Johor keeping tabs on private religious schools

PHOTO: The New Paper

JOHOR BARU - The state authorities are closely monitoring privately owned Islamic religious schools to ensure that their studies do not stray from the correct Islamic teachings, says an exco member.

The measures include monitoring their syllabus, curriculum and teaching staff, said Johor Islamic Religious Affairs committee chairman Abdul Mutalip Abd Rahim.

He said special attention would be given to the schools operating in the Ulu Tiram area near here, which he described as "complicated".

The Luqmanul Hakiem religious school in Ulu Tiram was operated by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) founders Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, a radical Indonesian cleric, and Abdullah Sungkar.

Malaysian terrorist Noordin Mohd Top, who led a splinter group of JI, had previously taught at the school before it was shut down by the authorities in 2003.

In Kuantan, Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division head Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ayob Khan said the recent arrests of seven suspected IS militants in several states showed that the threat was not focused only in Kuala Lumpur.

"That is why we are taking preventive measures in all states. The Special Branch in each district will detect elements of IS and notify Bukit Aman," he said.

"We will then develop the case, collect evidence and conduct raids."

SAC Ayob said certain irresponsible individuals had labelled the police as pro-Syiah, giving grounds for IS supporters to attack the police.

"This is the same tactic used by IS in Iraq and Syria. It will cause tension and confusion when what we are actually doing is fighting the IS threat," he said.