Replacement classes can wait, says Maszlee of Pasir Gudang schools

KUALA LUMPUR: The issue of replacement classes for students in schools affected by the chemical crisis in Pasir Gudang in Johor is not important at the moment, says Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

"We are having a situation now and what is happening in the present is more important.

"The most important is the safety of the children.

"This is the utmost priority as we don't want them to be exposed to danger," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Thursday (March 14).

Dr Maszlee was responding to a question on whether replacement classes would be held for the 111 schools ordered closed in and around Pasir Gudang once the situation returned to normal.

Dr Maszlee said besides students, the ministry would also take into account the welfare the teachers and staff who were affected.

He added that Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) 2018 candidates from the affected schools could collect their results at the Pasir Gudang district education office begining Thursday (March 14).

Students can also obtain their results by texting mySMS 15888 between 10am and 6pm from Friday (March 15) to March 20.

The Ministry ordered the closure of the schools on Wednesday (March 13) pending further notice due to the emission of toxic fumes from waste illegally dumped into Sungai Kim Kim.

The incident resulted in 506 people, mostly students, seeking treatment for toxic fume inhalation.

So far, 209 victims have been hospitalised for further treatment with eight placed in intensive care units.