JOHOR BARU, Oct 31 — About 500 firemen out of 1,400 personnel from the Johor Fire and Rescue Department in the state have been granted permission to do postal voting for the 15th general election (GE15) next month.
Johor Fire and Rescue department’s acting director Mohd Rizal Buang said the permission for postal voting is only reserved for the department’s personnel and does not involve their spouses or children.
"The postal voting is to enable the firemen’s duty are not interrupted throughout the GE15 period, as well as to prepare for the possibility of floods in the state.
"The Johor Fire and Rescue Department‘s personnel involved are reminded to comply with the rules set by the Election Commission (EC) by maintaining confidentiality when voting and to refrain from transmitting photos of ballot papers or related documents on social media,” said Mohd Rizal.
He said this during a press conference after the department's monthly assembly at the Johor Fire and Rescue Department headquarters here today.
In addition, Mohd Rizal said holidays for all Johor Fire and Rescue Department‘s officers and personnel will be frozen starting this Friday until November 30 in preparation for GE15 as well as the north-east monsoon period, which is predicted to occur mid-next month.
He said that only 20 per cent of the department’s total 1,400 officers and personnel are allowed to go on leave from December 1 to January 15 next year.
"We will ensure that the GE15 period and the voting process runs smoothly.
"The Johor Fire and Rescue Department, which has also been tasked with maintaining safety, is prepared with boats and other equipment to transport affected residents to the polling stations in the event of a flood," he said.
Meanwhile, Mohd Rizal said that the department is ready to mobilise its full strength with 24-hour shifts if there is an unavoidable need during the GE15 period and the North-East monsoon.
He added that the strength of the state’s department in 33 stations throughout the state will be assisted by 28 volunteer fire brigades with 1,300 members.
"We will also hold discussions with the state police contingent soon in order to further coordinate the roles of the department and that of the police,” he said.