WITH interstate travel for upcoming festivals banned, many families will be facing a quiet Hari Raya celebration which is just around the corner.
Shop assistant Rosni Othman, 46, said that for the first time in 20 years, she would not get to visit her in-laws during Hari Raya.
“We were hoping that the interstate travel ban would be lifted in time for Raya but it did not happen.
“I will spend Hari Raya with just my husband and three children here in Penang, ” said Rosni who works at a songkok shop at the bazaar in Penang Road.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri is likely to be celebrated from May 24 to May 26. Traditionally, many Malaysians including non-Muslims would return to their hometowns during the holiday period.
However, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said the ban on interstate movement would remain, adding that the conditional MCO had been extended until June 9.
He said mass movements would not be allowed although the major festivals or Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Kaamatan and Hari Gawai (the harvest festival in Sabah and Sarawak respectively) fell within that period.
Textile trader Farman Zamin, 52, said he was not in the festive mood as business had been lukewarm so far.
“In previous years, the bazaar would be crowded by this time.
“But this year, very few people are out shopping.
“The restriction on house visits during Raya has further dampened the mood, ” he said.
Farman said his family planned to go to the beach in Batu Ferringhi on the third day of the Hari Raya celebration.
“The celebration this year will definitely not be the same.
“Every year, we would visit relatives on the first and second day of Raya. We have no choice now but to adhere to the conditional MCO, ” he said.
The holiday would also not be the same for Rafidah Abdul Karim, 39, a senior staff member of a public transport company.
She will not be able to visit her brother in Kuala Lumpur as usual and her sister’s wedding scheduled on June 5 has been postponed.
“This year, we had earlier planned to visit my brother and his family on the first few days of Raya before attending the wedding ceremony of my sister.
“But all these will not happen now, ” she said.
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