Devotees Set for New Normal; SOP for Hindu Temples Submitted

KUANTAN, MALAYSIA, May 10, 2020 (New Strait Times): Temple visits could soon be a whole new experience for Hindu devotees nationwide as they embrace the new normal adopted at the house of worship. The Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) last week submitted a set of guidelines and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to the National Security Council (NSC) to get their views on reopening temples. MHS president Datuk RS Mohan Shan said the SOP prioritized the safety of devotees during their temple visits and was done in accordance with advice from the Health Ministry.

He said among the proposals included in the SOP are for devotees to wear face masks, wash their hands or temples to provide hand sanitizers for devotees before entering the premises. “All temple staff and devotees will be required to have their temperatures taken. Others include floor markings for devotees to maintain social distancing during prayers, limited number of people inside the premises depending on the compound size, separate entrance and exit, while devotees will have to also provide their full details for record.” Meanwhile, Mohan said when temples are allowed to open, the Thiruvizha (an annual celebration), Maha Kumbhabhisekam (a consecration ceremony) and chariot procession might still not be allowed.