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  • Jonathan Shiek

Chinese New Year SOP (UPDATED)

Malaysians had a good laugh despite the bad news that Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Thursday (February 4). While pasar malams (night markets), car wash services, and barbershops were allowed to operate, he stated that “reunion dinners for the Chinese New Year was only limited to family members living under the same roof.” 

“CNY SOP is a joke,” Lim Yi Wei from the Democratic Action Party said. “Reunion dinner with people living in the same house = literally normal family dinner.” 

“So during this MCO, I cannot visit my parents for CNY as we live in different houses but it’s okay,” Comedian Jason Leong weighed in. “My family and extended relatives are all meeting up to at least say hi and exchange angpows. At the nearest pasar malam.” 

So during this MCO, I cannot visit my parents for CNY as we live in different houses but it's okay. My family and extended relatives are all meeting up to at least say hi and exchange angpows. At the nearest pasar malam. — Dr Jason Leong 🇲🇾 (@DrJasonLeong) February 4, 2021

With criticisms widely circulating on social media, Thursday’s controversial standard operating procedure (SOP) for the Chinese New Year has just received an update. 

The Ministry of National Unity (KPN) wrote on Twitter that family reunion dinners are now allowed to be held on February 11. The condition is limited to 15 family members living within a 10km radius, with no interstate or inter-district travel allowed. 

In addition to this, Temple activities are now allowed on the 11, 12, and 19 of February. Not more than 30 persons can be on the premises at one time and the wearing of facemask and physical distancing must be practiced. 

Praying times will be from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a time limit of 30-minutes. After each session, sanitation will be required for another 30 minutes before the start of the following praying session. 

Hokkiens will also be allowed to pray within their house compounds on the night of February 19th, which is the Jade Emperor’s birthday.

There will be officers appointed to ensure that SOPs are kept and followed. As responsible citizens wanting a safe, healthy, and prosperous Chinese New Year, let’s keep to the safety measures so that our angpows will not go into the SOP violation compounds.

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