PETALING JAYA: With no sign of the pandemic easing, Malaysians have embraced electronic transfers and e-greetings for their festive traditions.
Electronic “duit raya”, e-Raya greetings and online zakat (tithe) payments are among these new norms.
Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia vice-president Norsyahrin Hamidon said the pandemic had made going cashless and e-commerce necessary due to the need for physical distancing.
“I have received almost no physical Raya greeting cards for a few years now. I think the majority of Malaysians are adapting quite well to this culture.
“It won’t be surprising to see the new norm of going cashless getting even more common in the near future, ” he said.
However, he cautioned the public to be careful with online transactions.
Digital designer Shahar Najmi Md Jani, 37, said he has been using an e-wallet to give out duit raya since last year.
“I just transferred money to my parents, siblings and some nieces and nephews, along with my good wishes.
“Since I cannot return to my hometown in Jasin, Melaka, this year, why not use technology?
“It is secure and the money won’t go missing, ” said Shahar, who is from Shah Alam.
Giving duit raya electronically was also not something new for Asfalily Kasim from Klang.
The 40-year-old said she first tried it for Hari Raya last year.
“My nephew could not travel back home but I still gave him my annual Raya blessing through online transfer, ” she said.
Mohd Yusuf Said, from Kuala Kurau in Perak, said he was relief to be able to make online zakat payments for his family since last year.
The 36-year-old graphic editor said the process is easier and faster.
“I don’t have to look for an amil (zakat collector) to do it.
“As for the vows, I just recite according to what’s shown on the computer screen while making the payment. It is our niat (intention) that matters, ” said the father of three.
Mohd Yusuf said he would also make use of an e-wallet to give some festive tokens to his parents and relatives since no Raya visiting or gathering is happening this year.
“It is good that the money is directly transferred into the account of our younger relatives to encourage savings, ” he added.
University student Nurul Nadhrah, 22, from Klang, said she preferred for her duit raya to be transferred to her account.
“I can use it to make payments when shopping online, ” she said.
Sales adviser Hana Jimi, 32, from Shah Alam, said she is looking forward to sharing some festive joy in the form of e-duit raya with her family and relatives for the first time since she is not returning to her hometown in Gemencheh, Negri Sembilan.