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PUCHONG, Oct 5 — The Education Ministry is currently in the discussion stage on the need to introduce swimming lessons in schools, says its minister Maszlee Malik.
He said the proposal was mooted by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad following the increase in drowning incidents involving school students lately.
The discussions also took into account the shortage of swimming pool facilities, especially for schools in rural areas, he said.
“Swimming skills are very important among children. In Finland and Australia and a few other countries, swimming skills are taught in schools.
“In private schools, there are many that have already implemented compulsory swimming classes for their students and for the government schools, we will try to do it in stages,” he told Bernama after visiting the family of drowned student Muhammad Ilham Fahmy Mohammad Azzam, here today.
In the meantime, Maszlee who spent half an hour with the victim’s family also conveyed his condolences and hoped they would stay strong facing the difficult test.
He also called on the public, particularly school students, not to play or bathe in areas such as lakes and disused mining ponds to avoid untoward incidents.
Muhammad Ilham Fahmy, 17, was drowned while fishing at the disused mining pond at Taman Putra Perdana here on Wednesday.
His body was found by the rescue team about 800 metres from where he was last seen at 5.45pm yesterday and his remains were laid to rest in the evening.
In the tragedy, six members of the Fire and Rescue Department (JPBM)’s Water Rescue Unit (PPDA) died while searching for Muhammad Ilham Fahmy.
Four of them were members of Port Klang Fire and Rescue station, namely, Mohd Fatah Hashim, 34; Izatul Akma Wan Ibrahim, 32; Mazlan Omarbaki, 25 and Yahya Ali, 24, and two members of the Shah Alam Fire and Rescue station, namely, Adnan Othman, 33, and Muhammad Hifdzul Malik Shaari, 25. — Bernama