Tahfiz school beating: Other pupils given clean bill of health

Halim Said

JOHOR BARU: Fourteen pupils of a religious school in Johor, who were beaten with a garden hose by a warden, have been cleared of any serious injuries or illnesses.

The checks on the Maahad Tahfiz Al-Jauhar pupils, done by the Johor Health Department, were done after the hospitalisation of 11-year-old Mohd Thaqif Amin Mohd Ghadaffi.

The group of boys had claimed that they were beaten on their soles of their feet with a garden hose by the school's 29-year old assistant warden for being too noisy in the surau. The act was caught on closed circuit television cameras.

Also in the group was Thaqif. The boy had to have both his legs amputated due to bacterial infections and died not long after.

Johor Health, Environment, Education and Information Executive Council chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said the checks were done on Wednesday, which included all 107 pupils and 47 staff members of the school.

The checks were prompted by the Permaisuri of Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, who had visited Thaqif at the Sultan Ismail Hospital when he was warded.

Ayub said none of the pupils or staff of showed health risks or infections similar to Thaqif's, thus omitting any need for further hospital checks.

Ayub said Thaqif's blood sample had been sent to the Malaysian Research Institute in Kuala Lumpur for tests. The results are expected to be ready in two weeks.

"Only from the blood test report can we determine the cause of the victim's bacterial infection," he said.