Aid for mosques, suraus to disinfect prayer halls, says Penang CM

A roadblock at the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, where a special priority lane will be set up for frontliners and lorries carrying essential goods.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government today said its RM500 cash aid for suraus and RM1,000 for mosques is help disinfect prayer halls to quell worries related to the Covid-19 tabligh cluster.

It said the aid is part of its larger RM75 million aid programme.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said this after some parties disputed the government’s decision to give aid to Islamic places of worship.

He said those objecting must look past differences in faith and look at it from the lens of humanity.

“We are giving out the aid since there were concerns that there could be infections from the Sri Petaling jemaah cluster.

“I’m sure the state’s multicultural society will understand the situation. Let us not be swayed by irresponsible quarters playing up racist and religious sentiments at this critical juncture,” he said in a Facebook live stream today.

He said non-Muslim places of worship requiring similar clean-up aid may contact their assemblymen or the state government, which has a trust fund for non-Muslim institutions.

Chow also said the compliance rate to the movement control order (MCO) stood at 94% presently.

He said the homeless gathered around the Komtar area would be given special care.

Priority lanes for frontliners, lorries carrying essential items

Penang police chief Sahabudin Abd Manan said an additional 10 roadblocks have been set up in the state, bringing the total to 34.

He said there would be special priority lanes for goods lorries transporting food and other essential items.

“Frontliners from the health sector and others with special passes or letters requiring them to work in essential industries may use the lane as well,” he told reporters at the state police headquarters today.

Sahabudin said five individuals had been charged in court with MCO-related offences in the state:

They comprised two men aged 32 and 34 who were charged with driving without a licence and insulting a police officer on March 25; a 37-year-old man from Bukit Mertajam who refused to stop loitering around a car park complex at his Desa Wawasan flat; and two men in a car which crashed into a roadblock at Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah in Bayan Baru.

Penang recorded 74 cases of Covid-19 as of yesterday, with the majority of the cases reported in the Bukit Mertajam and George Town areas.