The lifting of the restriction, extends to other unions under the RoS, as well as companies and cooperatives
by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
POLITICAL parties registered under the Registrar of Societies (RoS) have been given the go-ahead to assemble from July 1, effectively ending a blanket ban on all conferences and general assemblies, which has been in place since March 2020.
The lifting of the restriction, which was imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, extends to other unions under the RoS, as well as companies and cooperatives registered under the Companies Commission of Malaysia and the Malaysia Cooperative Societies Commission respectively.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said standard healthcare rules would apply including the wearing of face masks and limiting the number of participants to a maximum 250 people depending on the size of the venue. However, the latter may change upon reconsideration.
“At the moment, we are allowing not more than 250 people at a time. If there are changes to be made, specifically to increase the number of participants in attendance, it will be decided later,” Ismail Sabri told reporters at a press conference yesterday.
Most political parties had to postpone their meetings scheduled throughout the year after a directive from RoS to put all gatherings on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This included Umno, where an estimated 22,000 branch meetings were planned between Feb 15, 2020, and April 19, 2020.
Divisional meetings had also been pushed back to June 1 until July 20 to comply with the order. Its top annual general assembly was initially scheduled for Sept 26 until Sept 30, but the dates now look set for a change following delays across all levels.
Also affected by the directive was the leadership election at Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. All 189 divisions were expected to vote on April 18 to elect the Supreme Council in the party’s first polls since it was established in 2016. Its annual general meeting was scheduled for June 26 until June 28.
The government also announced the reopening of cinemas from July 1, further easing restrictions on public life as Covid-19 abates.
Cinemas, theatres and live events can be held with up to 250 people allowed in attendance subjected to the size of the closed venue.
Standard health procedures will apply, including the placement of markers on alternate seats to maintain a physical distance. Following this decision, Ismail Sabri said the government will announce on June 24 whether to lift a ban on wedding events.
Malaysia will also allow open-air pools to reopen from July 1 with strict limits. This applies to public pools at hotels and gated communities.
The pre-condition for the opening requires the presence of a lifeguard who will be tasked to monitor that distancing of at least three metres is observed.
All swimming pool operators will be required to register with the International Trade and Industry Ministry for monitoring purposes. Ismail Sabri said the decision is not applicable on water parks yet.