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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 22: Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud has urged the people to adhere to all advice, guidelines and standard operating procedure (SOP) implemented by the authorities and Ministry of Health in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said this year’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri would be celebrated differently according to the “new reality” due to Covid-19 outbreak, a timely advice in conjunction with his Hari Raya Aidilfitri message today.
“We have to wear face mask, hand gloves and practise social distancing as well as avoid crowded places. We need to adapt to the new norm and change to a more suitable ways to socialise with people,” he said in his Aidilfitri greetings.
Nevertheless, he said the harmonious atmosphere could be seen through the close cooperation between all races in economic and social development.
“I hope the unity and harmony of the people will continue to be firmly intact in our own unique mould.
“Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri,” he wished all Sarawakians especially the Muslim community.
Taib also touched on efforts that should be further enhanced to help people in the low income group in Sarawak to enable them to move forward as the country progresses.
“Sarawak must not allow a small group of people being left behind from development.
“In this matter, all assistance and aid should be focused on the low income people, not only the Bumiputera but also non Bumiputera based on the rural development plans and existing policies to help the Bumiputera community,” he said.
Expressing gratitude for the many capable Sarawakian leaders serving the state and people, Taib however reminded them of their heavy responsibilities and obligations to always be fair and attentive towards the rights of both Muslims and non Muslims.
“An Islamic leader realised that he must be fair and carry out his duties and responsibilities based on religious teachings to ensure the welfare and safety of everyone under his care are safeguarded,” he added.
He thus commended Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg for his leadership in forging Sarawak forward so that the state will not only achieve a high-income and developed status but to become the richest and most advanced state by 2030.
“For this, Abang Johari has implemented a number of programmes dedicated to transform rural development that can continue with the state’s struggle to make Sarawak a more developed and progressive state for the benefit of all.
“This is the responsibility of an Islamic leader who follows the true teachings of Islam and not just acting on emotions or based on political power,” he emphasised.
He was proud that both Muslim and non Muslim leaders have worked together to govern the country fairly with tolerance and respect.
“For the Muslim community in Sarawak, this matter is a great responsibility because the teachings of Islam advocate for the protection and welfare of all people regardless of race, religion and culture,” he added.
Taib trusts that people will continue to give their strong support to the government-of-day under the leadership of Abang Johari to continue the struggles in making Sarawak an advanced and high-income economy state.
With significant changes and progress in the past 50 years to shape a modern Sarawak today, he observed that, as a whole, both the Malay and Bumiputera communities in Sarawak have been able to enjoy roughly the same lifestyle as people living in the cities.
“However, it cannot be denied that our success in closing the rural and urban gap depends much on the people themselves using their abilities to work hard and put efforts into increasing their income.
“Thus in this Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration, it is this spirit that we must show to our non-Muslim friends. In fact, this is one of the strengths in Malaysia where people of other religions and faiths can come together to celebrate all kinds of festivals celebrated in Malaysia,” he emphasised.
Taib added that such unity and togetherness created an awareness among non Muslim communities towards the attitude of Muslim people on the rights and interests of others under their care.
“For this reason, we can say that our state leaders are measured not only by their ability to work but also their spirit in fulfilling their responsibility and care for people of all races.
“We should be proud that the harmony and peace we enjoy today is the result of the tolerance as well as mutual trust and respect among people of all races, cultures and religions,” he said.
He said this uniqueness was the strength of Sarawak which formed the backbone of unity and political stability in the state and should be sustained. – DayakDaily