Guan Eng moved to tears as he consoles fire victims
by Bernard Cheah
SEBERANG PERAI (Sept 22, 2008) : Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was moved to tears today when he tried to console the victims of a predawn fire in Mak Mandin here, which claimed two lives and left 14 families homeless.
“Be strong, do not lose hope,” he told them at the Mak Mandin Murugan Hindu Temple, where a relief centre has been set up.
He said the state government will do its best to help the victims.
The fire, which broke out at about 1.30 am, destroyed 16 houses and left 72 people homeless at the Mak Mandin Green House area.
A resident, M. Raman, 72, died when he was trapped in his house, and another, Abdul Hamid, 63, succumbed to a heart attack at Seberang Jaya Hospital, where he was admitted after he collapsed during the fire.
About 40 fire fighters and eight fire engines were at the scene.
The Butterworth Fire Department, which responded to a call at 1.48am, managed to prevent the fire from spreading with the help of fire fighters from the Bandar Perda and Kuala Muda stations.
Welfare Department officers, and volunteers from the DAP Bagan Service Centre were at the scene to help the victims, who were taken to temporary relief centres at the Murugan Temple, Mak Mandin Buddhist Temple, and the Mak Mandin Community Centre.
Lim presented RM500 to each families. Health, welfare and caring society committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the victims would be moved to a low-cost housing estate in Ambang Jajar soon.
Also present were Lim’s wife and Kota Melaka MP Betty Chew, Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P. Ramasamy, public works, utilities and transport committee chairman Lim Hock Seng, Bagan Dalam state assemblyman A. Thanasekharan and Padang Lalang state assemblyman Michael Tan Cheong Heng.
A spokesman from the Butterworth fire station said the cause of the fire and losses were being investigated.
Lim Guan Eng Visits Fire Site