette raid of the year.

He said the confiscated items had been sent to the Customs Department headquarters for further investigation.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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