MANY families are eagerly awaiting their Chinese New Year reunion dinner now that the standard operating procedure (SOP) has been revised.
Now, up to 15 family members staying within 10km of each other can gather for the annual event.
Student Vivi Lee, 22, from Penang, said her family was happy to hear the news and has started making plans for their reunion dinner.
“On the eve of Chinese New Year, my family plans to gather at my uncle’s house which is in our neighbourhood.
“There is unlikely to be more than two families at my uncle’s house at the same time.
“We have sorted out our visiting hours and the time to attend the reunion dinner, ” she said.
Her father’s siblings, who live in the same neighbourhood, are all happy to hear that a small reunion dinner is permitted.
“We know that our families do not move around a lot now so it should be safe for us to hold a reunion dinner, ” she added.
Another student, Angeline Beh, 20, said her family welcomed the announcement by the Government as they could now meet relatives for a feast.
“There will be eight of us at the reunion.
“My family of four will be gathering with my uncle’s family, which consists of four people.
“As they live less than a kilometre away, we can go and gather over a hearty dinner.
“I am really looking forward to mingling with my cousins at the reunion dinner.
“This is my favourite aspect of the Chinese New Year celebration, ” she said.
Meanwhile, web designer Warren Tan, 33, and his family will be sticking to video conference calls and Zoom meetings to ‘see’ one another this festive season as his relatives are living too far away.
“My aunt lives in Singapore and my uncle lives in the United States so it is not possible for them to return for a reunion this year, ” said Tan.
“However, my grandmother is celebrating her 100th birthday this year so everyone will definitely want to wish her a happy birthday.
“We are connecting a computer and television for her to answer conference calls and see our relatives virtually.
“This makes things much easier and any of us can call her anytime.”
Kong Hock Keong board of trustees executive secretary Serene Ho said temples in Penang would open their doors to the public during the festive celebration.
“The temple committees will follow the SOP as outlined by the Government.
“The temples will be open on the eve and first day of Chinese New Year, ” she said.
The board of trustees manages the Goddess of Mercy Temple in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Jade Emperor Temple in Ayer Itam and Tua Pek Kong Temple in Perak Road.