Religious Enforcement officers issue warnings to Muslim men caught loitering around during Friday prayers
Bandar Seri Begawan - It was apparent that business premises across the nation were temporarily closed for two hours from noon to 2pm in view of Friday prayers.
All businesses adhered to the new ruling that came from the Ministry of Home Affairs earlier this week in response to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's recent titah that was delivered on the eve of Hari Raya Aidiladha.
The ruling came into effect yesterday.
All the central business districts in the capital, including Gadong, Kiulap and Batu Bersurat, were temporarily deserted between noon and 2pm.
The Ministry of Home Affairs through District Offices and Chairmen of Municipal Boards had ordered all business premises and offices, entertainment centres, sports and recreation facilities including cineplexes and playgrounds, tamus and food stalls, as well as business premises under the jurisdiction of the District Offices and Chairmen of Municipal Boards to be closed every Friday from noon to 2pm.
The monarch had stressed that all business premises must be closed temporarily until the Friday prayers is completed, and called for it to be implemented immediately to improve the image of the city and the country as a whole.
There were no exceptions to the ruling, as around 1,000 members of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce had already been given prior notice. Businesses run by the Chinese business community were also temporarily closed during yesterday's Friday prayers.
Meanwhile, the Religious Enforcement Section under the Syariah Affairs Department, Ministry of Religious Affairs, conducted an operation at The Mall in Gadong yesterday to remind male Muslims to perform Friday prayers.
During the operation, which was carried out in collaboration with the BSB Municipal Department, business premises that had been ordered to close during Friday prayers were inspected.
The operation involved 20 religious enforcement personnel and 50 personnel from the BSB Municipal Board, all of whom were females.
Hjh Sarimah binti Haji Abu Bakar, the Head of the Religious Enforcement, told the Weekend Bulletin that she hopes to see less Muslim men loitering around commercial premises during Friday prayers in future.
"Today's operation was carried out not only in Gadong but other strategic commercial places such as Serusop, Times Square and Kiulap," she said, adding that this was not the first time that they had conducted such an operation.
"This has been going on for the past few years. However, this is the first time that we have collaborated with the BSB Municipal Board in response to His Majesty's titah that was delivered on the eve of Hari Raya Aidiladha."
During yesterday's inspection, several warnings were issued to Muslim men.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin