PETALING JAYA,Feb 5: Former prime minister Najib Razak has joined the chorus of voices against the Chinese New Year rules drawn up by the National Security Council (MKN), stating they do not accurately reflect the celebration.
For instance, he said, the reunion dinner was one of the most important aspects of CNY. It involves immediate family members, grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins getting together.
“But the SOP (standard operating procedure), only allowing those from the same home to hold a reunion dinner does not mean anything … it will be just a normal dinner,” he said in a Facebook post.
“We can work along with foreign workers in factories and construction sites; mosques are partially open for Friday prayers, but why is the Chinese community not allowed to have dinner with their elders during the reunion dinner?” he asked.
As such, it would have been more meaningful if the SOP just touched on the ban on visitors, he said.
“Hopefully, in future, MKN will get feedback from other races before drawing up the rules for any celebration or cultural events so that the government is not seen as being insensitive.”
Yesterday, there was a widespread backlash over the Chinese New Year SOP. Even deputy national unity minister Ti Lian Ker said the SOP had be rectified immediately.
“Someone has screwed up totally here. This SOP must be quickly withdrawn and rectified,” he posted on Facebook.
Najib also said the government had wasted too much time by not implementing a strict movement control order during the first 14 days after implementing it on Jan 13, causing it to be extended further until Feb 18.
This had also affected CNY festivities, he added.