Rules for a Covid-safe festival

Devotees enjoying vegetarian dishes at a stall in George Town during the Nine Emperor Gods Festival in 2016. — Filepic

FOR the upcoming Kew Ong Yeah (Nine Emperor Gods) Festival, dining-in at temporary roadside stalls in Penang is still a no-no, said Penang Island City Council (MBPP).

Councillor Nicholas Theng said dining-in would only be allowed at shops, eateries and food complexes for fully vaccinated devotees.

The public health and licensing committee alternate chairman said the guidelines from last year were still enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Those observing a vegetarian diet during the nine-day festival are not allowed to dine-in at roadside stalls. Only takeaway is permitted.

“Fully vaccinated devotees dining-in at shops, restaurants and food complexes must register via the MySejahtera app and have their temperature taken.

“The traders, too, have to practise good crowd control by getting either the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) personnel or other relevant agencies to tackle the task.

“We also encourage them to offer online services during the pandemic.

“Customers should adopt the ‘Bring Your Own Container’ concept to reduce the use of plastic,” he said.

Theng said hawkers applying for roadside stall permits for the festival also need to provide a floor plan for their stalls for strict standard operating procedure compliance.

Theng: It is compulsory for applicants and stall helpers to prove they have received at least one dose of the vaccine.Theng: It is compulsory for applicants and stall helpers to prove they have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“It is compulsory for applicants and their stall helpers to prove that they have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“Those interested need to submit their location plan, application period, desired stall size, a copy of their identity card and a copy of their vaccination card (both stall operator and assistants) to the council’s Licensing Department.

“The licence fee is RM1 for every 40sq ft per day.

“The other fees include a waste collection fee of RM6 for each stall and payment for the canopy is according to the sizes.

“The canopy fees are RM100 for 400sq ft and RM200 for 400 to 800sq ft,” said Theng.

He added that the applicants could only register online at

For further enquiries, applicants can call 04-263 8818 or email

The Nine Emperor Gods Festival will begin on Oct 6 and end on Oct 14 this year.

It is held on the first day of the ninth lunar month, and is observed with much reverence by the Taoist community in the country.

Many devotees observe a vegetarian diet a day earlier to cleanse themselves,

The festival pays homage to the Goddess of the North Star, believed to control the Books of Life and Death.

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