PETALING JAYA - Celebrating Fathers Day in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic has made many appreciate the precious time they can spend together with their loved ones with much joy and laughter.
For entrepreneur and father of three Jeff Yong, this year's Fathers Day celebration was special as it was their first big family reunion in three months.
"We had a big dinner at my house with 20 of us, including my wife, kids, siblings and our parents.
"Although my parents stay with us, our whole family hasn't gathered together for months since the movement control order (MCO) was enforced in March," said Yong, who resides here.
Yong, 44, said previous Fathers Day celebrations were smaller affairs where he would take his wife Rachel Yiap, 41, and their three children, Bebe, 15, Jacob, 10, and Rosanna, two, out for a lavish meal in a restaurant.
"This year, it was more special as we got to see each other after so many months despite staying within the Klang Valley.
"I also received a nice gift from my eldest daughter while my son and my youngest daughter crafted Fathers Day cards for me. It was very sweet of them," said Yong.
In Ipoh, bank officer Michael Chang, 39, who is father of three boys, said his family has always celebrated the occasion for the past eight years.
"We usually go out to have our meals. This year, it was a simple home-cooked dinner," said Chang, who added that he did not want to take a risk with his children's health.
Covid-19 is also the reason why Chang is unable to celebrate the occasion with his father.
"In fact, my mother also urged me not to go back and to have the celebration another day.
"Hopefully, when my sister returns from Singapore some time later in the year, we can have a bigger celebration," he said.
Chang said this year's Fathers Day was viewed with a new perspective.
"I feel this year's celebration is more significant than previous years as some of us may not have the chance to celebrate with their loved ones due to Covid-19.
"It just shows how fragile human life is. So we must cherish our forthcoming days to avoid any regrets," he said, adding that some people did not manage to mark Mothers Day in May due to the inter-state travel ban then.
"So, Fathers Day can be celebrated as Parents Day," he added.
Manager Darren Wee, 35, said he and his family marked the occasion by dining out for the first time since the MCO began on March 18.
"It was just a simple brunch with my wife and daughter at a friend's cafe on Saturday.
"It was the first time we went out together after 95 days," he said adding that there were a lot of people in the city over the weekend, with many cars bearing non-Perak registration plates.
"I really feel thankful to be able to celebrate together with my family," said Wee.
He added that people should be more appreciative with what they have now.
"I believe we should all just do what we want to and not procrastinate. We should also support local small businesses," he said.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong also did not miss
the opportunity to pay tribute to his late father.
In a Facebook post, the Transport Minister said he was blessed to have learned about the great responsibility of being a parent from his father, and to always show love.
"Being a father is not just a great responsibility, it is also an opportunity to show love unceasingly and selflessly.
"I am blessed to have learned and experienced that from my late father, and I have tried to impart that to my own children, Joan and Julian," said the Ayer Hitam MP.
Dr Wee also called on the people to appreciate and value the time they have with their parents and loved ones.
"They are our pillars of strength to face whatever that life throws at us.
"Here's wishing everyone a Happy Fathers Day!"
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