With the daily number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, it is understandable that the government wants to tighten the rules and regulations.
So, it is no surprise that with the Chinese New Year celebrations around the corner, the government announced a special set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of the virus.
The only problem is, netizens have slammed the government for coming up with SOPs that do not entirely make sense.
Do's and don'ts
On Wednesday (4 February), Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced several SOPs when it comes to celebrating Chinese New Year.
According to The Star Online
, the SOPs drawn up by the National Security Council (NSC) include confining reunion dinners and prayers to family members living in the same house.
House-to-house visits and cross-border travels are also not allowed.
Ismail Sabri added that prayers at temples are also not allowed, except for five of the temple's committee members.
The SOPs were issued after proper consideration and taking into account the high number of daily active COVID-19 cases, Ismail Sabri said.
Here's a helpful infographic from Bernama
to further help you understand the SOPs:
A big flaw?
On the same day the CNY SOPs were announced, Ismail Sabri also announced that three business activities will now be allowed to operate
beginning Friday (5 February).
Hair salons, car wash premises and yes, even pasar malam
, can now stay open until 10pm daily.
The announcement drew massive flak from Opposition lawmakers, who questioned the logic and sensibility in allowing pasar malam
to open till late at night but barring family members from getting together to have their customary reunion dinners.
Netizens chime in
On the other side of social media, netizens came out in full force to criticise the government for not thinking through the list of SOPs.
A lot of netizens were questioning whether the government knows how the Chinese New Year celebrations work, and they collectively slammed the government for allowing pasar malam
to operate while saying no to reunion dinners.
(In case you're not really sure, reunion dinners are usually held on the eve of the first day of Chinese New Year, which falls on 11 February this year)
Whatever the case may be, let's all have a safe CNY, yeah?
Let's continue to do our part and hopefully next year, we get to celebrate CNY like old times.