Lion dance groups express delight over SDMC’s decision

Date:

BY JACINTHA JOLENE

KUCHING: Lion dances are finally allowed for the coming Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration after the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) decided to lift the ban on Monday.

In the updated CNY standard operating procedures (SOPs), lion dances would be allowed for four days between 6am and 6pm from Feb 1 to 4 with the number of performers limited to 12 and two lions.

Lion dance groups can also perform on Chap Goh Mei, which falls on Feb 15, from 6am to 10pm.

Previously, Sarawak Dragon-Lion Dance and Wushu Association submitted an appeal to SDMC over the matter.

Eric Leong

Kwong Wai Siew Lion Dance team captain Eric Leong said the groups welcomed the decision made by SDMC and each member in the team was delighted with the news. 

However, Leong felt that the changes could cost them their time as they would be in a rush and needed to make a lot of arrangements. 

“But we are still grateful. As stated in the SOPs, all team members must be fully vaccinated, including having booster shots.

“Most of the team members lacked practise due to the current situation, so we decided to only use one team this CNY, unlike before where there were two. 

“We will fully abide by the SOPs.”

Another lion dance association also shared Leong’s sentiments. 

Max Kueh

Hong Yang Dragon and Lion Dance manager Max Kueh was also delighted with the outcome of the appeal. 

“It is good news for us. We can finally perform for the festive season. 

“However, I think it was really a last-minute decision and we have to cramp our routines in a very short period of time.” 

Kueh said they had been receiving a lot of calls since last year, however, with a lot of changes and announcements made at the very last minute, clients were left frustrated. 

For this year, Kueh’s group would also have to limit its troupe members and also the number of lions. 

“It’s better than last year when I couldn’t perform with the team at all and didn’t earn any income.”

Kelvin Ng

Elite Lion and Dragon Dance Association chairman and coach Kelvin Ng Fook Chung was equally enthusiastic. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank SDMC for relaxing the rules. We appreciate the understanding shown.”

Ng’s team is currently busy taking bookings from the public.

“According to the new SOPs, it’s quite challenging in terms of arranging schedules for the performance.”

“There were no lion dances at all for the last two years till October 2021 when the country entered Phase 4.

“It’s a shame and really affected us in terms of maintaining the association, rental for the training centre, equipment and many others,” he added.

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