BUKIT MERTAJAM: Police have launched an investigation into a viral video showing hundreds of individuals believed to be foreigners who allegedly violated standard operating procedures (SOPs) by performing Aidiladha prayers in open areas at Surau Taman Pelangi, Juru here today.
Penang police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said police were also tracking down all congregants involved to assist in the probe.
“Based on initial investigation, the management of the surau had informed that only 100 congregants are allowed to perform Friday and Aidiladha prayers at the premises but this morning, hundreds of people had come to pray.
“The management had directed the crowd to return home and close the gate when the number of congregants reaches 100 but over 200 people, believed foreigners, continued to perform the prayers in open areas and by the roadside of the surau,” he said in a news conference today.
He said the surau management proceeded with the prayers and did not take any action to disperse the crowd or contact the police.
Mohd Shuhaily said the investigation also found that the incident was a spontaneous action and based on statements from the surau management, all congregants outside the premises had adhered to SOPs and maintained physical distancing, and dispersed after the prayers.
“Police have conducted patrols to monitor SOPs compliance at the surau as well as 180 mosques and 57 surau throughout the state this morning but did not detect the incident,” he explained.
Therefore, he called on the public with information on the incident to come forward to assist in the investigation under Section 269 and 270 of the Penal Code.
Based on the information, there were over 8,000 people living in 23 flats in Taman Pelangi, with 70% of them being foreigners who worked at factories in the area, he added.
Mohd Shuhaily said so far, there was no need to issue a compound on the management of the surau because they had adhered to the stipulated SOPs and directive from the Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Department.
“On behalf of the Penang police, I apologise for the incident and I appeal to all mosques and surau to comply with SOPs and inform the police of any violations,” he said. — Bernama