KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 ― Malaysians should not spread any pictures of the religious school that suffered a fire this morning which killed 24 people to respect the victims as well as their families, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said today.
In a statement, Jakim director-general Tan Sri Othman Mustapha offered his condolences to those who lost their lives in the tragedy, saying he was shocked and saddened by what happened.
“Jakim also pleads and advises any party to not spread any pictures from the site of the fire so as to respect the victims and their families.
“Let us hope that our actions do not become slander and create a negative perception towards the beautiful religion of Islam,” Othman added.
In a separate statement, Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, the mufti of Federal Territories echoed Jakim's remarks, saying what the victims and their families needed right now were prayers as well as moral and financial support.
“To the public, there is no need to spread images which may hurt the feelings of the victim's families,” he said.
Twenty-four students and teachers died after a fire broke out at the Tahfiz Darul Ittifaqiyah school at Jalan Datuk Keramat in the Malaysian capital here this morning.
Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said that the location plans of the religious school were not approved because they did not comply with safety specifications.
The Fire and Rescue Department was previously reported to have raised concerns about fire safety measures at private and unregistered tahfiz schools.
Earlier this year, two family-run tahfiz schools caught fire in Baling, Kedah and Sabak Bernam, Selangor respectively, though no one died in the incidents.
New Straits Times Online reported that at least 15 charred bodies were found on the second floor of the three-storey building. The blaze reportedly started in one of the dormitory rooms on the third floor.
According to Malay news portal BH Online, 20 students were saved when they jumped from the second floor of the building.