Hundreds of Malaysian schools close over pollution fears


More than 400 schools in southern Malaysia have been temporarily closed this week when dozens of students fell ill after being exposed to chemical pollution for the second time in three months. 

The education ministry ordered some 100 government primary and secondary schools as well as 300 private kindergartens in Pasir Gudang, Johor state, to remain shut until Thursday after 75 pupils complained of breathing difficulties and vomiting. Four victims were hospitalised. 

The source of the pollution has not been identified but authorities have expressed alarm at the recurrence of sickness among young residents. 

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad described the pollution problem as “unfortunate” and that it should not have “happened again”, reported the Associated Press. 

He said on Tuesday that the authorities are still trying to identify the companies responsible and warned that stern action will be taken.


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