GEORGE TOWN, May 12  — Mosques or surau in Penang have been given an option to hold the Aidilfitri prayers in Penang with strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOP).

Penang Islamic Religious Council (MAINPP) president Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman said this was to allow more people the opportunity to perform the prayers.

“However, the mosques and surau must comply with the conditions set, including the presence of only 50 people in a mosque and 20 people in a surau for each session, based on the SOP under the Movement Control Order (MCO),” he said when contacted today.

He said the first session would be from 8.30 to 9.15 am, followed by 9.45 to 10.30 am (second session) and 11 to 11.45 am (third session) with sanitisation to be carried out prior to each session.

Meanwhile, in TERENGGANU, Aidilfitri prayers at mosques and suraus throughout the state are allowed to be held with the presence of only 40 male congregants, not including its committee members.

Terengganu Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council president Datuk Osman Muda in the statement said that Friday prayers would also be allowed during the MCO implemented from today until June 7, while other religious and social activities were not allowed.

In MELAKA, Aidilfitri prayers are only allowed to be performed in mosques and surau that are permitted to hold Friday prayers, while surau with special permission from the mosque or surau committee must appoint staff to ensure compliance with the SOP.

Melaka Islamic Religious Department (JAIM) director Datuk Che Sukri Che Mat said the group-based Aidilfitri ‘takbir’ at mosques and surau was allowed to be held during certain stipulated times, namely after Maghrib and Isyak prayers on the eve of Aidilfitri, after the dawn prayers on Aidilfitri day, and before the Aidilfitri prayers.

In LABUAN, Labuan COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) chairman Rithuan Ismail said Aidilfitri, Friday and obligatory prayers were allowed to be held at half the capacity of the mosque or surau.

Apart from that, he said only six people were allowed to visit a grave at a time.

Meanwhile, Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) research division director Datuk Dr Sirajuddin Suhaimee said limiting the number of congregation members to 50 for mosques which can accommodate over 1000 congregants, and 20 for surau that can accommodate less than 1,000 congregants at the Federal-level was aimed at preventing the SOP from being breached, and to avoid the gathering of groups, especially after prayers.

However, he said state religious authorities could make some modifications to the rule, including holding prayers in sessions if the relevant parties could ensure full compliance with the SOP to prevent any clusters.

“Generally, if you look at the congregants who come to the mosque or surau, they do comply with the SOP, including physical distancing, but when the prayers are over, the SOP compliance is less.

“So, the SOP for attending prayers at mosques or surau in MCO 3.0 has been made to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has currently reached an alarming rate,” he said when interviewed in the ‘Malaysia Petang Ini’ programme on Bernama TV.


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