To renew their business license with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, tour operators and tour operators are required to complete the Travel and Sightseeing Improvement Course (TTEC), which was first developed there 10 years ago and has undergone several revisions.
Minor improvements were made in 2014 and I managed to get the words “Carry out an emergency plan” inserted in one of the slides with the title “Guidelines for managing emergencies” for the module. on “Safety and security of tourists”.
But most of the trainers had no idea what contingency plans were. During the major overhaul in 2018, I participated in the group responsible for redesigning the “Tourist safety and security” module and contributed a full slide on “Preparing contingency plans to handle emergencies”.
The seven key stages were: setting up a working committee; brainstorm for staff, list any issues / what can go wrong, find at least two solutions for each issue, seek senior management approval, briefing and training for all staff and update / review regularly .
Upon concluding the ‘Safety and Security for Tourists’ module, 10 powerful affirmations were used to bring home with the final statement:’ The work culture of an organization is reflected in the way it values importance safety and security, not vision and mission. statements.
In April 2018 I started writing about emergency plans and since then many letters on this topic have been published.
From August of the same year, I started conducting workshops on emergency plans for industry personnel and was unsure if others were running similar workshops.
When the TTEC was last reviewed in September this year, contingency plans gained in importance. It is now part of the learning outcomes of the module.
Trainees should recognize that contingency plans are essential for resolving incidents and emergencies.
They will learn that once an organization has developed its contingency plans and staff have been trained to execute them, only senior management will have access to the full version as it would contain confidential and sensitive information, with frontliners. limited to the areas of their jurisdiction.
Even customers might receive a mini-version related to the goods or services they purchased.
Members of a tour group can fully understand when they are given instructions during pre-departure briefings, but many will forget when an incident or emergency was expected to occur.
But if emergency plans are kept under lock and key, they are of no use. They should be in portable document (PDF) format, delivered through smartphones, and updated whenever there are changes of employees or suppliers, as their cell phone numbers are crucial.
Recently, a little-known government agency was ridiculed by the public when flooding began to ravage the country from December 17.
In the eyes of the population, especially flood victims, Nadma (National Disaster Management Agency) is now considered the National Disaster Management Agency.
In 2019, the U.S. Center of Excellence for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance provided training alongside Nadma and several other organizations to 50 civilian and military disaster response actors to improve their knowledge in disaster response.
As a result of this learning event, a 96-page Disaster Management Reference Manual was published in June 2019.
It offers a comprehensive guide that brings together important information on disaster management and response in the country.
After the December 2014 floods that affected several states, especially Kelantan, with a total of 541,896 people affected and RM 2.58 billion in losses, the Cabinet agreed in August 2015 to create Nadma to take over responsibility for the National Security Council.
Its vision is to be the lead agency for disaster preparedness and management at the national level.
Its mission is to ensure the security of people and the well-being of the country by bringing various parties to work together to strengthen and improve capacity and preparedness in disaster management.
But instead of taking the lead in recent flooding, it appears to be lost, leaving other government agencies unsure of Nadma’s role and politicians making conflicting statements.
Either way, adding another layer of command would hamper rather than help speed up disaster response.
Whatever arrangements are made, individual government agencies should be allowed to react quickly on their own, leaving behind only reserve teams at Nadma’s mercy. But the litmus test on Nadma is her contingency plans and mobile app.
If there were any contingency plans that included frequently asked questions for the public, they should be posted on the website so that they could be downloaded to smartphones and quickly passed on to those who desperately need the information. .
If Nadma relies on phone calls to listen in and retrieve reports, then she has learned nothing from the taxi companies that have died like flies in recent years.
Employing large numbers of people to answer phone calls is totally ineffective, regardless of the number of employees and phone lines.
Plus, there’s no need for a war room with giant maps showing disaster areas and the whereabouts of rescue teams like in old Hollywood movies.
All it takes is a mobile application to receive, process and distribute data without being slowed down by human intervention.
In 2012 recently listed at RM166 billion.
The super app has already ventured into many consumer services such as hotel reservations, video on demand platform, ticket purchasing, food ordering, grocery shopping and a wide range. financial services including payment and insurance.
It processes millions of reservations daily. Without automation, Grab would not be able to handle the huge volume of traffic.
If government agencies, such as Nadma, used a mobile app to deal with the public, especially in times of crisis, complaints would be much lower.
But sadly, sincerity and due diligence are sorely lacking in most government agencies. What is in abundance are syiok sendiri ceremonies, slogans and speeches, with published statements and videos recorded as evidence of these exercises which can include impressive demonstrations.
On October 5, Prime Minister Datuk Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob launched National Preparedness Month (BKN) 2021.
BKN is celebrated every October and aims to improve the level of disaster awareness and preparedness, especially given the monsoon season, which could lead to an increase in flooding and landslides.
The launch was accompanied by a grand ceremony that showcased state-of-the-art capabilities and assets belonging to various authorities and the Malaysian Disaster Assistance and Rescue (Smart) Task Force demonstrating a rescue at height going down ropes.
But they were brought to a standstill by the flooding as many residents, especially in Taman Sri Muda, had to spend the night on rooftops without food, water and electricity.
Young or old, infants or infirm, they were exposed to the elements and totally cut off from the rest of the world.
After the launch, Nadma’s chief executive, Datuk, Dr Aminuddin Hassim, told reporters that new legislation to tackle disaster risk would be formulated next year with the aim of identifying disaster risks and to ensure the preparation of the community.
He reportedly said: “This is important because we want to introduce, educate and mobilize the relevant agencies in terms of identifying dangerous slopes, roads to be closed in the event of disasters and enforcement measures that will be implemented. The tasks of the relevant agencies will be coordinated to ensure that the disaster can be dealt with properly. “
On October 6, Nadma released a statement that Minister of Special Functions Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad called on all state and district level agencies to cooperate and ensure that prevention and mitigation measures are implemented on the basis of scientific data and studies.
On November 8, the Prime Minister launched the #DisasterReadyMalaysianFamily program in Putrajaya and revealed that Nadma is the main agency that helps the government formulate appropriate measures before, during and after disasters, and has taken proactive steps to offer the disaster risk reduction (DRR policy).
He reportedly said: “DRR is not just about preparing the necessary infrastructure to cope with disasters, but covers all prevention and risk mitigation measures at every stage of the disaster cycle.
He added: “The impact of disasters, such as the loss of life, mind or property, during or after a disaster, is not easy to cope with. Psychosocial support is needed so that those closest to them are resuscitated for economic and family continuity.
Previously, the Malaysian Meteorological Department had forecast heavy rains in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Johor from November to early January 2022 following the northeast monsoon transition which was due to start on November 3 and continue through March of next year.
Despite this warning, the government and its many agencies continued to operate as usual. No effort was spared to look good, to congratulate each other, to demonstrate by hosting big launches, giving awesome speeches and making slogans. Unfortunately, talking is cheap.
YS Chan is a master trainer for Mesra Malaysia and a master trainer in Asean tourism. He is also a consultant and writer in the tourism and transportation sector, and a researcher for the Travel Industry Occupational Framework published by the Department of Skills Development. Comments: [email protected]