Ahead of Raya and Kaamatan festivities, Sabah's top cop urges strict adherence to SOPs

KOTA KINABALU: With preparations in full swing for Hari Raya Aidilfitri and the month-long Kaamatan or Harvest Festival, Sabah's Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali has issued a stern reminder that standard operating procedures (SOP) would be strictly enforced.

With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging, he advised those who wish to gather and celebrate to fully comply with the SOP.

He said anyone thinking of trying to outsmart the authorities – and have non-SOP-compliant gatherings deep in the interior or farms –should think twice because there are ways of detecting such breaches.

Hazani said police are aware that people may gather or party far from the public eye, especially those in villages or with land outside urban areas.

"But we have people who will provide information, so please abide by regulations and hold your gatherings responsibly," Hazani said.

He said the authorities do not have the time or inclination to find fault with anyone, but it is the duty of all to stop the chain of Covid-19 transmission.

For social gatherings and events in the state, which is now under the conditional movement control order (MCO), the time allowed for each programme is two hours.

There can be no more than 30 people present, or 30% of the total space available, according to the SOP; while activities that make it hard for social distancing to be observed, such as blowing of candles on cakes, dancing and the like, are prohibited.

Karaoke sessions during these social events are also not allowed during the conditional MCO period.

All guests involved in the event or gathering must wear face masks at all times (except when eating or drinking) and maintain social distancing throughout the event.

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