Kelantan Bomba chief says MP didn’t seek permission to channel water from hydrant to residents
KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Rantau Panjang MP Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff did not get prior permission to open up a fire hydrant for the use of residents in her constituency facing a water shortage last week, according to Kelantan Fire and Rescue Department chief Zainal Madasin.
Zainal said he had also checked with the state water authority, Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd (AKSB), and neither agency received any request from the PAS lawmaker, news portal Malaysiakini reported today.
“There was no letter, not one word asking permission from us.
“I have also contacted the AKSB managing director Nazmi Ghazali Azmi and he told me he didn't get any request either,” he was quoted as saying.
The news portal reported that Zainal and Nazmi have filed police reports to initiate investigations into the issue.
Section 26 of the Fire Services Act 1988 makes it an offence to tamper with or use a fire hydrant other than for fire fighting purposes; punishable under Section 58 with a fine not exceeding RM5,000, or jail up to three years, or both.
Siti Zailah has come under public backlash after sharing on her Facebook page pictures and an account of how she channelled water from a hydrant to residents in Kelantan hit by water supply problems during the current heatwave.
She denied stealing the water, saying permission had been granted by the authorities.
“There is no water theft issue, we help people who are in need of water. The water is AKSB water and has obtained permission from them.
“The use of fire hydrants is with the permission and knowledge of the Rantau Panjang Fire Station. In fact, the fire department also helps us to send water assistance to premises such as surau and emergency schools in need of water,” she posted.
National news agency reported Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming saying yesterday that his ministry is investigating the issue and will take legal action as taking water from a hydrant is illegal and irresponsible as the water is meant to extinguish fires and not for daily consumption.