Families in Malaysia reunite with SOP in mind

Mohamad Yasser Mazalan, 33 (left) and Haslinda Kamal Mustafa, 29 (third from left) with their daughter, Nur Aulia Izzatulnisa, 3 from Kuala Lumpur celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri with his family in Larkin, Johor Baru.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

JOHOR BARU - It’s the reunion they had been picturing in their minds for many months.

“My husband and I decided to take some time off from work to visit our family in Taiping as it has been more than five months since we last saw them,” said customer service assistant officer P. Premalatah, 34.

“We were reluctant to go back at first as we do not want to put our parent’s health at risk but we changed our mind after listening to their plea on the phone,” she said.

As a precautionary measure, she brought along a thermometer to keep track of their temperatures for the trip on Saturday.

“We have told our family members earlier that we will keep some distance from them for safety reasons,” she said.

Premalatah is among the many Malaysians who are visiting families or friends living elsewhere since the government lifted the ban on interstate travel under the recovery movement control order (MCO).

Hotel staff Hassan Akup, 36, said that he would get to see several close relatives in Kuala Lumpur today.

“We wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate Hari Raya together as all of us had to mark the occasion alone last month, ” he said.

He explained that their initial arrangement was to return to Kota Kinabalu for the celebrations but the MCO put paid to all their plans.

For now, he would be “reunited” with just five of his close relatives to avoid mass gathering.

“I have at least 10 relatives living in Kuala Lumpur but I will only be meeting five of them who are living together,” he said, adding that he would also avoid visiting his more elderly relatives as a precaution.

Read Also
Malaysia's Health DG: Protocols in place for express buses
Malaysia's Health DG: Protocols in place for express buses

Self-employed Mohd Khairul Mohd Ali, 35, said he would be visiting his mother who lived in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, next week together with his wife and three children.

When interstate travel was allowed starting from June 10, he said that it felt like Hari Raya all over again.

However, he said he would not neglect precautionary measures to ensure the safety of his family.

“I will avoid going to public places. The only place for my family to go to is my mother’s house. We want to spend some time with her,” he said.

Clerk Farah Diyana Mokhtar, 27, said she would be going back to Kemaman next month during the Hari Raya Haji break to visit her parents.

“My parents told me that it is better to visit them during that time. Furthermore, I still have work commitments and I cannot take leave at the moment.

“I am hopeful that the Covid-19 situation in the country will improve even more by then, as I plan to bring my parents here,” she said.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.