Selangor Journal

State govt rubbishes claims 200 religious schools ordered to close

By Selangor Journal Team

SHAH ALAM, Aug 16 — The Selangor government has dismissed allegations that over 200 Islamic religious schools are being ordered to shutter in the state.

Incumbent executive councillor for Islamic affairs Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni said instead, the state has been taking proactive measures since 2019 to register these private institutions.

This is evident in the formulation of the Selangor Private Religious School (Tahfiz Institution) Registration Guidelines in 2019, which involved 416 previously unregistered schools.

“The state government denies baseless allegations by certain quarters attempting to undermine efforts to regularise private religious schools with the goal of improving the quality and status of these education institutions,” he said, as reported by fact-checking portal Sebenarnya.my.

Zawawi said the registration guideline was formulated on the decree of the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj, following recent unfortunate incidents involving religious schools.

This includes the fire tragedy that claimed the lives of 21 students and two teachers of the Darul Ittifaqiyah Tahfiz school in Kuala Lumpur in 2017.

Zawawi’s statement comes just days after Selangor Islamic NGO secretariat chairman Datuk Nazilah Idris alleged that over 200 religious schools in the state have been issued notices of eviction from their respective premises via the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais), affecting some 40,000 students.

She said this was allowed to happen considering a DAP leader is currently heading the Local Government Development Ministry.

Her remark has since gone viral on social media and was published in PAS mouthpiece Harakahdaily.

Meanwhile, caretaker Selangor Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari has urged all quarters to refrain from repeating similar accusations. 

“This has been answered in July. Claims that over 200 religious schools in Selangor will be closed are slanderous and baseless,” he said in a post on social media site X. 

Last month, Amirudin had said that not a single notice of eviction and demolition had been issued by the state government to any private religious schools, and that the state is continuously improving its guidelines on religious educational institutions.

In a separate development, Pakatan Harapan social media activist Mohd Ikhmal Mohd Iskandar has lodged a police report at the Lumut police station in Perak against Nazilah for making the slanderous remarks.

Ikhmal pointed out that the allegations were without basis and had tarnished the image of the Selangor ruler, who serves as the head of religion.

“His Royal Highness has never decreed for any of the religious schools in Selangor to be shut down,” he said, while urging for an investigation to be initiated under the Defamation Act 1957, Sedition Act 1948 and Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

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