Tahfiz School Principal Says Parents Should Have Asked If The Building Had A Safety Permit

The principal seems to be blaming the parents to mask his own failure to ensure safety.

Cover image via Aizuddin Saad/NST

Muhammad Zahid Mahmood, the principal of the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah Tahfiz Centre in Kuala Lumpur, has shot back at the families of the victims of the deadly fire that claimed the lives of 21 children and two teachers last week

The Tahfiz school principal cannot grasp why the devasted parents of the pupils who died in the blaze are up in arms regarding the issue over the safety of the building.

"Why ask now about fire safety when it was not a matter that bothered the parents before," he was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insight, adding that the issue of the school's safety wasn't a concern when the parents sent their children to study.

Image via Malaysiakini

Just shy of directly blaming the grieving parents themselves, the Tahfiz school principal reportedly said:

"The parents, before sending their kids here, should have asked if the building had a safety permit. But they never did. When you are taking shelter, do you ask about the certificate of fitness?" Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah principal Muhammad Zahid Mahmood was quoted saying so by The Malaysian Insight.

The Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah is facing several allegations including that the school began operations without permits and a certificate of completion and compliance and that it did not have sufficient escape routes in case of a fire

The Malaysian Insight quoted Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, Noh Omar, saying 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 an 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 told the English news site.

Image via Bernama via NST

The fire was started by seven young boys who splashed petrol over the walls and stairs of the Tahfiz school building. The suspects are currently on remand until 29 September.

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