Business as usual tomorrow after tahfiz school fire?

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I refer to the article on the tahfiz school fire, which quotes The Star as saying that there have been 211 fire incidents involving tahfiz schools nationwide between 2015 and last month.

If those statistics do not call for a comprehensive investigation to be carried out, as well as the introduction of guidelines and protocols under an oversight task force, I wonder what is.

But Housing Minister Noh Omar says that the tahfiz school that caught fire early this morning did not have a valid permit from the Fire and Rescue Department for the building to be occupied.

Interestingly, Deputy Federal Territories Minister Loga Bala Mohan says he sympathises with the families, and accepts that it is one of the worst fires involving in the capital in recent years.

Does no one have the political or moral courage to resign from office for failing in their duty of care?

Tomorrow, it will go back to business as usual.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Comm Amar Singh, meanwhile, stated the charred remains of the victims were found piled on top of another in the room they were trapped in after the fire broke out. He further confirmed that the fire was believed to have started right outside the door of the room, preventing any chance of escape.

At the time of writing, this tragic fire took the lives of more than 23 students and 2 adults and 11 injured. The tragedy has now gained notoriety, and brought the nation once again into the scrutiny of the international media, which includes CNN.

We cannot deny that despite recent issues where there are various allegations surrounding the lack of oversight on the mushrooming of religious schools, the question on everyone’s lips is: where and when will be the next tragedy be?

The word on the ground is that the Fire and Rescue Department lacked the resources to check on every school. The local government, whose jurisdictions the school fall under, is said to be facing the same predicament.

The reality is that after all the media hype, statements and promises of politicians and members of the agencies that are expected to carry their responsibilities with professionalism and competence, how long before the next tragedy?

The fact remains that with schools coming up out of nowhere, mostly within housing estates without proper due diligence, the detailed licensing protocols and safety precautions put in place are just lulls before the next tragedy.

That has been always the case in Malaysia, sadly.

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