Groups hoping for relaxed Chinese New Year SOP

PETALING JAYA: Several Chinese associations are hoping for a more relaxed standard operating procedure (SOP) for Chinese New Year, but cautioned the public not to let their guard down.

Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) president Tan Sri TC Goh said: “All states in Malaysia have entered Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan. Many people have been fully vaccinated and are currently waiting for their booster shot.”

However, he agreed that there should be no large-scale events.

Goh said Chinese New Year would help boost the country’s economy because it involved many sectors such as catering, retail, transportation and logistics.

“This will surely stimulate our economy and accelerate recovery,” he said.

Goh also urged the public to adhere strictly to the SOP.

“While the government has given us the freedom to travel interstate, we must be disciplined and follow the SOP, and get the booster shot as soon as possible to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

“I hope everyone will take the extra step and do a Covid-19 self-test before they travel home this festive season,” he said.

Che Hoon Khor Moral Uplifting Society honourable secretary Choong Yit Chuan said reunion dinners should be restricted to close family who are fully vaccinated.

“Before visiting the home hosting the dinner, they should do a self-test. They also shouldn’t loiter elsewhere, but go directly to the venue.

“The number of visitors should depend on venue size. The 50% capacity should be followed strictly.

“If possible, hold it in an open space like the garden,” he said, while reminding to always wear a mask.

Penang Cultural Inheritors Society chairman Kwoh Shoo Chen hopes the government will consider allowing cultural performances such as the lion or dragon dance, and traditional Chinese instrumental performances in small settings of 50% capacity.

“Many cultural performers have been struggling to survive since the lockdown in 2020.

“For safety purposes, the performers and audience must be fully vaccinated. The performers should be at least two metres away from the audience. They should do a PCR test at least two days before the event,” she said.

“We also hope the government will consider allowing small-scale traditional craft workshops like Chinese calligraphy, carving and paper-cutting under strict SOP,” she added.

On Sunday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the Chinese New Year SOP would be less strict compared to last year.

“Open houses are still not allowed,” he said, while adding: “If you want to have a small gathering, no problem.”

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