All educational institutions to close

JOHOR BARU: All educational institutions in Pasir Gudang district have been ordered to close for three days following chemical pollution in the area, says the state Education Department.

There are 475 education institutions in Pasir Gudang registered with the state Education Depart­ment, comprising 111 primary and secondary schools, three higher education institutions, 14 private and international schools and 347 private kindergartens.

In a statement, state Education Department director Azman Adnan said they would be closed for three days from today to Thursday (June 25-27) to allow authorities to work on clearing the pollution.

“All principles and headmasters have been told to inform their students, teachers, parents and staff about the closure.”

To date, more than 100 students from more than 30 schools have been affected due to the air pollution, which surfaced on Thursday.

This is the second time in three months that authorities have ordered all schools in the district to be closed down due to pollution.

In March, all 111 schools were also ordered to close following toxic fumes coming from Sungai Kim Kim.

Meanwhile, victims affected by the latest pollution here are upset and puzzled over how such an incident could happen just three months after the previous case.

They also expressed anger over how the authorities are handling the incident.

SMK Tanjung Puteri Resort student Noor Ameileyana Fadzlee, 13, said she was previously warded for two days at the Sultan Ismail Hospital for breathing difficulties.

“Luckily, it was not that bad this time and the doctor told me that I could go home after this,” she said at the Pasir Gudang Indoor Stadium here yesterday.

Her mother Herlina Muslimin, 40, said she was anxious when she found out about her daughter’s condition.

“I was worried when I received a call from her teacher asking me to come directly to Pasir Gudang Indoor Stadium. After the first incident, I thought it would not happen again. It’s upsetting to see my daughter suffering from the symptoms again,” she said.

Senahni Hamzah, 44, mother of 16-year-old Siti Jasliena Jumaat of SMK Tanjung Puteri Resort, also said this was the second time her daughter has been affected by the pollution.

“When I reached the school, they informed me that an ambulance had already taken her to the operation centre, so I immediately rushed here,” said Senahni.

Trader Normah Ahmad, 63, said she is baffled as to why this keeps happening.

“This is also affecting our livelihood as many people are afraid to buy food in this area.

“I hope the authorities will take this seriously,” she said.

She added that business went on as usual as there had been no orders to shut down the shops here.

Source: TheStar