by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by BERNAMA
THE functions and attendance at mosques and surau in Selangor will continue to be limited due to the continuous high number of Covid-19 cases in the state, said Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (picture).
The Selangor Ruler also expressed his disappointment and discontent over the decision as the deaths recorded in the state have been increasing.
“I recognise and acknowledge people’s disappointment, particularly by the Muslims through letters and social media, who have been urging the mosques in Selangor to return to full operation as usual.
“I’m also disappointed over the spread of Covid-19 pandemic that hit the country last year and saddened that the limitation to the mosque and surau’s functions has to be continued throughout the state.
“I’m also saddened to see the increased number of fatalities due to the coronavirus in all parts of Selangor,” he said in a statement issued by Istana Alam Shah.
The Selangor Ruler said limiting the functions of mosques in the state was a difficult decision as the establishments have never been closed and always open for worshippers to perform prayers.
“This decision was made based on the statistics of the Covid-19 positive cases in Selangor which have become increasingly alarming,” he said.
As of July 9, 2021, Selangor recorded a total of 1,933 deaths, of which 28 deaths on July 9, 2021, alone, with over 4,400 new daily cases.
The statistics also showed that the fatalities among Malays at the end of June reached 855 people, more than half of the 1,571 deaths recorded.
“A few weeks before the month of Ramadhan, when relaxation was given for worship activities in mosques, the infection rate continued to spread, creating several new clusters in mosques and surau in Selangor.
“It is regrettable that despite the implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and tightened compliance, the spread continues to rise.
“I could no longer hear the heartbreaking stories of grief of the families who did not have the opportunity to visit the hospitals and send the remains of their family members who lost their lives to the virus to the cemetery,” he said.
“Despite the reluctance, I still stand with the decision that religious activities at mosques and surau must be restricted, especially congregational prayers, for the safety of all Muslims in the state,” Sultan Sharafuddin added.
The Selangor Ruler emphasised that the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak are different for each state, making comparisons of the SOPs between the states invalid.
“Selangor is still the state with the highest number of new cases and deaths in recent months.
“If the number of newly infected cases continues to decline and the percentage of vaccinations compared to the total population continues to increase, mosques and surau will reopen as usual.
“Until that happens, I urge all Muslims in Selangor to continue to perform prayers and worship at your own residence and remain steadfast as this pandemic is a test for us to remember the greatness of God,” he said.