KUCHING, Jan 9 — The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) will convene soon to deliberate on the standard operating procedures (SOP) for this coming Lunar New Year, said Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

The Deputy Chief Minister and SDMC advisor said the committee will take into account the input from local specialists before making any decision for the SOP this festive season.

“Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah has been reappointed as the SDMC chairman. Very soon, we will have a meeting to decide on the SOP for this Chinese New Year.

“Our local specialists will look at projections before SDMC makes any decision. People’s safety is of paramount importance to us,” he said when met by reporters after performing an eye-dotting ceremony at the Tua Pek Kong Temple here today.

The Chinese community across the globe is ringing in the Year of the Tiger on February 1.

Dr Sim, who is also Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government, said the SOP for this Lunar New Year should inform all whether the traditional lion dance performances will be permitted.

According to him, SDMC’s decision is not a political decision but more on the healthcare needs and safety of the people.

Based on the new daily infections of late, he said Sarawak seems to be doing well but the state will not be complacent over its fight against the pandemic.

Last year alone, Dr Sim said at least 1,280 individuals passed away due to Covid-19.

“This figure does not include those who died not directly due to Covid-19. If we were to include those who had died not directly due to Covid-19, the number would be a few thousands.”

He said the community must continue to comply with the SOP as they learn to live with the virus.

“In this ongoing fight against the pandemic, we must all stay alive,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chinese Martial Art Association (CMAA) chairman Chester Lim said they have unveiled five new lions for the coming Lunar New Year celebration.

According to him, these lions are exclusive models with traditional designs and finishing.

“Each and every one of the lions are of colours that are representation of the various heroes from the Three Kingdoms era mainly Liu Bei (rainbow colours), Guan Yu (red), Zhang Fei (black) and the characteristics of brotherhood, honour, valour, justice, benevolence, loyalty and righteousness associated with them.”

Lim added that CMAA, since its inauguration in 1974, had been unveiling new lions for Lunar New Year on an annual basis. — Borneo Post