Sarawak mosques, surau committees urged to clean premises proactively

The management committees of mosques and surau in Sarawak have been urged to take proactive measures to carry out cleaning and disinfection activities and not wait for directives from the Ministry of Health.

Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs and Kuching North City Hall) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi said this was to ensure the houses of worship remained clean and free of the COVID-19 infection.

“We encourage them to act proactively. Make sure that our surau and mosques are clean and, if possible, carry out the disinfection process without waiting for any directive,” he told reporters today.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman, who is also management committee chairman of the Darul Hana Mosque in Jalan Tun Salahudin here, said although the mosque had been closed since yesterday for cleaning and disinfection, the call to prayer or ‘azan’ was still broadcast on the loudspeaker during prayer times.

The mosque was ordered to close after a number of tabligh members who attended a mass tabligh programme at the Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur including those suspected to be infected with COVID-19, had stayed at the Darul Hana Mosque from March 6 to 8.

“All activities held at the mosque will be stopped immediately including the five obligatory prayers in congregation, Friday prayers, while ‘nikah’ (solemnising) ceremonies will also be postponed, and those involved have already been informed,” he said.

As of yesterday, at least seven mosques across Sarawak have been formally instructed to close to give way to cleaning and disinfection works by the State Health Department and the Sarawak Islamic Religious Department.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday announced that Malaysia would impose a movement control order effective March 18 to 31 nationwide to curb the spread of COVID-19.

He said the order included a comprehensive ban on public movements and gatherings throughout the country including religious, sports, social and cultural activities.