TEMPLES REOPENED FOR WEDDINGS & PRAYERS
9 November 2020
Our nation is continuously fighting to eradicate the widespread COVID-19 pandemic. Government have announced the whole nation to be under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) until 31st December 2020. In view with the 3rd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing number of positive cases, Government have announced that all states in Malaysia except for Perlis, Pahang and Kelantan to be placed under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) from 9 November – 6 December 2020. Many newer clusters are also being cordoned under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) throughout the country.
In the midst of the above situations, Government have graciously informed via the latest SOP dated 8 November 2020, that all temples in areas under CMCO can be re-opened and weddings can be held in temples in areas under CMCO by adhering to strict SOPs.
Therefore, Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) urges all temples in areas under RMCO and CMCO to strictly adhere to the following SOPs:
- Temples can be re-opened for prayers by devotees
- Devotees are allowed to pray at temples during Nitya Poojai in the morning and evening. A maximum number of 30 devotees ONLY can be allowed to attend prayer at one time and in batches with intervals for sanitisation. This number of devotees should be based on the space of the prayer area and taking into consideration the 1meter social distancing (for smaller prayer area then less than 30 devotees should be allowed).
- Festivals at Temples are NOT Allowed
- Major and grand festivals at temples are still prohibited. Celebrations such as Kandha Shasti and Thirukaarthigai can be celebrated in a moderate manner.
- Basic SOPs to be STRICTLY adhered
- All devotee MUST wear their face mask all the times.
- Temple management must prepare a screening counter at the temple entrance with MySejahtera QR Code, temperature scanner, hand sanitiser (gel/liquid) and attendance records book for devotees to enter their names, contact no. and the temperature reading.
- MUST make sure devotees with cough, fever and breathing difficulties ARE NOT ALLOWED to attend prayer.
- Devotees with chronic diseases, the elderly and children of age 12 and below are NOT ENCOURAGED to visit the temples.
- Temple management must ensure all devotees follow the 1meter social distancing rule at all times.
- Sweets and offerings can be distributed to devotees but must be packaged properly. Devotees must leave temple as soon as possible after completing their prayer.
- Temples management must prepare hand wash areas (with soap and water).
SOPs for temples in areas under EMCO:
- All temples are CLOSED for devotees
- Devotees are not allowed to visit temples. All temples will remain closed until further announcement by the Government.
- Nitya Poojai
- Nitya Poojai can be conducted in the morning and evening by Gurukal ONLY.
Note: The above SOPs were stipulated and announced by the Federal Government through the National Security Council (NSC). The State Governments SOPs may differ a little; therefore, all temples are also urged to be alert with the announcements made by State Governments and follow them accordingly.
Under the new CMCO rule, a person is not allowed to cross district and state borders to travel. Therefore, all devotees are encouraged to visit temples in your own districts ONLY.
APPROVAL TO CONDUCT CEREMONIAL TEMPLE WEDDINGS IN AREAS UNDER CMCO:
- The Government have allowed ceremonial temple weddings. A maximum number of 30 people are allowed to attend the wedding (this number includes the Gurukal, assistant, musicians and temple committee member).
- All basic SOPs MUST to be STRICTLY adhered and NO reception is allowed after the wedding ceremony.
Let us all prayer to the Almighty for our continued wellbeing, for the nation and the world to be free from the COVID-19 pandemic soon. Let us all join hands to eradicate the widespread of the pandemic.
Malaysia Hindu Sangam takes pride in serving the needs of all Hindus and Hindu temples in this country and is highly committed to ensuring the best for all Hindu temples during this trying times.
Imbame Soolgha Ellorum Vaalga