MALACCA: Scores of educational institutions including kindergartens and religious schools in the state have been targeted by thieves since the beginning of this year and this has angered Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.
Idris, when contacted took a swipe at security firms commissioned to safeguard such institutions and urged Malacca police to probe whether the rampancy of such break-ins was linked to an inside job.
“It is time we review the contracts of these security firms and look into the details of the terms and conditions whether the compensation could be claimed due to the negligence of the security guards.
“Such thefts shouldn’t be taken lightly while we have to find a way to troubleshoot the current security system at schools in the state to check whether there are any discrepancies that should be immediately addressed,” he said adding that he was gravely concerned over this adverse development of targeting educational institutions.
Idris said the Education Ministry should terminate the contract of security firms found lackadaisical in protecting educational institutions from such thefts.
“Police should expedite investigations into the report lodged by school authorities as it could divulge whether security guards entrusted to safeguard are behind all these thefts,” he said.
Authorities told StarMetro that some 25 of such institutions in the state were broken into since January, where thieves also carted away computer sets containing students and pupils’ data.
The latest school hit by series of theft was on Sunday where a SJK (C) in Merlimau here lost several documents and cash after the school’s office was broken into.
Religious schools and kindergartens including in Paya Rumput, Batang Malacca, Rantau Panjang, Rim, Alor Gajah, Krubong, Semabok have reported their laptops, cash and other school equipment were stolen.
A Primary school in Kampung Tun Razak and the staff quarters of SMK Dol Said in Alor Gajah were also targeted by metal thieves for copper electrical wirings.
On March 31, an International Primary School in Batang Tiga here lost an air-condition set and five metal drain covers.
Thieves also targeted a disabled learning centre in Klebang Kecil, here on April 2 before they took away two tins of sardines tins, condensed milk and other food items meant to supplied as meals for the children.
On March 16, several classrooms of a school for handicap in Ujong Pasir, here were also ransacked by thieves but nothing was stolen as the thieves were believed to be looking for pupil’s personal data.
Malacca Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin said he also received feedback that even teachers’ handbags and students’ bicycles were stolen during school hours.
“We can’t discount the possibility of inside job as some schools reported there were no sign of break-ins but cash and equipment were stolen.
“Magpie were also told that four urban schools were targeted by thieves, where cash and other equipment were stolen although there were round-the-clock security guards overseeing the security of these schools,” he said.