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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — The federal government has made a “mistake” in its latest standard operating procedure for the Chinese New Year celebrations next week, according to Deputy National Unity Minister Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker.
The senator from MCA is not a member of the National Security Council that came up with the SOP yesterday, and said the list must be withdrawn and replaced with a revised version.
“Someone has made a mistake here. This SOP must be quickly withdrawn and rectified!” he said on his Facebook page late last night.
He did not elaborate on the purported “mistake” or offer suggestions for rectification.
He only included a post detailing the SOPs, which among others, prohibited families from returning home for the two-day holidays, visiting each other or even getting together for the customary reunion dinner, which is celebrated on the eve of Chinese New Year.
Instead, the list said the government only allows families living in the same house to have their customary dinner to commemorate the occasion.
This latest SOP became the subject of ridicule on social media from Malaysians.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had earlier announced a similar set of prohibitions for Chinese New Year celebrations next week.
The defence minister who is also in charge of security during the Covid-19 pandemic said home visits — which had been allowed during festivals last year — will not be allowed, even as he announced the reopening of more economic sectors, including hair salons, barber shops and car wash outlets from tomorrow.
“After looking into all aspects, these are the SOPs agreed upon. Firstly, the Chinese New Year celebration is only allowed within the same household.
“Inside the house, with family members from the same household. Regardless whether it is prayers or anything else, it has to only be confined within the same household,” he said in a live broadcast this evening.