KUCHING: Adhering to State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) standard operating procedures (SOP) during the Gawai celebrations can be a challenge especially in longhouses if the festive spirit gets the better of the need to observe social distancing.
Sounding out the caution, Datuk Seri Lau Kueng Chai, deputy treasurer-general of Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) called on longhouse chiefs and other community leaders to help monitor the celebrations in their communities.
“Community leaders especially Tuai Rumah can play a big role in ensuring the State Disaster Management Committee SOP are followed during the Gawai celebrations,” he said in a statement yesterday.
“Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the celebrations will have to be toned down and traditional practices like ‘miring’ may not be held for the safety families, relatives and friends, the significance and spirit of the festival is still the same,” he said.
Lau also sent Hari Raya greetings to Muslims in the state saying like Gawai this year’s celebration will be muted compared to those in the past as shaking hands to exchange greetings, going to mosques to pray and holding open house are prohibited.
“This is the new ‘normal’ we have to accept in the fight against the spread of Covid-19 but it should not take away the spirit and beautiful message of Aidilfitri.”
“With the cooperation and efforts of everybody the end of the Covid-19 pandemic will come to pass in the meantime we all have to bear with hardship and challenges of measures taken by the authorities to curb the spread of the virus,” Lau said.