: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has called on local authorities to take strict legal action against illegal buildings or premises, particularly educational institutions.
Penang MTUC Safety and Health Committee chairman N. Balakrishnan said local authorities nationwide were also urged to perform inspections of all existing buildings in their respective states, especially those used as hostels, on a periodic basis.
He said news reports had previously revealed that most private buildings used for religious education had not obtained certificates of fitness (CF).
"The local authorities and Fire Department cannot wait until people report or they are invited to make inspections before they do so, they need to do it on a regular basis to ensure the condition of the building or premises, especially those involving educational institutions are safe.
"The move is necessary to avoid tragedies such as the one which claimed the lives of students and teachers of Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah Tahfiz Centre, to happen again in the future," he said at a press conference here today.
Early last Thursday, 21 students and two teachers of the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah residential religious school were killed in a fire incident.
It is learned that in the last two years, nearly 29 fire cases involving tahfiz schools have occurred throughout the country, and most of them had no CFs.