48 Bangladesh nationals held in Malaysia for Covid-19 breaches in Eid prayers

Police rounded up 48 Bangladesh nationals, and one local man on Tuesday for Covid-19 standard operating procedure (SOP) breaches outside a surau (Islamic assembly building) in Taman Pelangi of Malaysia's Johor state during Eid-ul-Azha prayers.

Malaysia is one of the largest destinations for migrant workers from Bangladesh.

To probe a viral video showing hundreds of individuals – believed to be foreigners violating the SOP by performing prayers at an open area outside the surau – the law enforcers arrested them, Penang police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said.

A video showing over 200 individuals – mostly foreigners – attending Eid-ul-Azha prayers in the parking lot and by the roadside of a surau in Taman Pelangi between 8:30am to 9:00am on Tuesday had gone viral, leading to the investigation.

They were praying in the area as the surau management did not allow them inside after reaching the limit of 100 people, Shuhaily said. ‘They then allegedly proceeded to perform prayers on the road in front of the surau.’

Police will conduct investigations under Section 269 of the Penal Code for a negligent act that could spread an infectious disease as well as movement without permission and Section 270 of the Penal Code for spreading harmful infection and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) (Measures in Communicable Areas) Regulations 2020, Shuhaily said.

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