KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today urged all tahfiz and religious schools to streamline safety requirements according to those set by the Fire and Rescue Department.
He said the fire department’s initial findings showed that the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz school did not comply with safety requirements, which need to be adhered to.
“It is understood that this school was a temporary place for the students as the permanent location for the school and hostel are currently under renovation.
“However, I would like to stress here that we have a tahfiz school policy and this needs to be adhered to,” he said.
He also stressed that the need to ensure tahfiz schools adhere to safety guidelines does not mean that the government is interfering or taking over the administration of the religious schools.
“In the pursuit for a good afterlife in the hereafter, tahfiz school administrators must also make sure that worldly affairs such as safety is taken care of as well as this involves human lives," he said, quoting an Islamic verse.
He said that since 2011, 31 similar cases have been identified.
“I am not blaming any party but safety must be of paramount importance to all.”
Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said that at this juncture, the main concern is to identify the victims.
“The medical authorities are conducting the victim identification process as all the bodies were charred beyond recognition.
“We want their families to know that their welfare will be taken care of by the government. We will provide all necessary support and assistance,” he said.
He also urged to parents to ensure that the tahfiz schools their children attend comply with all safety requirements.
© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd