Tahfiz school group welcomes registration, but says aid needed

By Tarrence Tan
The spotlight fell on the hundreds of unregistered tahfiz schools in the country following the death of a student after he was allegedly beaten by an assistant warden (right) at one such religious school in Johor. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — The government must provide financial assistance to religious schools if it requires them to be registered, said the Federation of National Associations of al-Quran Tahfiz Institutions (Pinta).

Pinta president Mohd Zahid Mahmood Al-Hafiz said registration would entail certification with various agencies and authorities, adding that religious schools would need aid to ensure they are in compliance.

The spotlight fell on the hundreds of unregistered tahfiz schools in the country following the death of a Johor student who had both legs amputated after alleged abuse at one such religious school.

The Education Ministry and the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) are now discussing such registrations.

“The cost really depends on the condition of the building,” Zahid told Malay Mail Online, saying that certification costs were between RM50,000 and RM70,000.

“Also, it’s not easy to fulfil all of the requirements. Some schools take between three to five years,” Zahid added.

He added that some schools would not have the necessary funds to pay for such expenses, and said the onus was on the government to help if it wanted to register the tahfiz schools in the country.

“They can’t just run away from their responsibilities,” he said.

Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi was allegedly beaten on March 24, but was only taken to a hospital in Johor Baru on April 19, where he was found to have massive bacterial infection in all his limbs and kidney failure.

He then had both legs amputated below the knee and had been scheduled for surgery to amputate his right forearm, but died on April 26 before it could take place.

The case has since been classified as murder. Police released the assistant warden on bail yesterday.