JOHOR BARU: Johor folk are being prudent this Chinese New Year due to economic uncertainities.
Businessman Michael Tay Chee Boon, 57, said he spent about RM13,000 last year on the celebration but had allocated about RM10,000 to welcome The Year of the Rat this year.
“The country’s economy is not doing well and I feel it is best not to spend too much, only in moderation as the celebration must go on, ” he said.
Tay said despite cutting down on the budget for the celebration this year, he would not cut down on the ang pow given as Chinese New Year was once-a-year affair.
“My priority is the elderly in the family, my children and close family members and relatives, ’’ he said.
Assistant leasing manager Josephine Lim, 53, said she and her husband would put aside RM1,000 in ang pow money this year — the same amount as in 2019.
“The amount in the ang pow depends on how close we are to the person receiving it, ’’ she said.
Lim said the family would reduce their expenses for this year’s celebration.
She said ordinary Malaysians like them were worried due to the escalating prices of essential goods over the past two years.
Watch shop owner Jenny Foo, 65, said she planned to reduce the amount given out as ang pow, from a total of RM1,000 last year to about RM500 this year.
“Most of my relatives and close friends will be travelling overseas to celebrate Chinese New Year this year, so I am expecting fewer guests, ’’ she said.
Foo said the most important thing was the reunion dinner on the eve of the Lunar New Year.
She said 15 of her relatives and extended families planned to have a steamboat dinner.
Melina Teng, 46, said she would spend about RM600 on buying new clothes, make-up, accessories and on a new hairdo.
“I like doing last-minute shopping for Chinese New Year as there will be good bargains, ’’ she said.
Teng said she also planned to mix-and-match clothes she bought for Christmas for this Chinese New Year to save money.
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