KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry has ordered a total of 34 schools surrounding Pasir Gudang, Johor, to shutter its doors until further notice due to chemical pollution.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said that he was told that the situation had reached a critical level on Wednesday (March 13).
He added that teachers should stop work immediately given the dangerous situation.
The list of 34 schools includes the 13 schools closed down on Tuesday (March 12) due to chemical pollution of the Sungai Kim Kim river in Pasir Gudang, which has affected 300 people, requiring them to seek medical treatment.
"The ministry is working closely with the Health Ministry and the Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Ministry to ensure the safety of students, teachers and all supporting staff," he said.
During a visit to Sekolah Bimbingan Jalinan Kasih here on Wednesday, Dr Maszlee said the type of poisonous gas being emitted from the Pasir Gudang river had not been identified yet.
He added that all decisions made by his ministry – including school closures –are based on the advice of Johor's Disaster Management Committee.
"The ministry's main priority is the safety of students, teachers and supporting staff.
"A discussion will be conducted with the committee to decide the best course of action to ensure their safety," he said.
Dr Maszlee also said he hoped justice would be served on those who have caused much suffering to the victims.