PETALING JAYA: The public must immediately evacuate if instructed to do so, says the Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM) as the northeast monsoon season looms.
In a Twitter post on Friday (Oct 21), APM said this was in accordance with the Malaysia Civil Defence Force Act 1951 (Act 221).
“The public is advised to always be ready for the possibility of natural disasters occurring during the impending northeast monsoon season, alongside preparations for the 15th General Election (GE15) this year.
“If a warning is issued by the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), be ready to evacuate,” it said.
APM also advised the public to bring necessities such as medication, simple foods and important documents, among others, in case evacuation is required.
Previously, APM disaster management and operations director Col (PA) Sharudin Md Zain said the agency was geared up to face the impending northeast monsoon, noting that its task would be doubly challenging if it hits during the national polls.
He added efforts were also taken to educate the public on responding to natural disasters, which included disaster preparedness workshops, among others.
Sharudin said 10,510 APM members are ready to be deployed for impending natural disasters, as are its other assets.
These include 759 boats, 481 vehicles including vans and ambulances, 5,772 lifejackets, 6,010 temporary relief centres, 64,310 C-tents and 144 generator units.
“A total of 69 simulations have also been conducted nationwide in preparation for the northeast monsoon,” he told The Star.
Sharudin, however, said there would be some difficulty if the northeast monsoon coincided with GE15, given how many of its officers would be performing dual tasks.
“There is the possibility that voting stations will be in the same location as temporary relief centres. Despite this, agencies already have strategies in place to ensure smooth operations in case this occurs.
“This includes carrying out our tasks at our election beat bases, conducting patrols during the voting period, ensuring the safety of the public when casting their votes and providing emergency assistance or treatment if needed,” he added.
The northeast monsoon, which usually starts in mid-November and lasts till March the following year, sees increased rainfall and major floods.