PETALING JAYA: All congregational activities at mosques and surau in Selangor are still restricted due to the worsening Covid-19 cases in the state, says Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

The Sultan of Selangor’s private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani said the Ruler understood the rakyat’s concerns and appeals made by the Muslim community on social media as well as via letters, calling for mosques in Selangor to return to full function as usual.

“Due to that, until today, although with heavy heart, His Royal Highness still maintains that religious activities in mosques and surau must be limited, especially congregational prayers, for the safety of all beloved Muslims in the state,” he said in a statement Sunday (July 11).

Selangor and the Klang Valley have recorded a surge of daily Covid-19 cases in recent weeks with authorities embarking on large-scale community screenings statewide.

The Sultan of Selangor also expressed his disappointment over two main issues following the spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus.

“Firstly, His Royal Highness is upset and disappointed as he is forced to decide to limit the function of mosques and surau throughout Selangor.

“Secondly, the Sultan is also saddened to see an increase in deaths due to the Covid-19 pandemic across the state,” said Mohamad Munir.

The Sultan of Selangor emphasised that the impact of the Covid-19 virus was different on each state, and rough comparisons should not be made.

“Furthermore, Selangor, until today, is still recording the most new cases and deaths in recent months,” he said.

The Sultan also stressed that mosques in Selangor had never been fully closed and it was not easy for him to order the limitation on the number of worshippers for daily and Friday prayers.

“As of July 9, Selangor recorded a total of 1,933 deaths (28 deaths on July 9 alone), with a total of 4,400 new daily cases.

“What is more alarming for His Royal Highness is, at the end of June, data showing that deaths among the Malay community reached a total of 855 individuals, comprising more than half of the total 1,571 deaths,” said Mohamad Munir.

The Sultan of Selangor’s decision was made after examining and monitoring all the specific data and statistics of the Covid-19 pandemic in Selangor, he noted.

A few weeks before the holy month of Ramadan, for instance, when there was an ease of restrictions for activities in mosques, the infection numbers continued to spread, creating several news clusters linked to mosques and surau in Selangor, Mohamad Munir added.

His Royal Highness expressed regret that although the implementation and compliance to standard operating procedures (SOP) remained tight, the pandemic continued to rage on.

The Sultan of Selangor is unwilling to see all the heartbreaking visuals displaying the sadness of those who do not have the chance to visit hospitals or to attend the funerals of their close family members.

However, His Royal Highness said that if the numbers continue to decline and the total percentage of vaccinations given compared to the population continues to rise, “InsyaAllah (God willing), mosques and surau will reopen as usual.”

“Until that happens, the Sultan of Selangor wants all Muslims in the state to continue to perform their prayers and worship at home as well as to continue to pray to Allah to end the deadly pandemic.

“On this occasion, His Royal Highness would like to advise Muslims to remain strong and patient as the pandemic is part of a test and trial to ensure that all of us continue to remember Allah,” said Mohamad Munir.

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