Mosques gear up for re-opening

Daniel Lim & Rokiah Mahmud

Tomorrow will be the first time in 10 weeks that mosques, suraus and religious halls across the country have been allowed to re-open to a limited congregation for the Friday prayers.

In the Belait District, the preparations for the first phase of the re-opening were witnessed by a delegation from the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA), led by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy & Religious) at MoRA Haji Mohd Serudin bin Haji Timbang.

While visiting the Mohammad Jamalul Alam Mosque in Kuala Belait, the deputy permanent secretary emphasised the importance of adhering to the MoH guidelines.

This includes body temperature checks, limiting the number of congregants, and continuing to observe social distancing during prayers with the use of tape markers.

“In accordance with the advice given [by the MoH], only those given a Code Green on the BruHealth app will be allowed to attend the mosque,” said Haji Mohd Serudin.

ABOVE & BELOW: Photos above and below show Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy & Religious) at the Ministry of Religious Affairs Haji Mohd Serudin bin Haji Timbang checking the safety measures in place at Mohammad Jamalul Alam Mosque. PHOTOS: DANIEL LIM & BAHYIAH BAKIR

Pehin Khatib Abdullah Mosque Imam Haji Burhanuddin bin Haji Damit
Acting Village Head of Kampong Kulapis Mohd Asyramisyanie bin Kamis

Imam Haji Burhanuddin and a Pehin Khatib Abdullah Mosque member rearrange prayer mats at the mosque

“It is encouraged to state in advance, one’s reason for attending a selected mosque, all of which ensure the health safety of all those who visit the mosque for their Friday prayers,” he added.

Later, the delegation also visited the RPN Kampong Pandan Mosque, the STKRJ Lorong 3 Selatan Seria Mosque, the Zainab Mosque and the Kampong Sungai Liang Mosque to witness the proceedings in adapting to the new norm of the coronavirus outbreak.

Meanwhile, in the Brunei-Muara District, 27 members of the Takmir committee at the Pehin Khatib Abdullah Mosque in Kampong Kulapis have been tasked with managing the congregants during the Friday prayer.

Imam of the Pehin Khatib Abdullah Mosque Haji Burhanuddin bin Haji Damit said, “We will do temperature checks before allowing the congregants to enter, and we are also encouraging them to use face masks to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection.”

Acting Village Head of Kampong Kulapis Mohd Asyramisyanie bin Kamis told the Bulletin, “We frequently remind the village residents to register through the BruHealth application. This is a must, because if they fail to register or make early bookings, they might not be allowed to enter the mosque.

“Personnel from the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) will be tasked with making sure the congregants attend the Friday prayers complying with the procedures and precautions issued by the MoH and MoRA.”

The opening of the mosques will be carried out in three phases. The first will involve the Friday prayers on May 29, June 5 and 12. The second phase is expected to take place after those two weeks, if no new cases of COVID-19 infection are recorded.