KUNDASANG, June 10 (Bernama) — The Communications and Multimedia Ministry will present 100 units of walkie-talkie to mountain guides here to facilitate communication at work.
Its minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said it was crucial for the mountain guides to be properly equipped with a communication device particularly in unforeseen circumstances such as a disaster.
“We will also install a repeater to enable the walkie-talkies to function in the mountainous area.
“Give us a week or two to bring the equipment here,” he told reporters at the operation centre at Kinabalu Park, Ranau on Wednesday, after surveying an area devastated by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake on Friday.
He said the ministry would also provide a ‘dedicated channel’ through which the mountain guides could access a special frequency for their walkie-talkies.
Ahmad Shabery said the ministry would also discuss with the state government about providing insurance coverage for the mountain guides.
He said part of the funds collected for the Sabah Earthquake Fund under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Humanitarian Fund could be used for the purpose.
“I will discuss with the state government about possibly using a portion of the amount from the Fund for the initial payment of the insurance for them,” he said.
Ahmad Shabery said he was made to understand that the guides had never had any insurance protection while on the job.
“The fees paid by climbers included insurance protection for themselves but not for their guides. So we need to discuss this matter and look at it together,” he said.
He said more than RM50,000 were collected within two days after the launch of the Fund.
Meanwhile, the minister encouraged a group of mountain guides he had met with, to keep up their spirit and continue serving in their noble profession.
“Whatever the trials and challenges…don’t let them break the spirit within you to serve and look after Mt Kinabalu, which is our pride,” he said.