Cheery kids at kindie again

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 14 Jul 2011

MUAR: Some 20 children have returned to the Serikids kindergarten where a hostage drama took place last week.

Most of them seemed happy to see their friends and teachers who were waiting for them at the kindergarten which re-opened yesterday.

The parents who sent the children yesterday looked happy to see other children arriving at the kindergarten but they did not want their pictures taken.

Some 30 children were taken hostage by a man who was later shot dead by police during a rescue operation on July 7.

The children played among themselves at the front porch under the observation of teachers Salmiah Abdul Talib, Norazah Mohd Shah, Chin Mei Yoke and assistant principal Khoo Chon Den.

After playing for more than 30 minutes, they were called to the kitchen area where they were served their morning meal.

Khoo said the remaining 10 children had yet to return to the kindergarten as their parents had engaged temporary helpers to look after them following the incident.

“We have been informed that the parents will send their children here soon.

“We are very happy to see the children playing and laughing. We are confident things will be back to normal soon,” she said yesterday.

However, Salmiah said the hostage incident had made her very alert and she would look at the front gate whenever someone or any vehicle passed by.

She said passers-by also tended to drive slowly to look at the kindergarten when passing the area, making her very uneasy.

Serikids kindergarten chief executive officer Tee Siew Tuan denied that the kindergarten was illegal as claimed by the authorities.

“It is licensed by the Muar municipal council which has been renewing the licence every year since 2008.”

She said the place was also registered with the Regsitrar of Companies under Tadika Serikids and allowed to operate until March 24, 2016.

“We have almost all the required approvals from the various departments, including the Health and the Fire Departments, but not from the Welfare Department.

“We submitted our application to the department in 2008 but until today we have yet to receive its approval,” she said. “The department only sent officers to look at our kindergarten after the hostage drama last week,” she added.

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