KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — The government, including the prime minister, is aware of problems with the standard operating procedures issued for the Chinese New Year and will act to correct this, said MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong.
In his first public comments on the controversy, Wee assured Malaysians that their grouses have been noted.
“The prime minister has taken heed of the concern and disappointment expressed by various quarters on the recent CNY SOP. The government has heard your voice. This concern can be resolved, in a safe and SOP-compliant manner.
“Let us all be patient and allow for the official announcement to be made soon,” Wee said on his Instagram account.
On Thursday, the National Security Council released the SOPs governing the Chinese New Year festival that will fall on February 12 and 13, within the movement control order’s (MCO) effective period.
The rules were ridiculed online for an apparent lack of cultural awareness, by critics including Deputy National Unity Minister Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker.
The controversy was exacerbated by the government’s simultaneous announcement that several previously closed sectors — such as night markets, barbers and car washes — were now permitted to reopen.
Some Opposition leaders such as Datuk Teng Chang Kim highlighted the disparity by mockingly suggesting that extended families could celebrate the traditional Chinese New Year reunion at night markets since they may not do so at home under these SOPs.