A Countdown for frontliners

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KUCHING: With the year-end only hours away, preparations for welcoming the New Year is also taking place here at the Stadium Perpaduan (Indoor Stadium). All the rigging, rehearsals and fixtures for the New Year countdown is dedicated to put up a great show the frontliners.

The event aims to show frontliners that Sarawak appreciates them. With the New Year’s countdown held at the Stadium Perpaduan (Indoor Stadium), Petra Jaya from 8pm on the 31st December until midnight, it will be a spectacle and a grand tribute to the ones involved in the Covid-19 battle.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said that the main objective of the countdown is to appreciate the efforts and hard work of the frontliners in battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event which is co-organised by his ministry, the Sarawak Arts Council and the Symphony Orchestra Sarawak (Sons) covered all the required safety preparations.

“State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has been officially informed of the event and it will be organised with the necessary SOPs.

“All guests are by invitation only. We are only inviting 1,000 guests to the event physically so that the crowd can be better controlled and no issue of over-crowding will arise.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is also expected to attend the event.

The full event including the fireworks presentation will be aired live on TVS and streamed online by Ukas.

“We are proud of those (frontliners) who have been looking after us throughout the whole year and as such we want to have them as our guests to this countdown event,” he said in a press conference today.

“There will be giant outdoor screens near the stadium where families and friends can park their cars and watch the event live on the giant screen with the commentary and sound aired on 87.70fm,” he said.

Karim was excited to announce that Dayang Nurfaizah, the Sarawakian songster and Malaysian superstar as the highlight performance of the evening.

“Besides that, performances scheduled for the event also includes a 200-piece orchestra ensemble, artists from Betong and Sri Aman, dance performances and as well, a laser animation show,” he said.

“At the stroke of midnight, the grandest fireworks display will be tribute to the frontliners.

In the meantime when commenting on Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri’s remarks that huge gatherings at New Year eve celebration to usher in 2021 are not allowed, Karim said for Sarawak the countdown was different from the previous years where it was held at Kuching Waterfront.

“That is why we are adhering to the SOPs and holding it at the indoor stadium with a limited crowd so that we can control the crowd. Thus, it is not in that category of a huge crowd,” he said.

Also present were Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee and Sarawak Arts Council chief executive officer Sharkawi Amit.

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