Saturday, October 1

CMCO leaves state footballer with no choice but to cancel ‘balik kampung’ trip

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KUCHING: Ashri Chuchu would normally go back to his home village, Kampung Luagan Sundar in Lawas, every Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

However, the state footballer had to make the tough decision of cancelling his ‘balik kampung’ (homecoming) trip this year, in line with the government’s standard operating procedure (SOP) for festive occasions throughout the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) period.

In view of this, he said he would be celebrating Hari Raya with his wife Nur Zuraida Aboi’s family in Kota Samarahan.

Ashri and his wife with their two children.

“Since the situation is still unsafe and inter-district travel is still not allowed, I would have to cancel the trip back to Lawas for Hari Raya.

“Deep inside, I feel sad for not being able to meet my family this time – I miss them dearly. But, we must all continue to do our part in breaking the chain of Covid-19 infection, and pray that the situation would return to normal soon,” said the player for Sarawak United FC in the Premier Division – the second tier in the M-League.

The Malaysian football league is now suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and would remain so under the CMCO, which bans any sporting activity that involves physical contact.

Ashri, who had once donned the national jersey from 2012 to 2014, said he had been doing training at home and keeping a close watch over his diet to remain physically fit.

Under the SOP for festive occasions during the CMCO period, the ‘balik kampung’ practice involving inter-district travel, and also the shaking of hands and touching are not allowed for Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Gawai Dayak this year.

The SOP also does not allow people to hold open house gatherings and do house-to-house visiting. Only family members, not more than 20 people are allowed to be together at one house on the first day of each festive occasion.