By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 12: As the Muslim community welcomes the arrival of Hari Raya Aidilfitri in the new norm, Sarawak’s leaders have called on people to be extra vigilant against Covid-19 despite a muted celebration for the second year running.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan emphasised that it is necessary for all to follow the standard operating procedures (SOP) in order to help our frontliners who have been and are fighting tirelessly to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Sarawak.
“Those who have yet to register for the Covid-19 vaccination should do so as soon as possible as vaccination is important in Sarawak’s efforts to curb the pandemic and hopefully enable us to return to a much more normal life,” he advised in extending Hari Raya greetings to the people today.
Despite a low key celebration this year, Awang Tengah however hopes that the festivities will continue to strengthen ties of families and foster respect for one another as well as unity and collaboration among people in the diverse community regardless of background, race, religion and culture.
“While open houses are not allowed and celebration is limited to close family members, use all kinds of social media platforms available like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and others to keep in touch with families and friends from a distance,” he added.
Stressing that the government understood the challenges and hardships faced by the people due to the Covid-19, Awang Tengah emphasised that both State and federal governments have implemented several initiatives and assistance to reduce the burden on the people.
“The federal government has initiated packages under Prihatin, Penjana, Permai and Pemerkasa while the Sarawak government via Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) totalling more than RM3.2 billion.
“The assistance covered the entire Sarawak irrespective of races and politics,” he said.
Awang Tengah also expressed confidence that with the unity and teamwork from the people, Sarawak can win the war against Covid-19.
“We hope our people will live together harmoniously and our country will remain peaceful and stable. We also hope the economy of the State and nation can recover and that the livelihood of the people can be improved,” he added.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing Jemut in his short message reminded people to comply with SOPs, such as wearing face masks, observe physical distancing and avoiding physical greetings during this festive celebration.
“As we all know, Sarawak and the world are still affected by another wave of Covid-19. So we must continue to take good care of ourselves,” he advised.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion also made similar calls, urging people to be cautious at all times.
They wish all Sarawakians especially the Muslim community a “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin”. — DayakDaily