Families aim for a safe CNY celebration

PETALING JAYA: Chinese families are looking forward to spending a meaningful Chinese New Year with their loved ones under the revised standard operating procedure.

While they are grateful for the government’s new ruling, they have also said they will not take advantage of the more relaxed SOP and will only have meals with close family members.

Lee Sue Yee, 40, said she was glad that the SOP had been revised to allow family members within a 10km radius to meet for the reunion dinner.

Although some of her relatives live within 10km of her home, she said they had decided not to meet physically for meals and opted for a virtual gathering instead.

“The revision of the SOP is to allow for circumstances where people have relatives who live a few houses away or relatives who need to be taken care of.

“I know of many elderly folk who do not live with their children but live nearby, so it would be necessary for them to meet for Chinese New Year.

Lee will only have her Chinese New Year meals physically with the family members she is living with.

“My father lives with me, but my sister will have her own family dinner and so will my in-laws.

“It is a hard call, but we are choosing to be optimistic and think of the time we can meet again when things get better.

“It’s better to look forward to that time than to lament the fact that we cannot meet now, ” she said.

Homemaker Diana Yong, 57, said she had been concerned about the initial Chinese New Year SOP.

“I didn’t know what to make of the first SOP as I regularly visit my mother, who lives five minutes away, to check on her and pass her daily necessities.

“I wasn’t sure if the SOP meant I could not visit her on such a big occasion and I did not want to be going against the law.

“Thankfully, this new ruling is much clearer, ” Yong said.

Stephanie Fong, 27, said the annual reunion dinner involving her immediate family members would still take place as they all live one minute apart in Subang Jaya.

She explained that preparations had been made earlier as she had bought cooking ingredients online instead of going to the market.

Fong also said her relatives would be holding a potluck-themed reunion dinner.

“One family, one dish, ” she quipped.

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