Fatimah (third left) waves while talking to Marchisio virtually.

KUCHING: This year’s Children and Kindergarten’s Day was celebrated in the ‘new normal’ to thwart the Covid-19 infection.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah officiated at the celebration held at Rumah Kanak-Kanak Toh Puan Hajah Norkiah, Mile 12 on Saturday.

Unlike in previous years, the celebration this time around was devoid of children.

Despite no physical presence of children, videos of performances by local children were played as part of the celebration.

“The ministry received a letter from Putrajaya to postpone the celebrations but after much consideration, we chose to go ahead with the celebration provided there is no presence of children to prevent them from being at risk of Covid-19 virus,” Fatimah said.

During the event, Fatimah conducted  a virtual conversation with six-year-old Marchisio Lias Tangom and presented him with the ‘Anugerah Ketangkasan Kanak-Kanak 2020’.

The award was given to him for his fast response in alerting the residents of Rh Kampung Sebuyau Ensengai Iban in Sebuyau on a fire incident at the longhouse on June 4 this year. His action made him a hero for saving about 350 residents from the 48-door longhouse.

Fatimah also presented ‘Sarawak Quality Early Childhood Institution Award’ with a mock cheque worth RM5,000 each to Tadika Astana Miri and Tadika Krista Taman Centurion Kuching.

She also presented prizes to representatives of the children who won in various competitions held in conjunction with the celebration.

A video recording of Federal Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun’s message in conjunction with the celebrations was also played at the event.

Also present were the ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Saadiah Abdul Samat, Sarawak Social Welfare Department acting director Mohamad Guntor Rajaee, principal assistant secretary (Policy Division) Caroline Cleophas Joseph, and Childhood Development Division chief Salina Bujang.