TAHFIZ PRIN­CI­PAL KNEW OF AS­SIS­TANT WAR­DEN’S CRIM­I­NAL BACK­GROUND

Sus­pect was en­dorsed by prison war­den to work at re­li­gious in­sti­tu­tion

New Straits Times - - News - HALIM SAID JO­HOR BARU news@nst.com.my

ATAHFIZ school, where an 11-year-old boy died af­ter be­ing al­legedly beaten, knew about the crim­i­nal back­ground of an as­sis­tant war­den who was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the death.

Madrasah Tahfiz Al-Jauhar prin­ci­pal Mo­ham­mad Afd­halud­din Is­mail said de­spite of the 29year-old sus­pect’s back­ground, the school de­cided to give him a chance as he had been rec­om­mended by his prison of­fi­cers when he was on pa­role.

“He was rec­om­mended to work at the school by the prison war­den.

“He was granted an ear­lier re­lease of his jail time based on a per­son­al­ity eval­u­a­tion by the prison of­fi­cials,” he said on Face­book yes­ter­day.

Afd­halud­din said the tahfiz school man­age­ment ad­vo­cated giv­ing em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex-pris­on­ers who had served their time in jail.

A pupil from the school, Mo­hamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gadaffi, 11, died last Wed­nes­day af­ter hav­ing his legs am­pu­tated fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent in which the boy and 14 other pupils were al­legedly beaten with a hose by an as­sis­tant war­den at Madrasah Tahfiz Al-Jauhar in Kam­pung Lukut, Kota Tinggi, on March 24.

Afd­halud­din said the sus­pect’s al­leged act of whip­ping the pupils with a hose was not con­doned by the school, adding that he com­mit­ted the act on his own.

“We do not con­done such cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment here.

“We are not de­fend­ing what he did or say­ing it was the right thing to do.

“But the beat­ing in­ci­dent per­ceived by all was com­pletely blown out of pro­por­tion.”

He hoped the school would not be pe­nalised if it was found that a staff mem­ber com­mit­ted an of­fence and that the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion would wipe out the negative crit­i­cism thrown at the school in the last few weeks.

Afd­halud­din said the school’s rep­u­ta­tion as one of the best re­li­gious schools in Jo­hor was tar­nished in the case, but he and the other teach­ers would not give up in restor­ing its good name.

He said there were those who called for the school to be closed and that it had re­ceived threats.

“The school’s (man­age­ment) is look­ing for the right time to give our side of the story.”

FILE PIC

The as­sis­tant war­den has been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with a pupil’s death.

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