Penang flood: Surau chairman defends decision to allow non-Muslims to seek shelter in religious building

Penang flood: Surau chairman defends decision to allow non-Muslims to seek shelter in religious building
Open to all: The viral photo showing the Taman Free School surau which took in some 60 flood victims regardless of racial backgrounds after the massive flood on Saturday.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

GEORGE TOWN: A resident in Lengkok P. Ramlee says he is indebted to the surau committee members at Taman Free School for providing shelter to about 40 non-Muslim flood victims, including his relative.

"I dread to think what would have happened to my relative if not for the help from the nice people from the surau," said factory worker C.G. Teh, 51.

Teh said the residents in the area always banded together and helped each other irrespective of their race or religion.

Surau chairman Zakaria Mydin said most of the flood victims had returned home except for a family of five.

Zakaria said he and bilal Sapno Tukijo made the joint decision to allow the flood victims to seek shelter there.

"They had no place to go to," he added.

In a Facebook post which has since gone viral, Zakaria said he was proud of the surau committee members and residents of Taman Free School for providing help at such a crucial time.

on Facebook

Indahnya semangat muhibbah masyarakat Malaysia. Ianya dibuktikan kariah Surau Taman Free School yang menyediakan tempat...

Posted by Berita TV9 on Monday, 6 November 2017

"We were rushing to rescue the flood victims and had to wade through strong currents from 3am to 5am.

"We did not only rescue people, but we rescued dogs as well, because the animals too are Allah's creation," he said, adding that the dogs were allowed to stay in the surau compound until the flood waters receded.

Pictures of some of the victims resting inside the surau have also gone viral.

The surau committee's efforts were praised by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who wrote in his official Facebook post that the effort was one of the examples of the 1Malaysia Negaraku spirit that should be emulated.

"To me, the move by the surau and mosques which opened their doors to the flood victims regardless of religion and race was most appropriate and one that must be praised," he added.

 

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