KUCHING, Jan 17: Special Assistant to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen, Michael Kong Feng Nian, opined that the traditional lion dance should be allowed during the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration this year.
He said with Covid-19 cases averaging about 20 per day, Sarawak has entered Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), where many sectors of the economy are allowed to open, and social events like birthday celebrations and weddings are permitted.
However, in the recent standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the upcoming CNY, Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) announced that house visiting is only for close family members, and lion dance performances are banned.
“It does not make sense for lion dances to be banned entirely, especially when we are in Phase 4.
“How is it even logical that lion dance is allowed now before the Chinese New Year celebration, but then it is banned entirely during Chinese New Year itself?
“Many of these lion dance associations and clubs have not had many opportunities to perform for the past two years. This has affected their income at the same time,” he said in a statement today.
Kong further urged SDMC to adjust its SOPs accordingly with the current Phase 4 stage of the NRP and uphold the rich tradition of the Chinese community.
“I would propose that SOP set a limit on the number of people permitted from the lion dance group.
“At the same time, impose the same restriction of the number of visitors allowed, which is currently capped at 50 per cent capacity according to the size of the house and compound in compliance with one-metre physical distancing,” he emphasised. ― DayakDaily