KUALA LUMPUR: The government has ordered a total of 111 schools in and around Pasir Gudang in Johor closed pending further notice.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said he made the decision after being told that the situation had reached “critical” level.
He directed all teachers involved to “stop work” at once given the severity of the situation.
The list included the 13 schools closed down earlier due to chemical pollution in Sungai Kim Kim, which had affected almost 300 people.
Maszlee said in a statement that his ministry was working closely with the Health, and Water, Land and Natural Resources ministries, and the Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Ministry to ensure the safety of students, teachers and support staff in the state.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to Sekolah Bimbingan Jalinan Kasih here later, Maszlee said the type of poisonous gas emitting from the river in question had not been ascertained.
“While waiting for updates from the DoE, the ministry is keeping close tabs on the situation.
“The Johor government and State Disaster Management Committee will update us on the latest through the Johor Education Department,” he said.
Maszlee said the decision made on the school closures and others were based on the advice of the committee which comprised experts.
“The ministry’s top priority is the safety of students, teachers and support staff whom we regard as family. The best must be done for them. We will hold a discussion with the committee,’’ he said.
Saying he was saddened and angered by the pollution of Sungai Kim Kim, the minister hoped that justice would be served on the criminals who had caused much suffering to “my education family”.
About 266 victims are being treated at the Sultan Ismail Hospital, with 42 warded at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital since the chemical pollution was reported last Thursday.
Johor executive councillor Dr Sahruddin Jamal was reported to have said that a contractor licensed by the DoE would be appointed to clean up the river.
He said the affected stretch spanned 1.5km and the exercise would be coordinated by the DoE and Drainage and Irrigation Department.
List of 34 schools shut down by the Education Ministry
1. SK Tmn Pasir Putih
2. SMK Tmn Pasir Putih
3. SK Pasir Putih
4. SK Tg Puteri Resort
5. SMK Tg Puteri Resort
6. SK Kota Masai 2
7. SMK Kota Masai 2
8. SK Kota Masai 3
9. SMK Kota Masai
10. SK Kota Masai
11. SK Perigi Acheh
12. SA Kg Pasir Putih
13. SA Tmn Pasir Putih
14. SK Scientex
15. SK Tmn Mawar
16. SMK Nusa Damai
17. SMK Tmn Rinting 1
18. SMK Tmn Cendana
19. Sekolah Seni Malaysia
20. SM Scientex
21. SK Tmn Bukit Dahlia
22. SK Tmn Pasir Gudang 4
23. SK Nusa Damai
24. SK Kopok
25. SK Cahaya Masai
26. SK Tmn Cendana
27. SK Tmn Rinting 2
28. SK Tmn Rinting 3
29. SMK Pasir Gudang 2
30. SM Dato’ Penggawa
31. SMK Pasir Gudang 3
32. SK Masai
33. SJK Tamil Pasir
34. SMK Pasir Gudang 4
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