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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad has denied reports claiming unregistered tahfiz centres will be closed down by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
Khalid clarified in a statement today that the ministry will instead allow a grace period until December 31 for operators of unregistered centres to register with DBKL and the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi).
“The Federal Territories Ministry has decided to make it compulsory for all tahfiz centres to be registered to ensure the safety, welfare and education of students are in a proper state.
“In line with the decision, the ministry will cooperate with Jawi to get these centres registered,” read his statement today.
This follows reports quoting Khalid as saying DBKL was preparing to close down unregistered tahfiz centres in the capital.
He was also quoted as saying the ministry would not afford tahfiz centres special treatment and was instead mooting stricter rules for centres that double up as boarding schools.
Khalid explained today that DBKL will work with the Fire and Rescue Department and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) to ensure safety standards at the centres are met.
“Cooperation with the department and TNB is to ensure these centres meet the required safety standards while maintaining comfort for the students. Jawi will oversee the curriculum and student development,” said Khalid.
He revealed the ministry will also consider assisting certain centres to achieve the required standards before they are allowed to be registered.
“We urge operators of these tahfiz centres to cooperate and achieve these objectives for the sake of the children’s safety and academic wellbeing,” he said.
Unregistered tahfiz centres entered the spotlight recently following the arrest of a centre’s principal in Kepong for allegedly sodomising nine students, aged 11 to 16 years.
The centre was found to be operating illegally.