PEKAN NENAS: Be more vigilant and exercise extra care in your daily activities during the current hot spell to prevent fires from occurring, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said.
He said parents should ensure that their children were not exposed to hazardous and flammable material.
All houses, shops and offices should have fire extinguishers, so they can be quickly be deployed should a fire occur, he told reporters at his Chinese New Year open house for his Tanjung Piai constituents yesterday.
He said firemen had also been placed on standby to respond to forest fires.
YOUNG SUPPORTERS: Ong (right) giving out mandarin oranges to children at the open house for his Tanjung Piai constituents Sunday. Looking on is Pekan Nenas assemblyman Wee Jeck Seng. While other authorities, including forest rangers were working closely to monitor hot spots, the public should also inform the department of such incidents immediately, he said.
Commenting on the forest fire in Gunung Kenderung in Perak, Ong said fire and rescue service personnel were doing their best to put out the fire and water bombs were being used as the affected area could not be reached by land.
More than 80ha of forest has been destroyed by the fire, which started about a week ago.
On another matter, Ong urged those carrying out expeditions into jungles and mountain areas to inform the nearest police or fire station of their plans so that assistance could be provided immediately if there were emergencies.
He said in many emergencies, rescue efforts were often hampered by the fact that rescuers did know the exact location of those in need of assistance.
Vital information, such as how large the team is, the planned route, destination and how many days they are expected to be there should be left with the police and fire station.
On Friday, rescuers airlifted a Universiti Teknologi Mara Segamat lecturer, who fell seriously ill while mountain-climbing in Cameron Highlands with 19 others.
She was rescued after information about her state and the groups whereabouts were made following many phone calls, including to Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.
On another matter, Ong said an estimated 700,000 houses would be needed nationwide under the 9th Malaysia Plan.
He said the Government would see to it that affordable houses continued to be built.