Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has urged all to embrace the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Hari Raya as Sarawak braces of its first festive celebration amid the Covid-19 pandemic with the mood in the air starkly different from years past.

Following is Abang Johari’s Hari Raya address in full:

Alhamdulillah, let us express gratitude to the will of Allah S.W.T because with His guidance and permission, we can once again complete our fast and celebrate the noble Aidilfitri in a peaceful environment despite having to face the challenges of the Covid-19 outbreak.

In conjunction with this glorious day, my wife and I wish all Muslims wherever they are “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.”

Alhamdulillah, in this Land of the Hornbill, like other Muslims around the world, we celebrate the victory day of Muslims completing the fasting month. However, this year we have to deal with extraordinary circumstances due to the measures and precautions that all citizens must follow to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic from spreading.

InsyaAllah, with strict enforcement and close cooperation of the people, our efforts have been successful so far. However, I urge everyone that with the relaxation given during the conditional movement control order (CMCO), we will not be complacent towards the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the protocols that have been set up, especially during this festive season, to prevent the second wave of Covid-19.

The month of fasting passed without the excitement of the Ramadan bazaar, without prayers in congregation and Tarawih and so on in the mosque or surau. However, we have overcome all these challenges and we have been given the opportunity to stay close to family members, doing a variety of family activities.

This Hari Raya atmosphere is also very different from what we have been practising as Muslims because we have to adhere to the SOPs and protocols during the festivities.

We are not allowed in the mosque to perform Aidilfitri prayer. It is not advisable to visit relatives in large numbers. We cannot hold open house, are not allowed to shake hands and are required to maintain social distancing. Think of all these as our shared responsibilities to ensure that the Covid-19 outbreak ceases as soon as possible.

Our economy has been open conditionally on May 12 and I thank all the people for complying with the SOPs set up for business premises and places of employment. Compliance with the SOPs teaches us to be patient because we have to line up, distance ourselves from others around us, and take turns for body temperature checks, hygiene and so on. I hope that by obeying the SOPs, we will all be free from Covid-19 infection, InsyaAllah.

As a government concerned with the hardships and frustrations faced by the people since the movement control order (MCO) and CMCO, the Sarawak government has implemented the Sarawak Special Assistance Programme or BKSS 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 to ease the burden of the people, help the traders, small and medium-sized traders and small and medium-sized enterprises in overcoming the barriers to re-operating after a long shutdown.

There is no denying that some have lost their jobs and businesses have been forced to close due to the closure of almost all sectors of the three-phase MCO. I really hope that the direct and indirect help through BKSS 1.0, BKSS 2.0 and BKSS 3.0 can ease the difficulties we face.

A total of RM 2.6 billion has been allocated to implement the three special aid packages. Almost all Sarawakians over the age of 21 have been and will be helped as the government strives to be inclusive for the benefit of all citizens.

The government has also made every effort to provide food assistance to all Sarawakians, especially in rural and inland areas when the MCO came into force. In addition, the government has also provided two million free face masks to the people and RM10 million to provide Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to health workers and other workers in need.

The BKSS assistance programme is a short-term step towards helping people, businesses and small and medium-sized industries. As a government that also considers the long-term impact of Covid-19 on the state’s economy, long-term programmes have also been formulated to ensure the Sarawak economy continues to thrive until 2030.

Sarawak’s post-Covid-19 programme focuses on digital economy and environmental sustainability focuses on nine (9) sectors — Commercial agriculture, Withdrawal, Mining, Forestry, Tourism, Basic infrastructure, Services, Data Centre and Innovation, and Renewable energy

A delegation called the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC) has been established to seek inputs from various stakeholders or stakeholders. I sincerely hope that the inputs that will be refined by the state government will be a solid foundation for preserving and strengthening the economy in the long run.

On this occasion, I invite all Sarawakians, people of all races, races, religions and political backgrounds to work together to maintain the unity and harmony of the people in this country. There is nothing more beautiful than the happiness, prosperity, harmony and prosperity of the state of Sarawak to be enjoyed by all Sarawakians and all Malaysians in general.

Let us celebrate this glorious day with the spirit of goodwill and brotherhood between people regardless of religion and lineage. Respect each other’s religious and culture. Indeed, Islam is the religion of the Fitrah, with its whole teaching in keeping the dignity of man as a manifestation of the greatness of Allah S.W.T.

I cannot hold open house to receive my brothers and sisters this year. However, all of you will always be on my mind and Datuk Amar Hajah Juma’ani’s mind.

Finally, my wife and I sincerely wish all Sarawakians, “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin”.  

That’s all.

Wabillahitaufiq Walhidayah Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.