Taib and his wife, Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Ragad Kurdi Taib.

KUCHING: This year’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration will be different from past years, said Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic that has plagued the country demanded that the people live in a ‘new reality’ in its aftermath.

“Covid-19 does not only affected Sarawak and Malaysia, but is also spreading rapidly to the extent that the whole world is being affected by the disease.

“The federal government had to implement the movement control order (MCO) to break the chain of infection from spreading among the people.

“Due to that, the people have to adhere to the stay home notice and only go out when necessary. They also have to practise the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the authorities and the Health Ministry (KKM),” Taib said in his Hari Raya address.

The head of state also urged the public to continue practising health measures such as the use of face masks, gloves, and social distancing by at least one metre.

“Basically, we should avoid going to congested spaces and areas filled with activities,” he said.

Taib added that changes need to be made on how the people celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri as Malaysians are now living in prosperity with technological advancements.

“We should be proud of our ability in achieving developments while at the same time foster our unity and good relations among other races and religions.

“Thank God, although Muslims in Sarawak are categorised as a minority group, our leaders — Muslim and non-Muslim — have always worked together in governing Sarawak fairly, with tolerance and respect among one another.

“For Muslims, this is a huge responsibility as Islam promotes welfare and rights of everyone, regardless of race, religion and customs,” he said.