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Zahid: Religious schools must comply with safety standards

 | September 14, 2017

DPM says federal government does not wish to intervene in the affairs of state governments but wants safety standards to be followed.


KUALA LUMPUR: All residential religious schools nationwide must comply with building safety standards set by the authorities, says Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Speaking to reporters after visiting the Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah here which caught fire early this morning and claimed the lives of 23 people, he said the rules set by the local authorities and the Fire and Rescue Department were clear.

“Since 2011, there has been 31 such incidents. Safety standards must be complied with by all parties for the safety of tahfiz students and teachers.

“The federal government does not wish to intervene in the affairs of state governments… we just want the safety standards to be followed,” he said here this evening, adding that the safety of students and instructors should be prioritised.

Meanwhile, Zahid conveyed the condolences of Prime Minister Najib Razak and the government to the family members of the fire victims.

He said that based on reports by the Kuala Lumpur police chief and Fire and the Rescue Department director-general, 23 people were confirmed dead. They comprised 21 students and two teachers.

Zahid said the police and the fire department would conduct further investigations as initial checks revealed the premises did not have the required building safety features.

He said the safety aspects should have been prioritised although the premises was being used temporarily while the actual centre was under renovation.

“I wish to reiterate that we have an education policy for tahfiz schools, and this must be followed, be it temporarily or permanently,” he said, adding that a victim identification process was currently being conducted at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.


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