By Karen Bong
KUCHING, July 22: Even though the Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly affected people’s lives, the crisis has also shone a spotlight on the strong Sarawak spirit of solidarity as Sarawakians still found ways to come together with a sense of purpose and contribution.
Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian emphasised that it is this strong spirit of solidarity and resilience to persevere which has made the Sarawak Day celebration this year more meaningful than ever.
“Covid-19 cannot stop the spirit of Anak Sarawak in celebrating Sarawak Independence Day.
“This year is even more meaningful as people have gone through a long year of hardships and sufferings, but it also shows the best spirit of solidarity among Sarawakians in saving lives and livelihoods.
“With vaccination success as more than 50 per cent of the population has received two doses of vaccine, the time is near to celebrate more freedom in Sarawak,” he said in a pre-recorded opening speech at the Sarawak Day celebration held at Sarawak Legislative Assembly Complex tonight and broadcast live on TVS.
The hybrid celebration was officiated at by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and widely broadcast across various social media platforms to ensure that all Sarawakians can witness the celebration, which featured an array of lively shows and performances, from the comfort of their homes under the new norms.
Sarawak’s various achievements, Dr Sim pointed out, would not be possible without every strata of society coming together in the war against the Covid-19.
He highly commended the medical and non-medical frontliners as well as ordinary citizens for being the unsung heroes of Sarawak. He lauded them for going on top and beyond the call of duty to serve and protect the people during this public health emergency and crisis.
“Their display of patriotism and volunteerism in helping fellow Sarawakians is beyond the call of duty. This is truly the spirit of Sarawak.
“This spirit of patriotism is what we need for the sake of our beloved Bumi Kenyalang and Covid-19 gives us the opportunity to bring all Sarawakians together as a nation,” he added.
This amazing feat, he continued, showed the exemplary leadership and guidance of Abang Johari and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas as chairman of the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) who have helped Sarawak tackle the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19.
Dr Sim also conveyed his gratitude and appreciation to all including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), associations as well as individuals who have shown genuine concern and volunteerism to help the needy through their various contributions of food, personal protective equipment (PPE), facemasks, hand sanitisers, oxygen and other necessary items.
“This call is very much in line with the theme of this year’s celebration which is ‘Sarawak Gemilang Untuk Semua’ (a glorious Sarawak for all). Let us all appreciate and understand the purpose of this celebration as a sign of gratitude for our beloved Sarawak.
“As Sarawakians, we must remain united in facing the challenges ahead to ensure our State will achieve the glory as aspired.
“I hope that all Sarawakians will continue to follow the SOP (standard operating procedures) for their own safety and security as we start living with Covid-19 in our community.
“Kita jaga kita, intu Sarawak, jaga Sarawak. Stay strong. Selamat menyambut Hari Sarawak.” — DayakDaily