PUTRAJAYA: The Fire and Rescue Department will receive a total of 15,000 new fireproof suits after the Hari Raya celebrations, says Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.
She said the ministry would be announcing the final outcome of the new tender process for 9,000 fireproof suits, while the initial batch of 6,000 which was under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation has been cleared for use.
"We want to distribute them immediately but with the Hari Raya celebrations, everybody is busy.
"We will release them after Hari Raya, perhaps June 15," she told reporters at Fire and Rescue Department National Ops Selamat 2019 in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aildilfitri celebration.
It was reported earlier that MACC was trying to establish whether the 6,000 fireproof suits purchased in 2016 worth RM13.5mil were indeed flame-proof.
The hold-up that ensued meant nine fire stations were short of fireproof suits because none had been purchased since 2017.
The ministry then called a new tender for 9,000 new fireproof suits in Febuary this year as firemen had been forced to use old and torn suits, or had to share with others.
Zuraida said the ministry had sent two randomly picked fireproof suits to be tested by a Manchester lab accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service on May 15.
"The test is to ensure the suits followed the correct specifications as per the agreement with contractors.
"After they pass all the tests, we found them safe for use by our firefighters," she said.
Meanwhile, she said that the department would put 10,000 of its personnel on-standby during the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebration.
"We have about 14,000 personnel nationwide but 10,000 have been mobilised for Hari Raya celebration," she said.
Zuraida said they would take turns to be on standby during the period.
"We want to remind everyone to take all the necessary precautions before they go for their Hari Raya break.
"We also launched a short video clip for the public to raise awareness and to show the steps taken during emergencies," she said