: The government is deeply concerned with the level of security involving children studying at schools, be it public or private schools said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
"This is not the first time, we are very concerned, we know that every two or three years, there is such an incident involving fire or building collapse, just like in this school," said Zahid when commenting on the fire at the Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah in Jalan Keramat, Kuala Lumpur which claimed the lives of 24 students this morning.
The Deputy Prime Minister said as a concerned administrator, the government was always concerned with the level of safety at schools and would not compromise with any uncalled for mishaps, especially when lives are lost.
He said initial investigations revealed that the Tahfiz centre was not registered with the Education Ministry and the authorities are checking if it was registered under the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) or any other Foundation. READ: 23 students, two wardens killed in fire at tahfiz school in KL READ: Fire at tahfiz school: All bodies burnt
Ahmad Zahid said the government maintains the procedure of the state government handling issues related to religion, including religious schools, as stated in the administration of the state government and recognised the Department of Islamic Development's role in providing assistance and financial aid.
"However, we see the level of security or standard operating procedure in schools not followed or compromised but view our monitoring as an interference in their administration," he told reporters at the Sibu International Airport after a working visit to Sarawak, here today.
Zahid said he would visit the Tahfiz centre upon his return to Kuala Lumpur today.