No compromise on issues involving loss of lives — Zahid

Zahid (File Photo)

SIBU: The federal government will not compromise on anything when it comes to issues that involve the loss of lives.

This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi when commenting on the fire at Pusat Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifagiyah in Jalan Keramat Hujung, Kuala Lumpur yesterday morning which took the lives of 21 students and two wardens.

According to Ahmad Zahid, the school was not registered with the education ministry.

“I will, however, check whether the school is registered under the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) or Yayasan Pondok Malaysia or Yayasan Pintar. Based on a coordination meeting with Yayasan Pintar and religious schools before, I have stated that we wanted these schools to be registered and to have specifications so that they comply with the safety features including the setting of volunteer fire and rescue teams. I will visit the school soon,” he told a press conference at Sibu Airport yesterday.

According to him, over 50,000 students are studying at  religious schools nationwide.

“This is not the first time such incident has happened. We are very concerned because every two or three years, fires would break out or other incidents would happen because there is no proper safety features put in place,” he said.

He said whether the schools were handled by foundations or private sector or individuals, as a concerned government, this issue must be looked into.

“Religious schools are under the administration of the state government. The federal government respects the authority of the state government.

“We have done our best in terms of monitoring and assistance, but if the standards are not being complied with or if we see stubbornness being displayed, then the federal government has to react,” he added.

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