Quiet CNY in Miri

Lee (centre) shows the SOP guidelines for this year's CNY. Also present at the press conference are Ting (left) and Yii.

MIRI: There will be no house to house visits and open house allowed during the coming Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration in this district in accordance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) imposed by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

“This coming CNY will be different from past celebrations in Miri, traditionally we will have open house but due to Covid-19 pandemic these activities are strictly not allowed,” said Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin in a press conference here today.

Lee who is Divisional Disaster Management Committee chairman said, due to the Covid-19 situation and the conditional movement control order (CMCO) ruling imposed by the State Disaster Management Committee, Mirians would have to observe and practise the CNY guidelines rolled out by the SDMC.

The SOP also applies for the Chap Goh Mei celebration.

“Following to the pandemic, we are adapting to a new way of celebrating our traditional festivity (CNY),” he said.

Hence, he advised the Chinese community, to embrace technology to stay connected with their loved ones during this coming Lunar New Year.

“2020 has been a challenging year for us all, Chinese New Year will not be much different, there is a limit on the numbers of people whom we can socialise with indoors, the pandemic has made us all more reliant on technology, there are lots of useful apps which can help you to keep in touch with your loved ones and others,” he said.

Also present at the press conference were Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting who and Miri mayor Adam Yii.

Lee explained that for the family reunion dinner on CNY’s eve, only 20 people are allowed for the occasion, and for the first day of the CNY, only family members are allowed to gather (not exceeding 20).

“No family reunion dinner is allowed at restaurants or hotels during the eve of Chinese New Year and on the actual day of the CNY,” he said.

During the celebration, the owner of the house must provide a thermal scanner and must comply with the SOP imposed by the SDMC and the Ministry of Health (MoH).

“Write down details of every member of the family who come to visit that day, including their body temperature, and they must register and scan on the MySejahtera applications or CovidTrace/Qmunity.

“Do not allow anyone with a body temperature above 37.5’C or symptomatic cases into the house and tell them to immediately go to the nearest Health Clinic or hospital,” he pointed out.

He reminded them to avoid any physical contacts during the gathering such as hugging or shaking hands.

Lee disclosed that this year, due to the pandemic, he and Ting would not distribute mandarin oranges as they used to in the past.

“The practice has been our tradition since Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Dr George Chan Hong Nam’s era, the former Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, and unfortunately, this year, due to Covid-19 and CMCO, we will not do that,” Lee explained.