ALL non-Muslim houses of worship in Penang that are permitted to reopen must strictly abide by the standard operating procedure (SOP).
State religions (other than Islam) committee chairman Chong Eng said the SOP included for the number of devotees not to exceed 30 (depending on the size of the religious site), to provide hand sanitiser, to conduct temperature checks and ensure all attendees wore face mask.
“Only Malaysians are allowed to enter the religious sites for now.
“Children below 12 and seniors above 70 are prohibited. The government also does not allow weddings at temples and churches.
“These places of worship should submit their applications to the representatives of various religious groups and the list will then be submitted to the National Unity Ministry for approval, ” she said.
Chong Eng said the National Unity Ministry would cooperate with the state government to
coordinate matters relating to the opening of religious sites and any update would be notified separately.
“During the movement control order (MCO), many religious groups have started online worship and religious activities in response to the call for the new normal.
“Penangites’ good cooperation in this matter has become a role model to other states.
“Although the government will gradually approve non-Muslim religious sites, I hope that they can do risk management, ensure the hygiene of the places and carry out disinfection activities before submitting the applications, ” she said in a statement.
Chong Eng also encouraged the religious sites to register with the Penang Care online tracking system to help the state government effectively control the spread of the coronavirus.
“The PGCare system records the attendee’s name and contact number and only the Penang government has access to the data.
“All data will be kept for 30 days and deleted automatically with the approval of the Penang Health Department.”
On May 20, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the ministry had agreed to reopen 174 religious sites from June 10 onwards.
The 174 religious sites include 84 Hindu temples, 67 churches, 15 Buddhist temples and eight Sikh temples in green states.
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