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13 March 2021

PUTRAJAYA: The standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the Cheng Beng or Qing Ming festival at cemeteries and columbariums that will be celebrated by the Chinese community on April 4 was approved today.

The National Unity Ministry (KPN), said in a statement today, that the SOPs will apply 14 days before the actual festival date, which is March 20 to April 4, and 14 days after, from April 5 to 18, throughout the duration of the Movement Control Order (MCO), Conditional MCO (CMCO) and Recovery MCO (RMCO).

For the SOPs at cemeteries, the number of close relatives should not be more than six people at any one time, prayers should be conducted from 5 am to 6 pm with a duration of 90 minutes.

For columbariums, only 10 people are allowed at any one time at MCO states, 50 per cent capacity with physical distancing for CMCO areas, and for RMCO areas, the number of visitors is according to the capacity of the columbarium, according to the KPN statement.

Prayer times in MCO, CMCO and RMCO areas should be between 5 am and 6 pm, and the duration is limited to 60 minutes, with sanitisation work lasting 30 minutes in between. Interstate travel is still not allowed.

The Cheng Beng or Qing Ming festival is celebrated by the Chinese community who will hold prayers and clean the graves of their ancestors as a sign of respect and to honour their deceased relatives.

Beginning March 19 till 31, Kedah (except Kuala Muda and Kulim, which are under CMCO), Perak and Negeri Sembilan (except for Seremban, which is under CMCO) will change status to RMCO; Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang and Kelantan remain under CMCO, while Sarawak will come under CMCO from March 16 to 29.

Meanwhile, Perlis Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Sabah, Putrajaya and Labuan remain under RMCO. –Bernama


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