Celebrate Gawai in a safe and healthy way: Mawan

Mawan delivering his speech.

KUCHING, May 29: Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom reminded the Iban community to comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the Sarawak or Federal government when celebrating Gawai Dayak.

Mawan in a statement today said that in order to reduce the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus, there was no need to “pulai ke menua”, and at the moment, cross-district traveling was only allowed for cases involving medical or death, and also required police approval.

“The community leaders must be pro-active in their responsibility to protect, maintain and empower the community under their care from the being infected by Covid-19.

“They also must ensure that the SOP issued by the State Disaster Management Community (SDMC) are being adhered to at all the times in their respective longhouses, or villages,” he said.

He added that the Gawai tradition should be continued according to each ethnic group, but the usual way of celebrating the festival such as the sharing of drinking glasses during drinking session, which is the tradition and practice for the longhouses folks, must be stopped to help reduce the risk of getting infected.

“For those celebrating Hari Gawai, we advise them to practice social distancing, always use face masks when visiting close relatives, and do not exceed the 20 people limit at one time in a room or house.

“Always practice personal hygiene by washing hands and using hand sanitisers,” said Mawan.

Meanwhile, Mawan, who is also Pakan assemblyman, called for the patience from the Dayak communities, to bear with the Sarawak government efforts and initiative in providing the Bantuan Khas Sarawaku Sayang (BKSS).

He said this included all the safety and health measures taken by the SDMC for the betterment of all.

“Covid-19 do not care about your race, religion, gender and background, and for those who are not celebrating Hari Gawai, stay home in order to keep yourself safe and health.

“Selamat nyambut Hari Gawai Dayak, gayu guru, gerai nyamai, lantang senang nguan menoa,” he said.—DayakDaily.