Firefighters working on the search and rescue operations at the Batang Kali landslide site refused to have their blood pressure taken for fear that they would be asked to stand down, said Kuan Chee Heng, a social activist who’s better known as Uncle Kentang in Malaysia.
“They fear they will be stopped from the operations because of high blood pressure readings,” said Kuan, who has been delivering various forms of aid to the site since the deadly landslide hit a campsite off Genting Highlands last Friday (Dec 16).
The search for the last victim, an 11-year-old boy who’s the son of a canteen operator from Mun Choong Chinese Primary School in Kuala Lumpur, is ongoing. The death toll stands at 30 now and there are 61 survivors.
“They don’t sleep well. They’re extremely tired,” said Kuan. “Blood pressure readings must be high for all of them on the field. But their spirit is higher. They are willing to sacrifice,” he added.
Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Norazam Khamis suffered a minor stroke on Monday and was rushed to the hospital, but as soon as he was discharged on Thursday, he went back to the site to give his team support.
Social media users have left prayers and well-wishes for the victims, survivors and rescuers, with some calling for the missing boy to “show up, and let’s go home”.
Meanwhile, the Batang Kali-Genting Highlands road is expected to be reopened to motorcyclists in a week’s time, said Works Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi.
“Give us a chance to conduct a thorough inspection and monitor the area because soil movements are still occurring,” he said, explaining why he does not want to rush the process.
He added that the route would also be reopened to other vehicles in stages.