Saturday, June 19

Newlywed couple hope to be SOP compliance model


Jerry helping Mika to put on her mask after the traditional wedding cake cutting and ‘Yam Seng’ toast ceremonies.

KOTA KINABALU: Newlyweds Jerry Tay and Mika Enriquez tied  the knot with full SOP compliance to keep themselves and their guests safe from the highly infectious Covid-9.

With the  number of Covid cases still on the rise, the wedding and reception ceremonies were held on  separate dates (April 10&11) respectively to avoid a crowd.

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Given the ‘roller-coaster’ daily  Covid-19 cases in Sabah, both the groom and bride only invited a few guests comprising immediately family members and selected friends.

“Myself and Mika including our parents and limited well wishers  ensured that we all strictly comply with maximum SOP or health protocols imposed by our government and health authorities,” the couple said.

Both engineers by profession, Jerry and Mika hope that their simple yet unique quiet celebration will serve as an example to future weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and other social gatherings.

They said the pandemic is real and still with us and it is for this very reason that every person must be responsible enough to help the government defeat the invisible threat.

“We all used our face mask except during dinner time and maintained physical distancing throughout the two-hour reception evening celebration,” the couple said.

Jerry and Mika confessed that their wedding and reception dates were postponed three times since last year due to the SOP policy and declaration of MCO restrictions.

“It pays  to prolong our patience and listen to the advice of our health experts and government. Our wedding celebration tonight was wonderful and very meaningful to both of us, our parents, relatives, friends, and visitors despite limited invitations,” they said.

Both the government and local health authorities tirelessly continued to  remind the public on the importance of the SOP.

Sabah’s Covid-19 spokesperson  Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun reminded the public that  SOP  violators are liable to be slapped with  a compound  of up to RM10,000 for individuals and RM50,000 for companies.

“The enforcement will not hesitate to take stern action on anyone caught  violating the SOP,” Masidi said adding that social gatherings include wedding and engagement ceremonies, receptions, kenduri-kendara, aqiqah ceremonies, doa selamat, tahlil, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, and retreats, among others.

He said the government also recommends that such functions be held moderately or be temporarily postponed.

“Social gatherings are strictly not allowed at districts and localities  placed under the Movement Control Order (MCO) or Enhanced MCO.”

On his part, Arthur Enriquez, the groom’s uncle agreed with the idea that gatherings should be  celebrated moderately and to observe  maximum compliance of the various  health protocols for the protection and safety of everyone in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the State.

“We have to accept that the new normal life is indeed truly a  reality in this difficult time of the pandemic. Just obey and adhere to the SOP for our own protection. The government is doing its utmost to ensure the interest and welfare of all Sabahans and Malaysians in general including foreigners,” Arthur stressed.

Visitor Ruben Castillo saluted the management of the hotel for ensuring guests strictly complied with the SOP.

He noted that hotel staff were  polite and professional in the way they reminded guests of the SOP.