KUALA LUMPUR: The Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz tragedy is a clear signal that fire safety as well as finding solutions social issues must be taken seriously, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (pic).
The MCA president said that the tragic incident was a lesson for all to remember the importance of instilling high moral values and proper discipline among the youth.
He added that he never expected that human hand had started the fire.
"We thought it was a short circuit, or something that resulted in lack of fire safety regulations. Never did I imagine that it was arson, allegedly orchestrated by a group of youths.
"Malaysia is developing rapidly but the material growth will mean nothing if we do not grow in terms of societal and moral values," he said before distributing financial aid to families of the fire victims at a ceremony here Friday.
The horrific Sept 14 early morning fire at the religious school in Kg Datuk Keramat killed 21 students and two teachers, shocking the entire nation.
Liow, together with Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, handed out RM1,000 in aid to each affected family and RM5,000 to the school.
A few donations from individuals and non-governmental organisations were also handed out.
In his speech, Liow called on all parties to be serious about safety at schools, especially boarding schools.
"As members of the Cabinet, Johari and I are very concerned with the safety of our students while they are at school.
"This aid is our way of showing moral support to the families who have lost their children, and I offer my condolences to them," he said.
Liow later told reporters that he would visit religious schools in his constituency of Bentong to check for any potential hazards.
"This is a lesson to be learnt by all of us and we must ensure this incident does not repeat anywhere else," he said.
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