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Report: Malaysian at tabligh event to remain in Indonesia until control order lifted

KUALA LUMPUR (March 19): A Malaysian participant at an international tabligh gathering in Indonesia has decided to stay put in the country even though the event has been postponed.

Speaking to Malaysiakini via Facebook, business man who hails from Kuching called Ustaz Adie clarified that he would not return home until Malaysia’s movement control order ends on March 31.

"Maybe I will go to Jakarta after this... If it is safe for me to find products to sell [back home].

"If it's not safe, then I will stay in Pontianak," he told the news portal.

Adie was also accompanied by two other Malaysians from Kuching.

They, however, did not even manage to reach the venue of the event before it was postponed.

"I am still relaxing at the hotel (this morning) and the ijtima has been postponed...So I just continued sleeping," he said.

Reuters today reported that the Muslim pilgrims’ event which is supposed to host thousands of people at the South Sulawesi province in Indonesia has been postponed over fears of the COVID-19 spread.

The head of Gowa regency, Adnan Purichta Ichsan, said on social media late yesterday that the organisers had "finally agreed" to postpone the event.

It was reported earlier that provincial authorities had been persuading the organisers to halt the event at Gowa near Makassar city after a similar event in Malaysia led to hundreds of infections.

Adnan clarified that the pilgrims would be isolated and arrangements are being made for them to leave Gowa.

Bernama reported that Malaysians in Indonesia who wish to return home have been told to contact the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta if they need help.

In a statement today, the embassy said no flight restrictions had been imposed by the Malaysian or Indonesian government.

"However, following the implementation of the Movement Control Order from March 18 to 31, 2020 by the Malaysian government to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Malaysia, several airlines have reduced their flight frequencies between Malaysia and Indonesia.

"Malaysians in Indonesia who want to return to Malaysia during this period are advised to contact the airlines concerned for further information and to reschedule their flights if necessary,” the statement said.

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