KUALA LUMPUR: An officer of the Civil Defence Force (APM), Kapt Shahrul Kamar Mohd Johari, 50, remembers clearly an incident in 2003 when a major rockslide occurred along the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) near the Bukit Lanjan interchange.
It happened on the second day of Aidifitri that year as he was on holiday with his family for the celebration, and he received a call to return to work.
“The incident occurred 16 years ago while my family and I were on our way to visit relatives in Klang to celebrate Hari Raya, but upon receiving the call (from the operations centre), I immediately informed my family that I had to be at the scene,” he said.
For the father-of-three, not being able to celebrate Aidilfitri with family members because he has to work is normal for Civil Defence Force volunteers as they have to always be ready and prepared at all times and in whatever circumstances.
In his 35th year of service with APM, Shahrul Kamar said members of the force have to be spiritually strong as they often have to leave their family including during festivals.
The APM members are not the only ones who will be working during festivals as there are also several groups of workers, such as security personnel, hospital employees as well as staff of expressway concessionaires and media members who have to work.
Rohaida Ahmat, 37, a journalist at RTM Radio News Section, has been working on Aidilfitri on alternate years since seven years ago.
“Last year, I was able to take leave to celebrate the occasion. So this year, it’s my turn to work. Although working, it can still be an enjoyable celebration because I celebrate it with my colleagues. They are also family,” she said, adding that someone has to work to ensure news can be disseminated to the masses.
Meanwhile, V. Roohisheene, 28, a customer service officer at a telecommunications company, said she would volunteer to work on Aidilfitri to allow her Muslim friends to celebrate the occasion with their families.
“And on Deepavali, they will work and I get to take leave to celebrate the festival,” she said. — Bernama
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