GEORGE TOWN, Apr 27 – The Government has been urged to take stern action such as immediately stopping operations of orphanages or religious schools that are not registered with the relevant department or ministry. Malaysian Orphans Welfare Association (Peyatim) deputy president Tan Sri Mohd Yussof Latiff said unregistered institutions expose orphans or tahfiz students to exploitation such as forcing them to collect donations or be abused because they are not being monitored.
“Do not regret after the worst happens, such as what happened to a tahfiz student in Johor, who was abused, causing his death. It is understood that the religious school was not registered with the ministry,” he said. The student Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi, 11, died yesterday at 2.05pm at the Sultan Ismail Hospital in Johor Baru, after allegedly being beaten by an assistant warden of the dormitory in the religious school.
“By right religious schools must register with the Ministry of Education or Islamic religious department, while orphanages must be registered with the Social Welfare Department, then the relevant parties can monitor their operations,” he said at a press conference here today.
Mohd Yussof said operators of orphanages and registered religious schools are usually given courses and training to equip them with the knowledge on how to run the institutions, thereby reducing the risk of untoward incidents. Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid was reported as saying that the religious school where the incident took place was not registered under the ministry. The incident had drawn criticism as well as calls for stern action against the offenders. — Bernama