Brunei shares outbreak control measures

Lyna Mohamad

Measures and preventive actions as well as the control of the COVID-19 in Brunei Darussalam are based on the views of medical and health professionals with the justification of Islamic law, and these are all thanks to the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

The good understanding of the public on the justification of Islamic law on the advice and regulations by health professionals has made the situation in the country go well, without stirring any strife or issues in the community.

Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman said this yesterday during an unofficial annual meeting of Religious Affairs Ministers of Brunei Darussalam, the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia and Republic of Singapore (MABIMS).

He said, such actions are further strengthened with religious practices at the national level among the people, particularly the Muslims. This method has relieved anxiety and prevented panic in the community.

It has also raised awareness on the need to comply with guidelines and instructions to prevent/control the virus spread.

Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman and senior officials at the virtual meeting. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

The virtual meeting at the MoRA was joined by Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi (Indonesia) who chaired the meeting, and Senator Datuk Dr Haji Zulkifli bin Mohamed Al-Bakri (Malaysia).

Singapore was represented by Social and Family Development Minister, Second Minister of Health and Minister-in-Charge for Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli bin Masagos Mohamad.

Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin shared the country’s experience and control measures for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly religious related issues.

MoRA employs religious approaches – such as referring to government fatwas and policies related to religious practices and services to provide information to the community, through press conferences and mass media platforms. This includes the decision for the temporary closure of mosques, suraus and religious halls, Arabic and religious schools, as well as postponing the departure of Haj pilgrims this year.

This was followed with the temporary closure of mosques for the public to perform their daily prayers, except for mosque workers to ensure the continuity of function as a sacred worship place including for the call for prayers (Azan), the minister said.

At the early stage of the outbreak, Muslims in Brunei were encouraged to practise prayers and Zikir with the pure intention of seeking Allah the Almighty’s protection against COVID-19 for the country and all its residents.

Aside from religious issues, the MABIMS ministers also exchanged information and views on the management of Haj and Umrah pilgrimage, as well as the implementation of Dakwah in the Ummah development during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also representing the Brunei delegation were Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Pengiran Dato Seri Paduka Haji Bahrom bin Pengiran Haji Bahar, Permanent Secretary at the MoRA Haji Mohammad Rosli bin Haji Ibrahim, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy and Religious) at the MoRA Haji Mohd Serudin bin Haji Timbang and senior ministerial officers.