KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Federal religious authorities have decided to call for the closure of mosques for 10 days, including cancelling Friday and congregational prayers, the Perlis Mufti said today.
Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, popularly known as Dr Maza, posted on Instagram that the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) made the decision after meeting with Ministry of Health (MOH) officials last night.
“The end or extension of that period will be informed once more upon MOH’s advice. An official announcement will follow suit,” Asri said.
Religion is under state jurisdiction, not federal. Perlis previously cancelled Friday prayers last week, but Selangor religious authorities reportedly ordered a Shah Alam mosque to reopen for closing without their permission.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba announced yesterday the highest Covid-19 spike in a single day in Malaysia at 190 cases, majority of them linked to a recent tabligh event at the Sri Petaling mosque in Kuala Lumpur.
This brings the cumulative novel coronavirus cases in Malaysia to a staggering 428, the highest in Southeast Asia, as MOH urged participants in that Muslim religious gathering — which hosted about 16,000 people, including 14,500 Malaysians — to contact health authorities.