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Further to an invitation by Jabatan Bomba to PAM Chapter Committee for a dialogue with them on 2nd Feb 2010, the Chairman Ar. Ho J L led a team of PAM CC members consisting of Ar. Lo Su Yin, Ar. Arnold Kwan, Ar. Aaaron Fong, Ar. Belinda Chia, and [ past Chairman Ar. Lee Hon Liong] attended this dialogue along with members of IEM and ACEM at BOMBA HQ , Jalan Lintas Inanam at 10 am.

All were warmly welcomed by the BOMBA Director Tuan PPJB Khirudin B. Drahman and his Officers at their main conference room and a power point presentation were given by the Director En Khirudin with regards to the administration of their BOMBA Department. Various statistics with regards to numbers of Deaths, Injuries and Damages to properties in terms of Cost and [ total value of properties saved ], resulting from past years Fire’s were given.

It is interesting to note that during this briefing, BOMBA had pick out Komplex Karamunsing as one of the building of concern with a ” potential disaster ” waiting to happen with regards to fire safety due to so many new on-going renovation works not having full BOMBA endorsement to date for ”OC”. BOMBA inform that they are keeping an eye on this building and hope both the Architects and Engineers involved with the on-gong renovations works to submit their drawings for BOMBA endorsements before OC. The director mention that if there is a fire in Komplex Karamunsing now, chaos will happen as all pedestrians routes have been narrowed due to extension of additional shop lot spaces and even existing FIRE DOORs have been removed for these expansions and he is also not sure if there are any smoke extractors inside the central hall space. [ His off the cuff remarks was that he wont recommend bringing his children to this shopping Komplex]. Ar. Ho also express his concerns and concurred with the directors statements and hope all consultants involved to take note of BOMBA’s concerns.

New policies were also informed; [1], no more sprinklers requirement for 2 1/2- 3 storey housing and [2], doing away with requirement on limitations on maximum numbers of Terrace housing units [before: Max.16 units or 300 feet due to fire break requirement ] in one block.  It is now up to Local Authorities to determine what is allowable with regards to the number of Max. units in block.

Tuan Khirudin also informed that there were 9 types of buildings premises [ subject to certain number of storey’s ”heights” and Sq. Ft, ”areas” ..] will needs yearly approvals by BOMBA. [namely: Libraries, Hospitals and Medical Centers, Hotels, Hostels and Dormitories, and certain Warehouses, Industrial Plants / Chemical Factories, Multi Purposes Halls i.e. UMS Hall, High rise offices i.e. Yayasan Sabah and enclosed shop lots larger than 2001 M Sq.

Questions and answers and many kind words of praise follows after the presentations from both Architects and Engineers. All presents were later invited by the director for a tour of BOMBA’s Forensic Laboratory where millions of Ringgit worth of equipments were stored and where resulting evidence of equipments failures or human carelessness were also on display. We were briefed by the director along the tour on every segment of displays on the various  causes of fire.

We were also informed that Sabah BOMBA department has now engaged 2 full time chemist on hand and their duties include investigations and reporting on possible Arson’s for police further investigations esp. if fire had resulted in deaths and also for insurances claims requirement for damages to properties.

The director and his officers kindly invited all for a beautiful lunch at their dinning hall upstairs after this tour and a group photo was taken there after. We all left with a better knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the Sabah Bomba department

On behalf of PAM Sabah Chapter, a big thank you to Tuan Khirudin and his officers for their kind invitation and hosting of this dialogue and hope other smaller district Bomba’s offices are as friendly and transparent as their Headquarter at Jalan Lintas.

Reported by:-
Ar. Ho Jia Lit

November 2020