Although non-Muslim houses of worship in green zones (areas with no active COVID-19 cases) will be allowed open from June 10 onwards, no weddings will be allowed to be held at the premises until July 31, 2020.
According to a recent directive issued by the National Unity Ministry, the directive will apply to all 84 temples allowed to reopen, as well as churches and religious organisations.
"Officers from the National Unity Ministry, as well as the National Unity and Integration Department will be tasked to monitor the compliance.
"The ministry will liaise with local councils to facilitate the reopening of the 174 premises which have received the greenlight to reopen," said the directive signed by National Unity minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique.
"The permission to operate will be revoked with immediate effect if the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are not complied with," she added.
A temple in Serdang, Selangor, recently got into hot soup after it was revealed that up to 30 people had attended a wedding function there last Sunday.
Senior minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has confirmed that the police will take action against organisers and attendees of the wedding ceremony, which was in breach of the SOPs set by the National Security Council on the resumption of religious activities.
The strict SOPs stipulated under the reopening permission included maintaining social distancing, barring those aged above 70 and below 12 from entering, as well as taking congregants' temperature, and using face masks and hand sanitisers.
Besides, the premises were also ordered to have a cap of a maximum of 30 people allowed into the premises at any given time, and even fewer for smaller non-Muslim houses of worship.
Only Malaysians will be allowed to visit the houses of worship, and that too, on special prayer days for the different religions.
The 174 religious premises that have received the green light to reopen include 84 temples, and 67 churches.
The country is now under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) until June 10, where almost all economic sectors were allowed to reopen, following a partial lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The outbreak has thus far infected 7,619 people in Malaysia, and killed 115.
Globally, the infection and death tally from the disease has surpassed 5.7 million, and over 357,000, respectively.
Photo source: Rojakdaily
Thu May 28 2020
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