•   

PERSPECTIVES ON CURRENT ISSUES › NEWS




Chinese Community To Celebrate New Year In Moderation



By Soon Li Wei

KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- The Chinese New Year celebration is just around the corner and the festive atmosphere is being increasingly felt as more colourful and bright decorative red lanterns and plum tree flowers are brightening up premises around the capital.

The Chinese community has also begun to make preparations for their biggest festival of the year with shopping, cleaning and decorating their homes.



This year, the year of the Fire Rooster, symbolises abundant benefits and sustenance for everyone.

Checks by Bernama around Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur's China Town, and shopping centres in the capital found that the preparations had already started as early as December.

Most Chinese households believe that early preparations need to be made for at least one month in advance so they can plan prudently.




Housewife Felicia Lim, 43, said the prices of home decorations such as decorative lanterns had gone up compared to previous years, causing her to plan her expenses in advance.

"This year I have to be prudent and buy essential items only.

"This is because the prices of most decorative items and oranges imported from China have gone up due to the decline of our currency," she told Bernama.

Private sector employee Tan Lee Lian, 40, said he would re-use his existing lanterns and other decorative items.

"I will only book the must-have glutinous rice cake (kuih bakul) and mandarin oranges because this year's economy is less satisfactory."

"We do not necessarily need to replace everything with new ones, but only to buy essential stuff," he said.

Checks at business premises along Jalan Petaling found the prices of decorative items had increased about 10 to 15 per cent compared to last year.

Home decor shop owner, Chan Poh Keng, 58, said she would only sell limited quantity of decorative lanterns and plum blossoms because the price of both items skyrocketed this year.

"Compared to last year, where we did have up to 200 units in our stock, this year I reduced to half at 100 units only as they have become expensive.

"However, despite the price increase, there were customers who still bought it because they said the New Year was only celebrated once a year," she said.

Traditional drug store manager Sean Lim, 48, said that although prices of most items had gone up, hampers of food items for Chinese New Year were still selling well just like the previous year.

"I want to attract more new customers to buy Chinese New Year stuff, so I sell it cheaper than other stores by offering a discount, up to 10 percent," he said.

-- BERNAMA