Chinese New Year SOP For MCO Lacks Common Sense

The Malaysia National Security Council just announced the MCO SOP for Chinese New Year, and it lacks common sense, or an understanding of Chinese culture.

Take a look at their Chinese New Year SOP, and see for yourself why it really doesn’t make much sense…


Chinese New Year : SOP For MCO Areas

Here is the SOP that was just released for the celebration of Chinese New Year in MCO areas – basically all of Malaysia, except Sarawak.

  • The SOP applies for the first two days of Chinese New Year – 12 and 13 February 2021
  • Not more than 20 people are allowed in the house, with physical distancing
  • The family reunion dinner is only allowed for family members residing in the same house.
  • Visitation is only allowed for family members residing in the same house.
  • No one is allowed to greet or touch each other.
  • No one is allowed to go to temples and houses of worship.
  • Lion / dragon dance is forbidden.
  • Tanglung and Chingay parades are forbidden.
  • Chinese opera and stage shows are forbidden.
  • Open houses are forbidden.

Note : This SOP has just been corrected. See Malaysia “Corrects” SOP For Chinese New Year!


Chinese New Year SOP For MCO Lacks Common Sense

Now, let us share with you why the Chinese New Year SOP lacks common sense, or an understanding of Chinese culture.

Reason #1 : Chinese New Year Lasts 15 Days

Chinese New Year actually lasts 15 days, ending with the Lantern Festival. But in reality, it lasts 16 days, because it actually kicks off on the eve.

But the point is that if the SOP only covers the first two days, then it cannot apply to the Tanglung (Lantern) Festival, which takes place on the last day (15th day) of Chinese New Year!

Neither would the SOP apply to the Chingay Parade, which happens on the 21st day of the Lunar New Year in Johor Bahru, 12 December 2021 in Penang island and 19 December 2021 in Prai, Penang.

Reason #2 : Family Reunion Dinner Is On CNY Eve!

The family reunion dinner happens not on the first or second day of Chinese New Year, but on its eve – the night before!

Technically, Malaysians will not be flouting the SOP if they gather on the eve (11 February 2021) for their family reunion dinner.

Also, it is only a reunion dinner if extended family members attend. Otherwise, it’s just a regular family dinner.

Photo Credit : CGTN

Reason #3 : Chinese New Year Eve Is A Cultural Event

Chinese New Year is a cultural event, not a religious event. It is celebrated by Chinese people of ALL religions, or none at all.

There is no requirement to attend church, visit a temple, or go to a mosque, on Chinese New Year.

So the SOP on religious gatherings or visits is really irrelevant, and shows their lack of understanding.

Reason #4 : Visitation In The Same Home Is Nonsensical

It is nonsensical to tell people living in the same house to visit each other. This probably only happens in Among Us.

Reason #5 : Capacity Limit In The Same House Is Nonsensical

It is also nonsensical to put an arbitrary limit of 20 people, when the SOP insists that they must all be living in the same house!

If they are all living in the same house, why does it matter if there are 5, 20, or 100 people?

Anyone sick with COVID-19 would have infected other members of the family, long before Chinese New Year!

Reason #6 : No Greeting Or Touching Family Members Is Nonsensical

It is nonsensical to insist that family members cannot greet or touch each other, when they are all LIVING IN THE SAME HOUSE!

How is that going to help prevent COVID-19 spread within the same house???

Does the government also expect husband and wife to sleep separately during the first two days of Chinese New Year?

Reason #7 : Physical Distancing In The Same House Is Nonsensical

This should have been obvious to our government officials – physical distancing in the same house is as asinine as physical distancing in a car.

Those living in the same house have already been in close contact for more than a year. How does it help to separate everyone by 1-2 metres for just two days during Chinese New Year?


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