KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysia will now allow family reunion dinners for Chinese New Year to be held with a maximum of 15 family members, reversing an earlier decision to limit these to only members of the same household.
In its statement on Sunday (Feb 7) the National Unity Ministry said the family members attending these dinners must live within a 10km radius of the dinner venue and that inter-state and inter-district travel is still banned.
The country remains under movement controls to curb the coronavirus pandemic, after daily infections have stayed above 3,000 cases for the last three weeks.
The ministry said the revised standard operation procedure (SOP) was the result of a National Security Council technical meeting chaired by Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Sunday.
On Thursday, the government had announced that only those living under the same roof could be present for the reunion dinner and prayers. This caused an uproar within the Chinese community, especially among those who have family members living nearby.
The restriction was also criticised because the government had at the same time agreed to reopen several economic sectors, such as night markets, hair salons and car wash outlets.
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