Mosques to allow more people for prayers, subject to rulers’ approval

More people may be allowed at congregational and Friday prayers, subject to approval by the rulers.

PUTRAJAYA: Mosques will soon be given permission to allow more people to attend congregational and Friday prayers, although this is subject to the approval of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the rulers.

Senior minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs had proposed a loosened SOP, which the government had agreed to in principle.

“But all things related to religion must acquire the approval of the Agong and the rulers of the various states.

“So we will wait for the rulers’ approval, then the religious affairs minister will announce the SOP,” he said at his daily press briefing today.

Ismail said the revised restriction will be subject to the size of the mosque, as long as social distancing can be observed.

“For example, if it’s a big mosque like Masjid Putrajaya, with social distancing of 1m observed, they could allow maybe 200 to 300 people at a time,” he said.

Previously, mosques were only allowed to have a maximum of 30 people for Friday and congregational prayers, while the premises must be monitored by authorities such as the police and state religious officials.

Congregants were required to wear face masks and maintain a distance of 1m between themselves and others, both within and outside the mosques.

Minister in charge of religious affairs Zulkifli Mohamad said those who have chronic illnesses, senior citizens above the age of 70 and children below the age of 15 were not allowed to attend the prayers.

Fake or not? Check our quick fake news buster here.