KUALA LUMPUR — Sept. 22, 2017: The Cabinet has instructed the Fire and Rescue Department to inspect safety standards at all tahfiz schools.
The decision is intended to prevent a recurrence of the fire at the Datul Quran Ittifaqiyah School here on September 14 that killed 21 students and two teachers.
Any school found to be not abiding by safety standards will be given time to make good. Failure to do so will result in closure of the school, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today at the national-level Maal Hijrah celebration.
“This is a question of the safety of our children and we cannot compromise in the matter. I agree that this is a time bomb that we cannot take lightly. It involves the lives of our children and it is our responsibility. It is not a question of the authority of the federal government or the state government. It is a question of safety, welfare and, more so, the lives of our children,” he said.
Najib described the fatal fire at the school in Datuk Keramat as most saddening and something that continues to haunt him.
“I just cannot believe that teenage boys could have planned the crime in such detail to cause the deaths of 21 innocent students and two teachers.
“What wrong did they commit? Don’t tell me a quarrel over futsal led to this crime. This is what has been haunting me,” he said. — Bernama