KUALA LUMPUR – Seven suspects who were involved in the fire at Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz attended school at one time, said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
Mahdzir said the suspects aged 11-18 year-old were reportedly expelled from school due to disciplinary problems.
“The suspects did not attend school for a large number of days. Based on this, disciplinary action was taken by the school which is expelling its student,” he said at the anti-drug campaign “Sayangi Diri, Jauhi Dadah” launch at SMK Seri Saujana here today.
“Teachers had taken measures to persuade the suspects to attend school. However, after coming to school for a few days, they started missing school again.
“For example, the 16-year-old suspect only attended school when he was in Form One in 2012. Most of them only attended school in the early stage of their secondary form. The last one to drop out of school was in 2016. ”
Mahdzir said the reason they were considered as dropouts was because they are did not attend school for an extended period of time. Total number of years of schooling among them was one to five years.
It was known that three suspects formerly attended SMK Sri Ampang, two from SMK Padang Tembak and remaining two was from SK Dato’ Keramat 1 and SK Dato’ Keramat 2 respectively.
However, the 18-year-old suspect managed to finish school and furthered his studies at Giat Mara. But he reportedly left the learning skills centre.
On Sept 16, Kuala Lumpur police arrested the seven teenagers in relation to Kampung Datuk Keramat tahfiz fire due to a verbal spat between the tahfiz school pupils and the teenagers.
The suspects were identified by the police through a closed-circuit television footage retrieved from Malaysian Muslim Consumers’ Association (PPIM) building located adjacent to the school.
It was believed that six of the teenagers were tested positive for ganja and reportedly were high on drugs when committing the crime. – NST