Gurdwaras and other places of worship have been ordered to stay close from 18-31 March as Malaysia imposes the partial lockdown nationwide to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19.
Also ordered close are all government and private premises, except providers of essential services such as utilities, telecommunications, transport, banking, health, pharmacies, ports, airports, cleaning and food supplies.
“As I read it, all gurdwaras programmes must be cancelled during the time, including ceremonies like Anand Karaj. No langgar is to be prepared or served,” Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) president Jagir Singh told Asia Samachar.
In an announcement today, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced a string of restrictions that will be implemented from 18 March.
The Government is implementing a ‘restriction of movement order’ under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967.
“Since order is made under the two legislations, it has to be complied with. Otherwise we will run foul of law,” said Jagir, who had earlier today (Monday) attended a meeting in Kuala Lumpur with the nation’s health director, along with representatives of other faiths.
In a live broadcast to the nation, Muhyiddin said the government’s priority now was to avoid the spreading of new infections, which will affect more people. Therefore, he said ‘drastic action needs to be taken’.
The order also will also stop Malaysians from travelling abroad while no tourists or foreigners will be allowed to enter the country.
In a note to gurdwara representatives nationwide, Jagir said it has been suggested that gurdwaras may keep their gates half-open to allow people to come and matha tekh (pay obesiance to the Guru Granth Sahib).
He said the Granthi can ocntinue performing their daily duties like parkash and sukhasan of Guru Granth Sahib.
Covid-19: Malaysia cancel Punjabi classes, gurdwaras cut events (Asia Samachar, 13 March 2020)