KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — All non-Muslim wedding ceremonies held in house of worships have been postponed to July 31, the National Unity Ministry said in a statement today.
This comes after the National Security Council (NSC) approved the reopening proposal for non-Muslim worship places operating in green zones submitted by National Unity minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique during the Ministers’ Special Committee Meeting held earlier today.
The ministry also said arrangements for burial at residences must not exceed 20 people including close relatives depending on the size of the house while wake services are strictly prohibited.
Meanwhile, the ministry also provided a list of standard operating procedures (SOP) for houses of worship to make the necessary arrangements prior to resuming their services.
Earlier today, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said non-Muslim places of worship, located in green zones, are allowed to operate throughout the conditional movement control order (CMCO) period from June 10 onwards.
Among the SOP were for the management committee of the respective houses of worship to ensure all devotees understood and obeyed the SOP provided.
“Devotees showing signs of fever, cough, breathing difficulties and flu are not allowed to attend.
“Devotees diagnosed with diabetes, cancer and other non-communicable diseases are also not encouraged to attend religious services,” it said, adding that devotees aged 70 above and children below 12 were prohibited from attending similar services.
The statement also said a distance marker of one metre, both visible and adhesive, must be compulsorily placed on the floor.
The ministry also said officers from the National Unity and Integration Department will be appointed to monitor the compliance rate of the SOP in accordance with Section 3 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act.
“The ministry will like to remind all parties including religious bodies and devotees to obey the SOP issued by the NSC and the Health Ministry.
“Failure to do so will result in the immediate revocation of the permission to operate,” it said.
The statement also said a total of 174 non-Muslim places of worship were allowed to operate nationwide beginning June 10, in accordance to the guidelines set forth in the SOP such as limiting attendees to 30 people depending on the size of the place of worship.
It added that additional applications from other religious bodies will be brought forward to the Ministers’ Special Committee Meeting for approval from time to time.