by FAYYADH JAFFAR/ pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
Student admissions into Higher Education Institutes (IPT) will be allowed in stages from March, while the standard operating procedure (SOP) religious festivities and ceremonies during the next two months have been set.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said to ensure safe student admission and the reopening of IPTs, the SOPs have been set by the Higher Education Ministry (MOHE) and the Health Ministry (MOH).
The total number of students allowed to enter the campus is 70% to 100% according to the capacity of the campus, for students who have completed vaccination.
Students and staff who are not fully vaccinated must take an RT-PCR test and have a negative result three days before entering the campus.
For international students, only those who have completed vaccination are allowed to enter the country. They are also required to undergo quarantine for seven days, or if they have received a booster dose, the quarantine period is five days.
He also added that hybrid and/or online implementation of distance learning is allowed.
“In every relaxation given by the government, the safety and health aspects of the people, including IPT students, remain a priority.
“In this regard, the government calls on all parties, including the administration of education institutions, staff, and students, to comply with the SOPs that have been set with full discipline and responsibility,” he added.
Meanwhile, for the Maasi Magam festival on Feb 17, only those who have been vaccinated are allowed to participate in religious activities with a physical distance of at least a metre, and wearing face masks.
Temple management must wear clothing that can distinguish them as officers responsible for ensuring SOP compliance among the public.
The movement of chariots is allowed with no more than 50 escorts consisting of the temple management only and no stops are allowed along the way.
As for the Chingay Parade from Feb 19 to Feb 22, the Road Cleansing Ceremony is allowed with not more than 100 members of the temple management only.
On Feb 20, the Carrying the Gods ceremony out of the Johor Ancient Temple to Xing Gong is allowed with no more than 200 members of the temple management.
The Chingay Festival Night Parade on Feb 21 is allowed with the movement of 11 decorated trucks and no more than 20 members of the temple management for each truck.
“As I have said before, the government will continue to allow religious festivals to be celebrated but they must be with a full sense of responsibility for the safety and health of all,” Hishammuddin said.