KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — Singapore will close all 70 mosques for at least five days from tomorrow for cleaning, cancelling Friday prayers, after two Singaporeans who attended a Kuala Lumpur religious event contracted Covid-19.
Channel News Asia reported Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli as saying that 82 Singaporeans had attended the Jhor Qudamak Malaysia 2020 event at the Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur from February 27 to March 1.
Mosques in Singapore will also cancel all activities, including religious classes, lectures, and mosque-based kindergartens, for two weeks from tomorrow until March 27.
When asked to comment on Malaysia’s move not to suspend Friday prayers, Masagos said: “Why must we follow people who may not be doing the right (thing)?”
“We should follow what we need for Singapore and Singaporeans. We are not just protecting Muslims. We are protecting the nation and to make sure that our practice of preventing the spread of the virus is the standard that Singapore will be reputed for.”
Malaysia’s de facto religious affairs minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said today there was no need to suspend Friday prayers because health authorities believe the Covid-19 situation is under control, as he called for the shortening of sermons instead.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba also asserted that Malaysia could contain the novel coronavirus outbreak, deferring to Zulkifli on the matter of Friday prayers.
He said a Covid-19 patient in Malaysia linked to neighbouring Brunei’s first Covid-19 case — who had attended the tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque — has seen at least two confirmed cases in the country in Tawau, Sabah, and Kuantan, Pahang.