KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 ― The authorities are asking those from seven unregistered tahfiz schools in Kuala Lumpur to come forward for Covid-19 screenings as it is believed they were at the tabligh gathering in Sri Petaling.
Speaking at a press conference today, Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said that the government has the details of the tahfiz schools and will visit them as soon as possible but hoped those from the schools will come forward voluntarily.
“I was made to understand that there were unregistered tahfiz centres that took part in the tabligh gathering and some of them had not come forward for the Covid-19 screening.
“We have your details; we know there are seven centres in Kuala Lumpur that didn’t do the screening. If they don’t come voluntarily, we will find them. We will track them down to help them.
“Please don’t be afraid and try to run. We are only trying to help,” said Annuar, who assured the group they would not be punished.
The tabligh gathering earlier this month was attended by 16,000 people.
Around 10,000 participants have already been screened by the Health Ministry while another 2,000 participants believed to be foreigners have returned to their home countries.
However, Annuar said that the remaining 4,000 could be illegal foreign nationals or UNHCR refugees in the country, and he pleaded with them to obtain Covid-19 testing at the nearest public health facility.
He assured them that the government would not take any legal action against them now as authorities are primarily concerned about their health and ensuring that the virus will not spread further.
“We call upon them to come forward for a health screening. I know many of them are afraid that we will take action because they are illegals here. But rest assured, we will not take any punitive measures against them right now.
“We want to help them. I know they are afraid of legal actions but we are prioritising their health,” said Annuar.
The Ketereh MP, who earlier chaired Kuala Lumpur’s first Crisis Management Team (CMT) meeting on the Covid-19 pandemic, added that the authorities reaching out to seven associations involved with the UNHCR refugees.
He once more gave assurances that no punitive measures will be taken against the association heads but said that the government needs their assistance to ensure that refugees in the nation’s capital will heed the controlled movement order issued by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“Even though some of these associations are not registered with the ROS, for the time being, we are not here for punitive measures. The important thing is we reach out to them and have active communications with the community,” said Annuar.