The Fire and Rescue Department is temporarily halting its search for Mohammad Ashraf Hassan, the 29-year-old who went missing while participating in the Gopeng Ultra Trail 2019 run on March 23.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the search for the runner – fondly known as Acap – would be halted temporarily due to calls from the locals.
She said in principle, the Perak Fire Department and the police involved in the search acceded to the calls by locals, but added that tripartite discussions were underway to decide how long the search would be halted for.
"The locals asked search personnel to leave the area temporarily and be given the time and space, about two or three days, to find the runner because they had successes in finding missing persons in the area in the past.
"However, the Fire Department will be on standby to extend assistance in case of emergencies," she told reporters after visiting the command post for the search operation in Kampung Pintu Padang in Gopeng today.
Ashraf’s mother, Siti Maznah Khamis, said this was a big test to the family and thanked all those tirelessly looking for him, describing them as unsung heroes.
"We are very grateful for all the assistance being given to us to find him. Where this will end only Allah knows, we will continue to pray for his safety,” she said.