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Zahid: Gov't has no powers to take-over Islamic religious schools

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today said the federal government has no powers to take over the administration of private tahfiz schools or state-owned Sekolah Agama Rakyat as they come under the jurisdiction of state religious authorities, which must be respected.

Zahid, however, said the government will step up coordination efforts to prevent a repeat of the pre-dawn fire yesterday which took the lives of 21 students and two wardens at the Darul Quran Iftifaqiyyah tahfiz school on Jalan Keramat Hujung, Kampung Datuk Keramat.

“All this while, we have the National Tahfiz Education Policy which was presented by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) but it was not fully implemented.

“This is because Jakim only has coordination powers, while enforcement and implementation powers remain with the state religious councils and departments,” Zahid told reporters at the police training centre in Kuala Lumpur after attending a Transformasi Nasional 50 (TN50) dialogue session on security...

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