LETTERS: We had been living under the peril of Covid-19 for three years which had not only impacted the global economy severely but also shattered the lives of millions of people worldwide.

It had also marred the joyful atmosphere of many major festivals throughout the world, especially the celebration of Chinese New Year (CNY) in China which had been persistently gloomed by the restrictive zero-Covid policy.

The recent abolishment of the zero-Covid policy has brought immense joy to the 1.4 billion mainland Chinese who had suffered enough since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The entire world, too, could breathe a sigh of relief now as it could expect a less disruptive economic growth and, at the same time, millions of Chinese are free to travel overseas.

On the local front, a huge number of Malaysians were enlivened by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's visit to Wisma MCA after 25 years to celebrate the spring festival with friends and other political figures.

The PM's warm greetings extended to the Chinese community there on this auspicious day brought more cheer to this special occasion.

As my favourite kopitiam did not open for business for four days from the CNY eve, I had to rely on another kopitiam. The friendly atmosphere had impressed me immensely.

A regular Indian customer was communicating fluently in Cantonese with his Chinese friends, while Amit, a Nepali employee of the kopitiam was able to talk to this customer in Tamil.

To add to the colourful atmosphere, I started to greet Amit in Tamil "kalai vaṇakkam (good morning)" and "nandri (thank you)".

Although inflation had set in since the emergence of the pandemic three years ago, I was able to see lavish firework displays in my neighbourhood for several nights.

I hadn't seen these lavish firework displays since 2020. Obviously China's reopening of borders and the unity government have impressed the people that they could see better days ahead.

I hope the unity government will perform well and China's reopening will revive our tourism industry.

I was a senior hotel executive for more than two decades before my retirement in 2011, thus I understand how much this industry has suffered economically since 2020.

Let's hope the rakyat will enjoy many more exciting festive celebrations in coming months.


Ipoh, Perak

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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2023-01-31T16:48:55Z dg43tfdfdgfd