Why ask now about fire safety, says tahfiz school principal

Diyana Ibrahim

Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah principal Muhammad Zahid Mahmood says the issue of the school's safety did not crop up when the parents sent their children to the tahfiz school, in which 21 pupils and two teachers were killed in a fire last week, in Kampung Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur. – The Malaysian Insight pic, September 23, 2017.

WHY ask now about fire safety when it was not a matter that bothered the parents before, says the principal of the tahfiz school which suffered a fire tragedy last week, in Kampung Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur.

Muhammad Zahid Mahmood said this in response to the stink the families of the pupils are raising over the safety of the building, in which 21 pupils and two teachers were killed in a blaze last week.

The principal,said the issue of the school’s safety did not crop up when the parents sent their children to study at Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah.

“We didn’t discuss the status because we were only staying temporarily. When you are taking shelter, do you ask about the certificate of fitness?” he told The Malaysian Insight yesterday.

“The parents, before sending their kids here, should have asked if the building had a safety permit. But they never did,” said Muhammad. 

Muhammad was responding to the families of 10 victims of the fire who have banded together to seek justice.

Among the allegations levelled agains the tahfiz school are that the school began operations without a permit and a certificate of completion and compliance (CCC) and that it did not have a sufficient number of fire escape routes.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Noh Omar had said that the floor plan of the building submitted to the authorities did not match the current state of the building.

“According to the original plan, it is open concept but it has been built with walls and does not follow the original plan.

“The building also does not have approval from the fire (and rescue) department,” he had said.

The temporary building was built on a piece of land given to the Federal Territory Religious Department.

The tahfiz centre’s own building is located nearby. It is under renovation and the tahfiz school is expected to move back into the building when work is completed at the end of next month.

The principal said the centre had never charged the parents fees.

“The tahfiz was run with public donations. We never charged the parents,” said Muhammad.

This is the second biggest fire involving religious schools in Malaysia.

Director-general of the Fire and Rescue Department, Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said the fire was caused by petrol splashed walls and other parts of the building.

Putrajaya had on Tuesday announced an allocation to upgrade all tahfiz schools, as well as the setting up of a committee to work out amendments to the Education Act 1996 so that tahfiz schools wil be regulated.

Seven boys aged between 11 and 18 have been remanded since September 15 in connection with the fire.

The remand order ended yesterday but was extended until September 29 to allow police to complete their investigations. – September 23, 2017.

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  • Sounds like a guilty person to me. Blame shifting and stonewalling -- put personal profits above human lives. Investigate this man soon.

    Posted 6 years ago by Kuasa Rakyat · Reply