New Year home parties

Low-key gathering: Louise Teh (in pink) and her friends will welcome 2022 with a steamboat dinner at home. — ART CHEN/The Star

WITH the rise in Covid-19 cases from the Omicron variant, and major floods followed by landslips in the country, it looks like many people will usher in yet another new year at home.

This is the second time Malaysians will be missing out as New Year’s Eve countdown organisers have cancelled the celebrations again this year.

The organisers said they have no plans to hold any grand celebration at the moment, considering the health and safety risks involved as large-scale events would cause a mass gathering of people.

Many people have also planned to celebrate New Year’s Eve on a small scale, given the current Covid-19 situation and also as a mark of respect to the victims of devastating flash floods in parts of the country two weeks ago.

One of them is 33-year-old Louise Teh.

Planning to avoid crowded places on the eve of New Year, she will instead enjoy a traditional steamboat dinner at home with her friends to usher in 2022.

After dinner, she will head to Seremban with her friend to hike at Gunung Datuk Recreational Forest to catch the sunrise.

“Hiking is one of my favourite activities.

“As I’ll be busy the first few days of 2022, I decided to go hiking on Jan 1 as there’s no better way to start the new year than with a healthy activity.”

Also planning a low-key celebration at home is international photographer Kid Chan, 43, from Petaling Jaya.

Chan said he would be having dinner with his wife, Shirlyn Lim, and their three children tonight.

He had to pass on an invite for a New Year’s Eve party at his friends’ place tonight because his youngest child is not vaccinated against Covid-19.

“My friends are great at throwing parties and I am sure it will be a fun time, but my son is only eight.

“There will be many people at the party and I do not want to put him at risk.

“The Omicron variant has been detected in the country.

“Shirlyn and I are very particular about taking precautionary measures so we have decided to have our small celebration at home,” he said. For businesswoman Jeevitha Rajasingam, 35, of Petaling Jaya, New Year’s Eve for the last five years has been about her son’s birthday, who was born on Dec 31, 2016.

“This year, my husband and other family members are building a Hot Wheels City race track with stations for the birthday boy so he can play with his cousins at home.

“The adults will also join in the fun, with much food and laughter in the comfort and safety of our home,” she said.

For 30-year-old Lava Balan, his New Year’s Eve will be spent catching up on favourite movies and TV shows at his home in Seremban.

As there would not be any countdown or fireworks, he said this would be a good time to have a modest celebration at home.

“We decided to have it at home since we felt that it would not be a good idea to be in a crowded restaurant.

“I will be inviting two of my closest friends and preparing some snacks and drinks while we catch up on some TV shows.”

Lava added that he would be trying out some new snack recipes he found online.

Siblings Shamini and Vathani Sundram, who usually spend New Year’s Eve in their grandparents’ place in Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya, have decided to spend the last day of the year watching movies too.

“We decided to take the opportunity to watch some of the movies on our bucket list, like Spider-Man and James Bond,” said Shamini.

Wong Pei Ying, 19, will spend her New Year’s Eve at a rented accommodation with some friends from secondary school.

“This gives us a quiet, comfortable space to celebrate, as many places will be crowded and there might be traffic congestion in most places,” she said.

The start of the night will see Wong and her friends indulging in a steamboat dinner.

“We will binge-watch some of our favourite TV shows on Netflix.

“Of course, the night wouldn’t be complete without staying up for the countdown.

“We will have a lovely view of the city, so hopefully there will be some fireworks.

“This year’s New Year’s Eve is definitely better than last year as people are learning to live with Covid-19.

“Nonetheless, we should remain cautious and follow the standard operating procedure.

“Here’s to a better year ahead!”

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