Appreciation nite organised for agencies involved in SAR during tragic Batang Kali landslide

HULU SELANGOR: Ten agencies involved in the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation during the tragic Batang Kali landslide near here on Dec 16, were appreciated for their sacrifices and contributions during a special appreciation nite, here tonight.

Among the agencies involved were the Fire and Rescue Department, Police, Civil Defence Forces and the Armed Forces.

Hulu Selangor PKR division chief Dr N. Sathia Prakash said the appreciation ceremony was organised at the Batang Kali State Assembly Swervice Coordinating Centre with the cooperation of family members and next-of-kin of victims who perished in the tragedy.

“This is just a small token of appreciation to those involved in the SAR compared with what they have done or contributed during the tragedy.

I was there on the first day when the SAR operation started and continued to be there for a number of days and for being outside the ground zero. Physologically I know the SAR members were sad but it was absolutely a noble job done by them.

“For me, without them we would never have achieved that nine days. To find all the victims, especially so when the last victim was found just a day before Christmas. It was very critical,“ he told reporters after attending the ceremony.

Speaking of the close cooperation during the SAR by various government agencies, non-governmental organisations, volunteers and media practitioners, Dr Sathia said the cooperation shown by everybody during the tragedy that claimed 31 victims, was proof that a closely knit unity was in existence in the country.

“Therefore, we decided to organise an appreciation nite to show that we as Malaysians, we don’t differentiate. We are there for everybody as Malaysians,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Kuala Kubu Baru Fire and Rescue station chief Kamil Hamadan said his team were the first responder during the pre-dawn tragedy at the Father’s Organic Farm camping site but despite the emotional tragedy, the team mebers remained physically and mentally strong.

“Initially there was a lot of emotion involved due to the big number of victims but they accepted the tragedy as part and parcel of their daily duties because there are times that they will have to face such tragedies and emergencies during their course of duty.

“Thank God, most of the personnel involved in the SAR are physically and emotionally ok. Through the SAR we were also able to develop a high level of capability, gain confidence and experience,” he said.

In the tragic landslide on Dec 16, at the Father’s Organic Farm campsite in Gohtong Jaya, 31 people, including children died while 61 others from a total of 92 who were at the campsite, were either rescued or scrambled to safety. – Bernama

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