Istana in good hands as uniformed personnel stand watch
By Zasika Musdi

Throughout the three days of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Istana Nurul Iman was opened to the public during the celebration, uniformed personnel could be seen everywhere in the palace's vicinity to make sure that everything ran smoothly.

A health personnel who has been on duty at the palace for three years during the Hari Raya celebration said the most common ailment of the general public, particularly amongst children, are diarrhoea and fatigue.

"When it gets too crowded, children are the ones who would be most likely affected and we pull them from the queue and move them to the first aid area in order for the doctor on duty to attend to them. Once they're better, we'll let them continue on," he said. "However, if it's a major case and we can't deal with it here, we'll take them to the hospital in an ambulance," he added.

Comparing the number of cases this year from last, he said that it was much better this year because of the additional number of health personnel stationed throughout the palace.

During worst-case scenarios, he explained that they will inform the superior and all medical personnel will be put on call immediately. Thankfully, this has never occurred before.

According to Hj Hamdan, a health officer on duty yesterday, there were eight health stations throughout the palace, a VVIP health station, with six doctors, 40 nurses, 10 paramedics and 20 attendants prepared for any types of emergencies.

"We also have four ambulances ready, just in case we can't deal with it here," he said.

Members of the police force and Fire and Rescue department were also seen in every corner.

According to police personnel in charge of entrance security, the main things they look for as they screen through the public's possession were sharp objects, drugs, lighters and cigarettes.

"So far, within these three days, we haven't caught anyone with sharp weapons in their belongings, nor anything dangerous. We usually find lighters, which we would let them keep, but we'll confiscate the cigarettes," he said.

Most would also notice as they go through the entrance, a security sign illustrating appropriate and inappropriate attire when greeting the royal family. Those wearing inappropriate clothing, such as shorts, sleeveless shirts, cargo pants, printed tees and 'baju melayu' without a 'songkok' (for men), would be allowed to go through screening area, but they would be directed to go straight to the souvenir area and be ushered to exit straight away. "They will not be allowed to greet the royal family," he pointed out.

"We wouldn't tolerate inappropriate behaviour either," said another police personnel. "If someone tries to disturb other people while queuing, or anywhere else in the vicinity, we'll send them straight out."

So far, no major cases of illnesses or misconduct have occurred throughout the three days of open house at the palace, and it is hoped such a thing would continue in the years to come. - Borneo Bulletin (6th Oct 2008)