‘Ensure SOP is adhered to’


PUTRAJAYA: Reunion dinners, prayers and receptions are in store for those ushering in the Year of the Tiger under a list of standard operating procedures announced for the celebration.

While visits are permitted this Chinese New Year, what is still not allowed is the hosting of open houses involving a huge number of guests and visitors.

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National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique said family members can look forward to coming together for their reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year on Jan 31.

“Although there is no mention of a cap in the number of people who can attend the dinner, it is meant for family only,” she said at a joint press conference with Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong on the Chinese New Year standard operating procedure (SOP) guidelines.

Explaining further, Dr Wee said the reunion dinner tradition usually involved immediate family members and close relatives who come together for dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year and it was rare to have visitors for dinner.

“Although the reunion dinner is allowed, we hope those hosting it will ensure that the SOP is applied,” he added.

Halimah said as for the Chinese New Year reception, only those who received invitations may attend the event. It is not open to the public.

Rule book: Dr Wee and Halimah showing the guidelines during a press conference in Putrajaya. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The StarRule book: Dr Wee and Halimah showing the guidelines during a press conference in Putrajaya. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

The reception must not be held in multiple sessions and the number of guests must only be 50% of the capacity of the space or hall where the event is held.

Halimah said SOP guidelines for social activities under Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan must be adhered to, that includes ensuring that guests are fully vaccinated.

“Prayers will be allowed at temples on Feb 1 and 2 as well as on Feb 8 and 9 for the special Hokkien clan prayers,” said Halimah.

Religious activities at home in accordance with the Hokkien clan Chinese New Year tradition will be allowed but can be held only within the house compound.

Chap Goh Mei prayers at temples can be held on Feb 15, said the minister, adding that the SOP guidelines under Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan applies to all activities in places of worship.

This includes registering attendance via the MySejahtera application, checking the temperature of attendees and ensuring social distancing.

The minister also said that lion, dragon and tiger dances that are well associated with the Chinese New Year celebration would be allowed subject to SOP under the creative industry (live performance) guidelines issued by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry.

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