GEORGE TOWN: It was a rare sight at the famous Hock Hin Keong (Ban Ka Lan Snake Temple) in Bayan Lepas with only about 10 people present for Chinese New Year prayers.
The crowd paled in comparison to the usual crowd of about 300 devotees who will turn-up during Chinese New Year.
Balik Pulau OCPD Supt A. Anbalagan, who visited the temple to check on the standard operating procedures (SOPs), said he was satisfied with the compliance.
"There aren't many people here and I was told that only five people visited the temple Thursday (Feb 11)," said Supt Anbalagan when met at the temple on Friday (Feb 12) here.
"The temple has all the SOPs in place and will do the full sanitisation after a number of people have visited the place before allowing a new batch in," he said.
Under the new movement control order SOP for Chinese New Year, only 30 people are allowed to visit the temples at any one time.
Supt Anbalagan said the police were monitoring most of the temples to ensure everyone adhered strictly to the SOPs.
Penang National Unity Department assistant director Othman Saad, who was also at the temple, said a check by the department on 60 Chinese temples in Penang showed that a number of them were still closed.
"Others were open but there were very few visitors as most of them decided to skip the traditional practice of visiting temples due to the pandemic," he said.