Dr Jeffrey Kitingan
TAMBUNAN: The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah- Barisan Nasional (GRS-BN) State Government is considering establishing Sabah’s own emergency call centre.
This comes after a string of blunders by the centralised MERS 999 that cost the lives and properties of Sabahans.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan in a statement here today said the local call centre would be more effective because it would be staffed by Sabahans who are more familiar with Sabah’s culture and geographical locations.
“The current MERS 999 system has proven to be ineffective and inefficient, with far too many questions asked before dispatching assistance to the victims.
“In many cases, even after so many questions, local emergency responders will be sent on a wild goose chase because MERS 999 operators have little to no knowledge of Sabah’s geographical locations.
“It is better to directly call local operators who will immediately know the locations of the emergency and the nearest responders,” he said.
Kitingan said the GRS-BN Government will consult with emergency responders such as the police, Fire and Rescue Department and Health Department, as well as local telecommunication companies to determine the best way to set up the local emergency call centre.
“The Government is hoping that this will not take too long. We do not want a repeat of what happened to accident victim Lew Kok Fai in Kolombong recently.
“Sabahans’ lives matter and must be prioritised. The GRS-BN Government is confident that this proposed local emergency call centre will help ensure that our citizens will receive immediate assistance whenever they need it,” he said.