Aidilfitri prayer calls will be on radio, online
The communal prayer calls for Hari Raya Aidilfitri and the special sermon on Sunday will not be broadcast on television because no religious content can be shown on free-to-air channels, the authorities said yesterday.
In the lead-up to the holiday, the Government has received feedback requesting that the prayers, or takbir, and the sermon be made more widely accessible to the Muslim community, including on TV, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) noted.
"The Infocomm Media Development Authority's free-to-air television code does not allow for religious content in order to maintain a secular public broadcast service in our multi-religious society," the ministry said.
"The Government has been working with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) to support the Muslim community's religious needs through other channels."
Members of the Malay/Muslim community had expressed concern over why the takbir would be broadcast only on radio and livestreamed online - and not on local Malay-language TV channel Suria.
A Facebook post by Muis on the broadcast announcement on Monday saw Facebook users asking why the prayer calls will not be aired on Suria.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri, or Hari Raya Puasa, marks the end of the Ramadan fast.
Muslims usually visit mosques in the morning to perform special prayers, recite the takbir and listen to the sermon. But all places of worship here, including the 70 mosques, are closed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
On the eve of Aidilfitri tomorrow, the takbir after the last breaking of fast will be led by Mufti Nazirudin Mohd Nasir and religious teachers.
This will be livestreamed via YouTube on SalamSG TV and the Facebook pages of Muis and local mosques.
SalamSG TV is a YouTube channel that has been providing religious messaging and guidance, as well as lifestyle and motivational content.
On the morning of Aidilfitri, there will be a live takbir via Malay-language radio station Warna 94.2 FM, as well as online on the Facebook pages of the local mosques.
After the Aidilfitri prayers, Dr Nazirudin will lead a sermon to be broadcast over radio and on online channels such as SalamSG TV.
MCI noted that Warna 94.2FM broadcasts the takbir on Hari Raya eve and Hari Raya every year.
It has added 10 minutes to its existing one hour of daily religious programming since the closure of mosques, and this will continue till they fully reopen, the ministry added.