Snake wrangler gets award

Officer with Bomba receives medal for his courageous efforts

PUTRAJAYA: Safiq Mohamad (pic) has captured more than 500 different types of snakes during his 10 years of service in the Fire and Rescue Department.

For his efforts, the 31-year-old snake wrangler has been awarded with the Housing and Local Government Ministry’s prestigious Excellent Service Medal for his courageous efforts in handling the reptile.

Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming presented the Terengganu-based officer with the medal at the excellence appreciation ceremony 2023 here yesterday.

“The locals will usually call us for help,” said Safiq, who is a part of a team of seven deployed to catch snakes at residential areas.

The most common snakes, he said, are the king cobra and monocled cobra.

The king cobra, he added, was the most venomous snake.

“We know snakes and their nature well, and the appropriate ways to contain them,” Safiq said.

Despite dangerous encounters with the deadly reptiles, Safiq and his team have never suffered serious injuries.

To educate the public about snake handling methods, the team created a YouTube channel, called the Squad King Cobra Channel, which has garnered 448,000 subscribers to date.

Safiq is also the instructor for venomous animal handling courses at the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department Academy in Marang, Terengganu.

“Receiving this medal will motivate me to work harder,” he said.

He was also awarded with the National Workers’ Icon award from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim earlier this month.

Meanwhile, a total of 402 people received the Excellence Service Awards at the event.

Among them were officers from the ministry, Solid Waste Management and Public Cleansing Corporation (SWCorp), Local Government Department as well as the National Housing Department.

Nga said that he would ensure that his ministry continued to excel.

“Those awarded were selected based on the scores set by the ministry. We stress on quality rather than quantity.

“Only those who have achieved excellence will be recognised and I hope more officers will receive it next year,” he told reporters after delivering the awards here.

Separately, Nga said that the ministry was considering expanding allocations for public amenities to support local councils’ tree maintenance efforts.

The minister said this would include funds to procure new equipment.

“We will study whether we can include maintenance costs and new equipment purchases,” he added.

Nga was responding to a question on the ministry’s plan to overcome financial constraints faced by certain local municipalities in maintaining trees following recent incidents.

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Bomba , snake wrangler , KPKT


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