Ismail Sabri: Unity minister examining reopening of non-Muslim places of worship

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya April 10, 2020. — Bernama pic
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya April 10, 2020. — Bernama pic

PUTRAJAYA, May 15 — The National Unity minister is looking into approval for non-Muslim places of worship to gradually resume group activities, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the matter was raised during the National Security Council (NSC) meeting earlier.

“The minister will discuss the matter with representatives from the five biggest (non-Islamic) religions in Malaysia, namely Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Taoism,” Ismail said during the daily press conference.

He said the result of the meeting with the representatives will be tabled tomorrow morning during the ministerial meeting or next Tuesday, after which a decision will be made.

Yesterday, Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism deputy president Jagir Singh told the Malay Mail that discussions are underway between the council, the Health Ministry and the NSC on how to formulate guidelines for non-Muslims places of worship once it has been deemed fit for them to reopen.

Meanwhile, Ismail said the NSC is also awaiting a report from the Islamic Affairs minister on today’s happenings at mosques and suraus throughout the Federal Territories. 

Yesterday, permission was granted for them to resume daily and Friday prayers, subject to strict conditions including allowing no more than 30 persons at a time.

“It is possible that if there are many instances where standard operating procedures (SOP) are violated, then the permission to conduct daily and Friday prayers can be withdrawn.

“However this is subject to the Islamic Affairs minister’s report. Assuming there are one or two isolated cases, then perhaps it will only result in issuing an advisory to the mosques or suraus in question, reminding them to adhere to the SOPs,”  he said.


 

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