Ministry powerless over child’s death in religious school
KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today that his ministry does not have the jurisdiction to take disciplinary action against the teacher who allegedly caused the death of a seven-year-old student at a religious school hostel in Perlis.
Saiful Syazani Saiful died yesterday morning after he was allegedly assaulted and tied up by a 26-year-old teacher after being accused of stealing from the hostel.
Saiful was admitted to Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Kedah for two days with multiple head injuries.
Muhyiddin, who is also deputy prime minister, said the Education Ministry could only advise private schools on disciplinary matters, stressing that the matter was in the hands of the police.
“What was reported did not happen in a government school but a private religious school. As an education minister, I view this matter very seriously regardless if he (the deceased) was in a private or government school, the question of abuse causing death is a criminal act.
“Surely, the police must investigate what transpired and caused the death. This matter should not be left just like that. The school must give priority towards safety even more so when the alleged culprit is a teacher,” he said.
Perlis CID chief Supt Mohd Nashir Ya has told reporters that the teacher was detained yesterday pending investigations, saying that the case has been classified as murder.
Muhyiddin refused to elaborate on the matter, reiterating that the incident happened at a private school.
“I do not want to comment because what happened is outside of the Education Ministry's system and if I say too much then it would look like I am responsible. You have to understand that that this happened in a private school,” he said.
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