BATANG KALI, Dec 17 — Volunteers and non-governmental organisations (NGO) are not allowed to directly assist the search and rescue (SAR) operations underway at the landslide in Batang Kali as it is unsuitable for the public to be in the vicinity of the search location.

Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, as the agency heading the operation, would determine who is allowed into the search area to assist them.

“Otherwise it will create a chaotic situation due to the large search area,” he told reporters at the location of the landslide tonight.

Meanwhile, a Information Department (JaPen) spokesman said that following a discussion with the police, only official government media will be allowed to enter the search location till the Red Zone to take photographs throughout the operation beginning tonight.

He said that JaPen and the police would issue a schedule tomorrow allowing photographers from other media agencies to enter the location in turns.

This follows requests by photographers on duty at the location to the IGP about the difficulties they encountered in obtaining good visuals.

Meanwhile, Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Norazam Khamis said that the ban on volunteers and NGOs at the SAR site was for their own wellbeing and safety as conditions in the area were dangerous.

He said only trained rescue personnel were allowed into the operation area’s red zone in accordance with instructions set by the National Security Council.

“For instance, in this area, the soil structure is soft and if it rains, there might be a landslide in the area.

“So this situation requires specialised training and our readiness to face tough and unexpected situations, so that’s why we require skilled personnel with good physical fitness to operate here,” he told Bernama.

He said NGOs and volunteers could however provide assistance outside the operation area.


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