By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, May 30: Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) president Datu Ik Pahon Joyik has reminded the Dayak community not to have Gawai celebrations and visiting (ngabang) during the upcoming Hari Gawai on June 1 and 2.
He noted that no visitation during the Gawai festival was one of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Gawai Dayak to mitigate another surge in the cases of Covid-19 which the State is experiencing.
Ik Pahon believed the move showed an act of love to our loved ones in preventing the transmission of coronavirus and sacrifices to frontliners who worked tirelessly in battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I hope our community is well-informed of the deadly danger posed by Covid-19 especially with the emergence of the more infectious variants from India, South Africa, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
“All these variants are already landing on Malaysia’s shores.
“Yes we have a choice between experiencing the joy of Gawai or the sorrow of Covid-19.
“Let’s for once make the decision to give priority to our health and our loved ones,” he said in his Hari Gawai message in conjunction with the festival next week.
Ik Pahon asserted that the State Health Department has also reminded the people that the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds and other health facilities in hospitals have already stretched to the limit and are almost at breaking point.
Hence, he urges the Dayaks not to have the celebration and visitation this year to curb the transmission of Covid-19.
At the same time, he wishes the Dayak and the Bidayuh community who are celebrating the festival, “Selamat Gawai Sowa,” he added. — DayakDaily