Massive Religious Activities Banned in Regulation No.9/2020
Date 19 Mei 2020
Ahead of Eid 2020, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD asserted that massive religious activities/gatherings are banned in Regulation of Minister of Health Number 9 of 2020 on Large-scale Social Restrictions (PSBB).
“The public is questioning whether or not Eid prayers (Salat al Eid) can be performed in large congregations at mosques or fields like usual amidst COVID-19 pandemic,” the Coordinating Minister said after joining a Limited Meeting, Tuesday (19/5).
To that question, he said that massive religious activities including Eid prayers in large congregations included in the activities banned during the pandemic and this matter is regulated under Regulation of Minister of Health Number 9 of 2020.
“The ban is also based on other regulations, such as Law Number 6 of 2018 on Local Quarantine. Thus, religious activities involving a large number of people and mass gathering are banned in order to break transmission chain of the virus,” he added.
For that reason, the Government called on the public to conform to the regulation.
“The Government invites and calls on religious figures, religious organizations, and customary figures to ensure the public that salat in large congregations is part of activities banned by the regulations and laws,” he said adding that the Government doesn’t forbid people from performing salat but the large congregation, in order to avoid disaster.
The Coordinating Minister went on to say that the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), and two of Indonesia’s largest mass Muslim organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah also shared similar views and advised Muslims to perform Eid prayers at home.
“Performing Eid prayers in large congregations bring more harms than goods,” he said adding that MUI, NU, and Muhammadiyah have also issued rules on how to perform Eid prayers at home.
He explained that before issuing regulation on Eid prayers ban, the Government has coordinated with the MUI and the decision was based on the MUI’s fatwa. Thus, both MUI’s fatwa and provisions of laws and regulations forbid the public from performing prayers in large congregations to limit the spread of COVID-19.
On questions why the Government closed mosques but shopping malls still open, the Coordinating Minister said that there are 11 sectors allowed to remain open during the pandemic, including tenants in shopping malls that serve basic needs such as supermarkets and pharmacies. They can open their door for customers by strictly following the health protocols. Those violating the regulations will be closed temporarily, such as IKEA store in Tangerang, Banten Province.
In addition, airport is reopened to accommodate people whose works oblige them to travel by still following to the regulations and health protocols. Sanctions will be enforced to travelers violating the regulations.
Regarding mudik (mass exodus ahead of Eid), Mahfud asserted that the Government still bans mudik until indefinite time. He added that the Indonesian National Police (Polri), the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), Regional Leadership Communication Forum (Forkopimda), regional governments, and the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) must be involved to guard exit and entry gates to a region, alleyways (jalan tikus), and check truck containers where the travelers might hide in.
“The travelers try to escape from the check at particular time, for example during midnight when they thought law enforcement personnel are sleepy or off guard,” he said adding that security personnel has also secured the markets to anticipate people flock to markets ahead of Eid.
Also on that occasion, the Coordinating Minister explained that Indonesia Onward Cabinet ministers will not host Eid Open House this year. They will only gather with immediate family who stay at the same area. (TGH/HIM/EN)
Translated by : Rany Anjany
Reviewed by: Mia Medyana