A quiet but a safer Lunar New Year

Mohd Jaya Idris 45, of Kuching is busy decorating his shop and the surrounding with Chinese New Year's decorative items. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) restrictions and guidelines for the upcoming Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration this year was met with resounding agreement and commendation from the public.

Though these restrictions may put a damper on the usual CNY festivities, people collectively believe this is for the best — to curb the spread of Covid-19, especially in view of the recent spike in cases.  

On Friday, SDMC announced the standard operating procedure (SOP) for CNY celebrations this year, which included a list of prohibited activities such as lion dance performances, house visiting, open houses, family reunions in restaurants or hotels, and celebrations at temples or public locations.

Aside from this, CNY eve dinners can only be attended by immediate family members of not more than 20 persons, while CNY celebrations are only allowed on the first day with the same limitations in place.

New Sarawak Tribune spoke with CNY celebrants for their views on these measures.

Ng Ah Chin.

Ng Ah Chin

The state government’s decision to impose restrictions for CNY celebrations is brilliant. I hope everyone will comply with the SOP announced by SDMC; this is the time to curb the spread of Covid-19 and I hope the SOP will be effective in protecting everyone.

Kimberley Tan.

Kimberley Tan

CNY this year will be a quiet one. We can still manifest for prosperity in many ways when we shift our focus to abundance instead of what we lack. Kuching deserves a huge round of applause for the sense of community here, whereby its people have provided support and aid in various ways for one another, especially during Covid-19 pandemic and the floods. Let’s continue this effort by flattening the curve so we can all ‘huat’ as one.

Zora Chan.

Zora Chan

Now is not the time to worry about missing out on celebrating a festival. The most important thing to do now is to bring down the number of Covid-19 infections. Hence, everyone must do their part by following the SOPs set by the authorities. Yes, it will be a quiet Lunar New Year, but it is for the best. There will be other opportunities to meet up via Zoom, WhatsApp video call, and so on, so health and safety come first.

Allen Liew.

Allen Liew

It is good that our state government has taken the initiative to impose these CNY restrictions so as to prevent the spread of Covid-19.  However, in my view, some people do not follow the SOP — some try to bypass the strict rules because they don’t take this problem seriously.

Cinthy Yii.

Cinthy Yii

I will just regard this year’s CNY like going for a holiday with my family. Though we are staying at home, there are many things that can be done together — spending more quality time together and bonding as a family. Let’s stay safe and stop spreading Covid-19!

Alaric Soh.

Alaric Soh

If everyone follows the SOP and stays safe, we can curb the spread of Covid-19. I for one will not be celebrating CNY this year as I feel there is nothing significant to celebrate as Covid-19 is still around. People are suffering and many are affected by the flood, and I feel that we should not be celebrating while people are suffering.

Lam Kai Chee.

Lam Kai Chee

I think these measures are necessary in order to keep everybody safe. If everyone can play their part by following the SOP, it will be a safe CNY. A quiet and safe CNY is definitely a better option than a lively but hazardous one.

Alexius Khung.

Alexius Khung

Looking at the recent spike in cases, it just makes all the more sense to limit CNY celebrations to no more than 20 individuals.  I know CNY is a very important celebration for Chinese families, but all of us should respect the SOP for the safety of ourselves and others. Covid-19 is real and deadly and we should all cooperate to curb the spread.