SDMC updates SOP for gatherings, funerals

KUCHING: The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has issued an update to its existing standard operating procedure (SOP) guidelines for gatherings and funerals.

SDMC said only 30 persons were allowed to attend any ceremonial gathering and 20 for funeral service.

“For areas under CMCO (conditional movement control order) and MCO (movement control order), only 30 persons maximum are allowed to attend a function and a maximum 20 persons allowed at a funeral site.”

Previously on Jan 22, SDMC issued the initial SOP guidelines for funerals under CMCO areas to only be attended by close family members, with a limit of 50 persons at any one time for funeral wakes taking into account the size at the house or funeral parlour and physical distancing of at least one metre a must.

As for the ceremony at burial ground in CMCO areas, only a maximum of 30 people could be present, including close family members and the people managing the burial.

SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas called upon the bereaved families for their understanding in complying fully with this latest ruling, in view of funerals being ‘a sensitive and sentimental matter’ to them.

He acknowledged that in the event of a death, it was common practice among many native communities of Sarawak to invite many relatives to come and pay their last respects, as well as to join the families in prayer sessions.

“It is very painful for SDMC to make this type of ruling, because we understand it (funeral ceremony) can be very, very sentimental (to the people).

“But under these circumstances, please try to understand us.”