A typical Malaysian wedding or party usually sees a hall packed with relatives, friends, neighbours and acquaintances.
Arguments resulting in marred relationships have not been uncommon because some were left out of the guest list.
Come July 1, wedding receptions and parties will be allowed but limited to 250 people depending on the size of the venue to ensure physical distancing is strictly observed.
Also allowed are thanksgiving prayers and tahlil. But these events are restricted to five hours and food must be served at the table while buffet lines must be attended to by waiters.
For Annur Soleha Ahmad, the announcement by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is music to her ears.
Annur, 29, and her husband Mohd Ariff Habit got married on June 10 but could not hold a wedding reception as it was not allowed under the Recovery Movement Control Order.
“We will go ahead with our reception but haven’t decided when,” admitted Annur.
“Many things need to be considered … the guest list, venue and budget for the catering.”
Annur, an auditor, added the requirement to limit the number of guests was not an issue.
“I think it will work if we know how to manage the guest list and follow the SOPs. Perhaps it’s best to invite guests in batches of 20 or 30 to manage the crowd effectively.”
When asked if extended family members or friends would be slighted if they were not invited to her reception, Annur said: “People will understand given the current situation. Also some people won’t want to take the risk.”
“During this period, I don’t think we will have a big reception and this will help us to minimise the cost.”
Beauty consultant Fannie Sia, meanwhile, said she and her fiance Jeff Yau will stick to their plan of hosting a wedding reception next year. The couple, however, will carry on with the traditional tea ceremony on Nov 8.
“We had a list and it was about 30 to 35 tables, so about 350 people. If we have it this year, we will need to cut 100 names and it will be a headache,” said Sia, 35.
“We decided about two weeks ago to hold the reception next year and we’re sticking to it.”
Wedding planner Rachel Chun does not view the SOPs as challenging.
“It’s 250 people … that’s a manageable number,” said Chun, the co-founder of Pretty Little Things, a wedding planning service provider based in Subang Jaya.
“People have already started enquiring about our services and are asking about receptions with a limited number of guests. The number of calls have dropped compared to the same period last year but it shows there is still interest.”
Chun added there were two groups of people who called in – one group planning their wedding next year and the other group eager to tie the knot this year.
“Some can’t wait,” Chun said in jest.
“But we have been telling those who want to get married this year to wait until we get a clearer picture regarding the SOPs.”
BACK TO SCHOOL
After three months of learning from home with the Movement Control Order (MCO) in place students sitting for SPM and STPM returned to school this morning.
The Health Ministry, however, will assess the first three days of school to see if the standard operating procedures (SOP) are adequate or need to be re-evaluated.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin visited SMK Datok Lokman in Kuala Lumpur this morning for a first-hand look at the SOPs and teaching activities.
MAT SABU’S SON JAILED
Ahmad Saiful Islam Mohamad, the son of former Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, was found guilty for drug abuse by the Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court and will spend eight months behind bars.
Upon completing his sentence, the 32-year-old will be placed under the surveillance of the National Anti-Drug Agency for two years.
Mohamad Sabu, popularly known as Mat Sabu, is also Amanah president.
STOP FROGS IN SPORTS
A veteran administrator has echoed the called by former hockey international Maninderjit Singh that officials keen on positions must be vetted before they are voted in.
Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, a former national water polo player and long-time Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary, said there should be a criterion for those aspiring to hold key positions in sports associations.
JOKER ‘DEEPLY SORRY’ OVER COVID-19 OUTBREAK
Tennis star Novak Djokovic, who tested positive for Covid-19, is “deeply sorry” for hosting an exhibition tournament ‘too soon’.
The World No. 1, had on Twitter, admitted he and organisers “were wrong” to go ahead with the event. The Joker and his wife Jelena tested positive after he played in a series of exhibition matches he organised in Serbia and Croatia with no physical distancing observed.