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Govt considers reopening other major worship places

15 May 2020 / 17:15 H.

PETALING JAYA: The federal government is looking at reopening other major places of worship for the five major religions practised in the country besides Islam.

This is after the Minister in Charge of Islamic Affairs released the standard operating procedure (SOP) for mosques to conduct Friday prayers starting from today.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pix) said National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique will look into the matter and discuss the SOP with representatives of the five other major religions - Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism.

Halimah will then present the matter to the special meeting attended by the ministers.

“It will be presented either on Saturday or next Tuesday,“ Ismail Sabri said at the daily press briefing today.

He also said the ministers are awaiting a detailed report from the Minister in Charge of Islamic Affairs on the compliance with social distancing and adherence to social discipline today, before deciding that they should tighten the SOP for mosques during the Conditional Movement Control Order period (CMCO).

“We will see what happens today ... there’s no guarantees, but if there are people who violate the SOP, it is possible that they can again take back that allowance to go the mosque to perform the prayers,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri also said the SOP for filming of drama, television series and movies are still being considered by the authorities to ensure that filming can adhere to social distancing.

“There may be cases where they will not adhere to social distancing, and we have to continue monitoring the current situation, given that a film crew usually is made up of a lot of people,“ he said.

He said the proposal, which was put forward by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, is still being studied and may only know if they can have the SOP after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.

He added that the Enhanced MCO (EMCO) for Selayang Baru, Gombak, Selangor, officially ends today after all residents have been screened for Covid-19 infections.

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