By Matthew Umpang
KUCHING — Churches throughout the state will not be doing house-to-house Christmas carolling this year, as they are taking precautionary measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
This was confirmed by Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) chairman Archbishop Simon Poh today, who said that Christmas carolling should not be done this year because the fight to curb the spread of Covid-19 is not over yet.
“We also must adhere to guidelines set by the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) given by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) who stated that house-to-house visits for religious activities during the time of the movement control order (MCO) are not allowed,” he said when contacted.
As for the Roman Catholic Church in Sarawak, Poh revealed that instead of going from house-to-house this year, they will instead be arranging for online carolling to keep the spirit of sharing Christmas joy, peace and hope.
Apart from the Catholic church, the Anglican Bishop for the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei Datuk Danald Jute said the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei will also not be organising the house-to-house Christmas carolling this year.
“There won’t be any house to house Christmas carolling activities by Anglicans in Sarawak this year,” said Danald in a short reply.
Christ Baptist Church Kuching senior pastor Greman Ujang Slat also echoed Poh and Danald’s sentiment, stating that Christmas carolling will not be held this year in order to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In Sarawak, Christians would usually go in groups to visit or receive the visit of the group of people who sing the Christmas carol at their homes, before the coming of Christmas day.
A Christmas carol is a carol is either a song or hymn on the theme of Christmas, traditionally sung at Christmas itself or during the surrounding Christmas holiday season.
It will not be possible for Christians in Sarawak to do Christmas carolling this year as the state is still placed under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In August, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that the RMCO will be extended until Dec 31.
Prior to the RMCO, the government enforced the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) from May 13 to June 10 and Movement Control Order (MCO) from Mar 18 to May 12 to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Muhyiddin said the government was left with no choice but to continue putting in place mechanisms and laws to break the chain of Covid-19 infection across the country.