KAJANG: The operations scope of the Civil Defence Force (APM) will be expanded in a move to bolster its position as the country’s front line in emergency services.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the APM’s commitment and selfless deeds were obvious not only during humanitarian missions or natural disasters, but also throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Members and volunteers of APM have shown a high level of commitment across all levels.
“They work relentlessly day and night on humanitarian missions and provide public safety and security during disasters such as floods.
“Throughout the pandemic, the force shouldered the responsibilities as frontliners by assisting the government in curbing the spread of this epidemic, ” he said.
Thus, the government was committed towards upholding APM’s role as well as taking care of the welfare of the staff, he added.
“The government will continue to take proactive measures to increase the effectiveness of APM’s services.
“One of our efforts is to expand emergency and disaster operations to include integrated special operations across agencies, ” said Muhyiddin during APM’s 69th anniversary celebrations at its headquarters here.
The Prime Minister also said the government would initiate a restructuring exercise for APM’s 500-plus permanent staff at the state and district levels, through the Disaster Management Secretariat.
He said the government would oversee the construction of office complexes and training centres in Perak, Sabah and Sarawak.
“The complexes will also serve as temporary evacuation centres for residents affected by disasters, and they will be equipped with an early warning system, ” he said.
Muhyiddin called on the APM to continue playing its role as “first responders” within the local community and to enhance its preparation level in facing any form of disaster or emergency.
“The APM must also go down to the ground regularly to engage with the people, educate and raise public awareness.
“We must ensure that they are ready to act as first responders when faced with emergencies such as disasters or fires, ” he said.
Muhyiddin praised the APM for being at the country’s forefront of volunteerism activities.
“The staff and volunteers of APM are its assets and strength. Their volunteerism spirit should be made an example to all.
“Many APM members have been mobilised, especially to rural areas, for the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme to help local folk register to be vaccinated.
“Some have also become Covid-19 ‘eradication agents’ under the community empowerment programme with Rela, the Health Ministry and the police, ” he said in congratulating them.
At the event, Muhyiddin also declared open APM’s new headquarters.
Among those present were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Tasks) Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof, Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman and APM chief commissioner Datuk Roslan Wahab.