MKN Says No Ban On Visiting Graves After PM's Visit To Parents' Graves Triggers Anger

The clarification comes after Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob visited his parents' graves.

Cover image via Berita Harian

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There is no specific ban on visiting the graves of loved ones during non-festive periods, according to the National Security Council (MKN)

MKN stated that while the visits are subject to compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) under the National Recovery Plan (NRP), there is no specific provision in the NRP that bans such visits.

The clarification comes after Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob visited his parents' graves on Saturday, 28 August, at the Lubuk Kawah Muslim cemetery in Termeloh, Pahang.

According to a report in New Straits Times, PM Ismail's visit triggered heavy criticism from angry people, many of whom have not been able to visit their parents' graves.

A tweet by Astro Awani reporting on him visiting the graves of his father Yaakob Abdul Rahman and mother Wan Jah Wan Hamat drew angry thousands of angry reactions from people.

"Two freaking years I have never got a chance to visit mum's grave! Freaking two years!!" an enraged Twitter user quote tweeted their response in all caps to the article.

On 21 July, a Negeri Sembilan man was fined RM2,000 for visiting a grave, reported Malaysiakini.

Meanwhile, MKN director-general Datuk Rodzi Md Saad said a previous ban on graveside visits was only for Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Aidiladha celebrations to ensure there was no crowding at cemeteries

According to him, the prohibitions during festive periods was due to the practice being a norm.

"During non-festive periods, visiting graves is not an issue and is allowed. The important thing is that each visitor must ensure that physical distancing of one metre is adhered to and a face mask is worn," he added.

"In the past, whenever a festive period is approaching, the government would announce (additional) SOPs to control COVID-19 infection and this would include visiting graves. During non-festive periods, there is no SOPs preventing a person from visiting graves," New Straits Times quoted Rodzi as saying.

Rodzi also said the Prime Minister did not violate any SOPs

According to him, the visit was not a daily occurrence and did not involve a large group of people.

"I don't think any issue arose because those present wore face masks and observed physical distancing," Harian Metro quoted him as saying yesterday, 28 August.

Image via Harian Metro

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