Sikh temples may open next month

KUCHING: The respective Sikh Gurdwaras (temples) in the state may open to worshippers by next month if the situation permitted.

Sarawak Sikh Temple Association president Dr Kalwinder Singh Khaira said that this is in line with Unit for Other Religions’s (Unifor) recent standard operating procedures (SOPs) with regard to religious leaders must complete their vaccination two weeks before the reopening of the respective houses of worship.

“There are three Sikh temples in Sarawak, namely Kuching, Miri and Sibu. The earliest we can open is early August for Miri and middle of August in Kuching.

“Hence, till then we will monitor and if the situation permits, we will open then, following all the SOPs in place,” he told New Sarawak Tribune on Saturday (July 24).

Dr Kalwinder also said that most of the Sikh community are known to each other and most of them have been vaccinated or hopefully will be vaccinated by early next month.

“However, when opening, we will be careful and make adjustments accordingly,” he said.

He added the Sikh temple in Sibu will only open in September or even later as it is still undergoing renovations.

Meanwhile, Unifor in its updated SOP for houses of worship released on July 23, has stated that houses of worship are allowed to reopen effective July 24, but subjected to several conditions.

Among the SOPs, it said that priests, monks or caretakers must complete their vaccination two weeks before the reopening of the respective houses of worship, while unvaccinated members are not encouraged to visit the temples.

Attendance is limited to a maximum of 50 persons, or whichever is lower.

Prohibited activities include seminars, courses, cultural activities, and any other activities not listed in the SOP.