Lives irreplaceable, so celebrate Gawai Dayak responsibly, urges Taib

Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib.

KUCHING, May 31: Sarawak Governor Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud calls for the cooperation of the Dayak community in playing its role in efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 in light of the Gawai Dayak celebration which starts tomorrow.

He noted the Gawai Dayak celebration or the harvest festival, is not only important to the Iban community, but also significant for other ethnicities in Sarawak such as the Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit, Lun Bawang and many others.

“Gawai Dayak is celebrated every year, but the loss of lives due to negligence is irreplaceable. Therefore, I call on everyone to work together to curb the spread of this epidemic.

“I hope that we are all protected throughout this festive season, and let us pray together so that everyone is given good health, long life, prosperity and abundance for this year and also in the future,” he said in his Gawai Dayak 2021 message.

Taib noted, despite many constraints faced during the festival, everyone should not gather in groups and avoid “ngabang Gawai” (social visiting) as what normally is practised during the festival.

He said as it is not possible for the government to monitor every house during the celebration, each Ketua Kampung and Tuai Rumah must ensure that all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are followed by all during the festival.

“We certainly do not want our family members, especially those elderly like “Aki” (grandfather) and “Ini” (grandmother) to be infected with the virus which could endanger their lives,” he added.

“Lastly, I, my wife and our family members, would like to sincerely wishes “Selamat Lau Gawai Dayak”, “Selamat Nginti Ari Gawai Dayak”, and “Selamat Andu Gawai Dayak”, to all the Dayak communities in Sarawak,” he added.

On the same note, Taib also conveyed his gratitude to all the frontliners for their tireless efforts in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Although it has been more than a year since the Covid-19 pandemic struck our country, we are still trying and not giving up the fight against this invisible enemy.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the frontliners for their tireless efforts in fighting against the pandemic to make sure that we are not defeated by it,” he said. — DayakDaily