KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese community in the country has been urged to fully comply with the Movement Control Order (MCO) which has been extended until 14 April, and not to carry out tomb-sweeping activities during the coming Ching Ming festival, which actual date falls on 4 April.

Urging this was Tan Sri T.C Goh, the president of The Federation of Malaysia Chinese Associations (Huazong) who also expected the management corporations of the Chinese cemeteries and memorial parks in the country would comply with the MCO and to lockdown their cemeteries and memorial parks.

“Please be reminded that the government might impose stricter movement control during this extension period, and this includes all forms of gathering which cover religious, sports, recreational, social and cultural events.

“In this life-and-death situation, and in the best interest of the nation and the public, we the Chinese community should better appreciate the importance and necessity of the MCO and give our full cooperation to comply with it.

“The graves of our ancestors and departed loved ones will always be there and we can always conduct tomb-sweeping activities when the Covid-19 is over. It’s better late than never,” he said in a statement issued today.

Goh disclosed that following the extension of the MCO for another two weeks by the government recently, Huazong has received feedback from its affiliate members and Chinese cemeteries organizations that, they too would comply with the MCO and to lockdown their place, so as to discourage the public to carryout tomb-sweeping activities during this period of time.

He thus hoped that the Chinese community throughout the country could give their full cooperation to the government in combating the Covid-19 outbreak.

He also opined that the Chinese community could still conduct prayers for their ancestors and departed loved ones at home, based on their individual religion, instead of going to the cemeteries or memorial parks, during this extraordinary situation.

He reckoned that such an approach if done wholeheartedly would allow them to fulfill their filial piety to their ancestors, and their warm thoughts and affection for their departed loved ones.

He went on to note that based on the Chinese tradition, tomb-sweeping is usually performed 10 days before or after the actual date of the Ching Ming festival, which is on 4 of April for this year. And with the extension of the MCO until 14 April, it would mean that by the time the MCO ended, the festival too is over, and according to the Chinese custom, one is prohibited from conducting tomb-sweeping anymore until the next year.

He nonetheless pointed out that, the Chinese community could still conduct prayers for their ancestors and departed loved ones during such occasions like the annual Hungry Ghost Festival and the Chongyang Festival.

“But, we must first ensure that the Covid-19 outbreak in the country is completely contained and the Movement Control Order is lifted, before we could decide further,” he said.

He reiterated that the MCO was imposed by the government in order to save lives, and that the deferment of the Ching Ming festival by the Chinese community would not affect their noble tradition of filial piety towards their ancestors and departed loved ones.-pr/BNN