By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, June 26: The state government has allowed certain religious ceremonies such as weddings at houses of worship, burials, paying respect to ancestors at cemeteries to be carried out from July 1 onwards.
Nonetheless, State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said the conduct of the ceremonies must be done according to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) outlined by the religious authorities.
“Majlis Islam Sarawak has outlined the SOPs for Qurban, five times prayers to be enforced on July.
“Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) has also finalised the SOPs for a few religious activities which include wedding at houses of worship, burial and cemetery visitations with effect from July 1,” he said during a press conference after disclosing the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak at the Old State Legislative Assembly building here today.
As Sarawak moves into the recovery phase of Covid-19, Uggah who is Deputy Chief Minister asserted that more economic sectors will be gradually reopened.
Nevertheless, he stressed that there are specific SOPs for each economic activity.
Uggah who is also Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister said the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has also enhanced the SOPs for the food sector.
Those include the farmers market and night market (pasar malam) with the SOPs effective today (June 26).
Uggah who is Second Finance Minister said the Sarawak Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has outlined the SOPs for public and private sectors events as well as business events which include annual general meetings for associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) effective immediately.
He added that Sarawak Sports Council has enhanced the SOPs for the reopening of the swimming pool effective July 1.
Uggah revealed that anniversary celebrations, reunion and birthday celebrations are also allowed with SOPs such as social distancing and maximum crowd of 250 persons starting from July 1.
He disclosed that the financial sector which include pawn shops and credit community outlets can run at normal operating hours beginning next month.
Uggah noted that all the details of the SOPs can be downloaded from the Ministry for Local Government and Housing at https://mlgh.sarawak.gov.my/page-0-267-193-SOPs-During-Recovery-Movement-Control-Orders.html
To furthet explain onthe SOPs on the conduct for social ceremonies, Uggah said a workshop will be organised for community leaders and Village Development and Security Committee.
He said the time has now come for the government to engage with the local community to fight Covid-19.
On another note. Uggah said the General Operations Force has foiled two cases of illegal immigrants entering Sarawak involving Indonesians.
One case involving six Indonesians who entered Sarawak through a rat trail near Kampung Tong Nibong, Serian.
He revealed that the six Indonesians, who were in possession ofsmuggled goods worth RM5,000 have been arrested and been sent to the Serian police station for further investigation.
Uggah said they will be charged under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007.
He added that another case involved 19 Indonesians who made their way from a rat trail at a plantation area near the Serian border.
Following inspection, Uggah gathered that the Indonesians do not have legal working documents and they were sent to the Serian police station for further investigation.—DayakDaily