Important Notice on Covid-19 Pandemic

By the order of the Executive Committee of Nalanda Buddhist Society.  Updated on 17 March 2020.

Suspension of Nalanda programmes and activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On 13 March 2020, the Prime Minister’s office issued a special address to Malaysians on the current situation of Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Based on the Ministry of Health’s advice, we are temporarily suspending all programmes at Nalanda Centre Sri Serdang, NEO Centres in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Sungai Petani, as well as at all Nalanda branch libraries.  This suspension has taken effect from 6.00PM on Sunday, 15 March 2020, and for an indefinite period.

 

Affected Programmes

The programmes hereby suspended include the weekly morning services on Saturdays and Sundays, weekly meditation classes, Nalanda Dhamma School, Nalanda Free School, Dhamma School for Adults, and Youth Centre activities. The fortnightly alms-round in Seri Kembangan and Happy Garden, Kuala Lumpur are also suspended.

 

Library Services

All Pustaka Nalanda branch libraries in Sri Serdang, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Sungai Petani, K. Sri Dhammananda Centre, and the Youth Library will be closed while this suspension is in force. All books which are on loan will automatically have their return due dates extended by 30 days.

 

Dhamma Family gatherings

The fortnightly Dhamma Family gatherings at homes will also be suspended until further notice. However, recordings of Dhamma sharings will be sent regularly to all members.

 

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting for Nalanda Buddhist Society was scheduled to be held on 22 March 2020. The Registrar of Societies in their circular dated 16 March 2020 has allowed the deferment of our AGM to June 2020. Therefore, the AGM on 22 March will not be held. A new date for the AGM will be decided and announced later by Nalanda Board of Management.

 

UPDATED on 17 March:  Temporary closures of Nalanda Centres

On 16 March 2020, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a directive for the temporary closure of all places of worship across Malaysia to stem the spread of Covid-19.  Thus, we would like to inform you that Nalanda Centre in Sri Serdang, as well as NEO Centres in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Sungai Petani will be closed temporarily from Wednesday, 18 March to Tuesday, 31 March 2020.

Should the situation improve after some time, and with the permission of the authorities, our centres will be reopened to the public soonest possible to continue to serve our communities.  During the interim, if you may contact Nalanda Management through our e-mail at info@nalanda.org.my, or call our hotline at 03-8938-1501.

 

Mitigation efforts at Nalanda Centre

Since a month ago, Nalanda Centre Management has initiated additional efforts to sanitise our premises. Volunteers and staff have been cleaning the Centre several times a day. The toilets are washed every few hours, and access to upper floors has been limited. Visitors are registered as they arrive at the Centre, while those who are unwell have been requested to return home. In addition, hand sanitizers and face masks are made available at Nalanda Centre for public use.

 

Regular Reviews

This decision to temporarily suspend all programmes and activities will be reviewed by Nalanda’s Executive Committee every two weeks. We shall continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation closely and take note of further directives from the Malaysian Ministry of Health. We will keep the public informed when Nalanda programmes and regular activities are resumed.

 

Crisis Management Team

The Executive Committee has appointed 6 senior EXCO members to the “Covid-19 Emergency Response Team” to monitor our operations and the welfare of all members. The team will be responsible to guide the Society and members through these few weeks.

 

Personal responsibility

Ensuring public health and safety is everyone’s responsibility. We encourage all Nalanda members and devotees to continue observing proper hygiene and etiquette, as well as to stay away from crowds and public congregations to avoid exposing yourselves and other people to further risk. Should you feel unwell or have any symptoms of flu, please see the doctor immediately.

 

Be calm and grateful

We urge that everyone remain very calm, and have thoughts of loving-kindness and compassion to those impacted by this global pandemic. Let us be grateful to the scientists and experts worldwide who are working relentlessly to find an antidote for this deadly virus. We are also grateful to the thousands of front-line health workers who are helping patients and their families deal with this crisis.

 

Be spiritual and practise simplicity in life

All members and devotees are reminded to avoid going out frequently and unnecessarily. While spending more time at home, practise positive communication with family members, read Dhamma books, meditate regularly, and perform daily chanting.

Do not indulge yourselves in social media, nor consume entertainment and on-line news excessively. Spreading too much on-line news, even authentic ones, is unnecessary and not conducive to serenity and peace of mind. Whenever you find yourselves having fear, turn the subsequent moment into a prayer:

May those who are unwell regain good health, and may this global crisis subside soonest. May all beings be free from harm and danger; may all be free from fear and anxiety.

 

This is not the time for us to be fearful; it is time to be helpful to one another.  Stay healthy and positive always.

 

Should you require further details about this announcement, kindly call our special line at 03-8938-1501Thank you.

 

With mettā,

The “Covid-19 Emergency Response Team”
of the Executive Committee,
Nalanda Buddhist Society Malaysia.