By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, May 14: The Sarawak government has distributed 10,500 boxes of cookies under the “Sumbangsih Raya-Gawai” programme for frontliners from 23 agencies involved in containing the spread of Covid-19 infection in the state.
Speaking at the symbolic handing over of the goodies at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg thanked all the frontliners for their sacrifices throughout the difficult time that Sarawak is facing.
“On behalf of the state government, I would like to thank of the agencies and frontliners. As we all know, Covid-19 is an unseen enemy. That is the problem. This is why we must continue and urge everyone to take extra precautions and be vigilant.
“Statistics in Sarawak has shown that we’ve managed to reduce the number of cases because we’ve been taking necessary steps such as focusing on hotspots and isolation for those who’ve return to the state,” he said, adding that they also hope for more zero new cases in the future.
As Sarawakians will be celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Gawai Dayak soon, he acknowledged the two festivals as one of the major celebrations close to Sarawakian’s hearts.
“But now, we have to celebrate in a different way. We won’t be able to celebrate like how we used to, in large scale and so on. Instead, we need to practice the new normal. It will be very different this year because we cannot celebrate the way we used to.
“Scientists worldwide are trying to produce vaccine for Covid-19. We pray that they can produce it as soon as possible or else everyone will have to continue living like what it is now, such as wearing face mask everyday, social distancing, no gathering and so on,” Abang Johari asserted.
He also assured that he and the state government will continue to think of ways that Sarawak can restart the economy so that the people can slowly return to normalcy.
Speaking at the same event, State Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said this year, Sarawak Women and Family Department (JWKS) allocated RM240,000 for 8,000 boxes while another additional RM75,000 for 2,500 boxes were allocated by her ministry KPWKM.
When the world was hit with Covid-19 pandemic early this year, Fatimah said the ministry took the initiative to increase the number of “Sumbangsih Raya-Gawai” boxes.
Among the new recipients this year were the Health Ministry, Health Department, quarantine centres, screening centres, local authorities, Sarawak Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry staff, division disaster committees as well as media practitioners.
“This year we increased the numbers as they have worked day and night. Our hope for this contribution is to extend our gratitude to the Covid-19 frontliners who’ve been very committed in carrying out their duties to combat the outbreak.
“Usually these boxes are distributed directly to heads of department, but this year it will be different where distribution will be made directly to the division chairman of the Division Disaster Management Committee. I would like to thank the Civil Defense Force (APM) as well for their assistance in distributing the boxes to all divisions,” Fatimah said. —DayakDaily