SEREMBAN: About half the number of non-Muslim places of worship in Negri Sembilan which have yet to obtain approval to re-open are not allowed to hold any events till they do so, says an exco member.
State human resources, plantation and non-Islamic affairs committee chairman J. Arul Kumar said so far, only 276 places of worship were allowed to re-open.
"Based on our records, only about half the number of non-Muslim places of worship in Negri Sembilan have been allowed to re-open after they submitted their applications.
"Since we have some festivals coming up, it is my hope that the committees of places of worship that have not been given the approval to re-open will not hold any events," he said.
Speaking to reporters after handing over cash assistance to representatives of 18 non-Muslim places of worship and associations here on Friday (Aug 7), Arul said if the places of worship wished to hold events, they would have to apply to re-open.
The state government had started allowing non-Muslim places of worship, which complied with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the authorities, to re-open since July 23 following the Covid-19 outbreak.
Arul said places of worship allowed to re-open should also abide by the SOPs at all times.
He said checks conducted by the authorities showed that the committees of places of worship that were allowed to re-open have been complying with the SOPs.
"We hope they will continue to comply with the SOPs which include limiting the number of worshippers based on the size of their premises and to ensure they practise physical distancing," he added.
Arul earlier presented a total of RM183,000 to representatives of 18 non-Muslim places of worship and associations here to help them hold annual events and do minor repair works.
He said the state government has also approved another RM588,000 to be given to 55 non-Muslim places of worship and associations in the state under the second phase.
In total, the state government has set aside RM1.7mil to be distributed for the purpose this year.