Annual New Year countdown put paid by pandemic SOP, no go for gala show

A file photo of MBKS' New Year Countdown celebration last year.

KUCHING, Dec 5: The annual New Year Countdown to welcome 2021 organised by Kuching South City Council (MBKS) with fireworks and an array of entertainment activities is a definite no-go but perhaps a virtual celebration would be planned.

Mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng pointed out that standard operating procedures (SOP) especially crowd control will be difficult to comply with as such an event would see a mass gathering of people.

“Moreover, the state especially Kuching city has just successfully controlled the third Covid-19 wave,” he said in responding to a question during a live engagement with the community on his Facebook today.

If the public wishes to welcome the New Year with the council, Wee proposed that perhaps a virtual celebration can be planned to bring joy and people together with some entertainment activities.

“We will think about how to do it and if planning is finalised in a couple of weeks to come, we will let the people know,” he added.


As for organisation of the physical annual Chinese New Year (CNY) bazaar, he explained that MBKS is still studying Covid-19 safety guidelines to see if compliance can be met.

“The city hall will consider holding CNY bazaar as it is a tradition and culture of Sarawak but the decision to allow it is still with the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

“However, I believe that if the farmers’ markets are allowed to be held such as the one in Aeroville, there is no reason to not allow CNY bazaar which is of a similar concept.

“However, we are looking into the SOP especially if crowd control can be done while enabling people to go shop and visit in a safe environment,” he said.

He reiterated that MBKS will organise the bazaar if the SOP can be complied with to keep the community safe and healthy in this critical period and that SDMC gives the green light.

“We still have a bit of time to plan for it as now we have to wait and see the Covid-19 situation in Kuching and state to see if the bazaar can be realised,” he added. – DayakDaily