Let’s work together to curb spread of virus

KUCHING: Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has urged Sarawakians to work together to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said although it had been more than a year since the Covid-19 pandemic struck the nation, relevant parties were still working hard and not giving up in the fight against the invisible enemy.

“Well done and a million thanks to our frontline workers who have tirelessly fought to ensure that we do not perish as a result of this pandemic.

“Therefore, I call on all of us to work together to curb the spread of this pandemic. I hope we are all protected throughout this festive season. Let us together pray we are given good health, long life, prosperity and abundance of rezeki for this year, and the times to come,” he said in his Gawai Dayak message yesterday (May 31).

The Head of State pointed out there were numerous constraints in celebrating the Gawai Dayak festival this year, namely that the people were not allowed to gather in groups or ngabang Gawai unlike in previous years.

Taib also called on village chiefs and tuai rumah to ensure that all standard operating procedures (SOPs) were complied with throughout the festive seasons.

“The state government may not be able to conduct door-to-door monitoring during the Gawai season. Therefore, on the basis of concern and trust, I hope that the village head and tuai rumah can each ensure that every guideline or SOP that has been set can be adhered to by every layer of society during this festive season.

“We certainly do not want our family members, especially the elderly like our aki’ (grandfather) and ini’ (grandmother) to be infected with this virus which in turn endangers their lives. Gawai Day can be celebrated every year, but lives lost through our own negligence are certainly irreplaceable,” he said.

Taib said the Gawai Dayak festival or harvest festival was not only important for the Iban, but also for other Sarawak ethnic groups such as the Bidayuh and Orang Ulu, including Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit and Lun Bawang.    

Taib also took the opportunity to wish all celebrants a Happy Gawai Day 

“My wife (Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib) and family and I sincerely wish ‘Selamat Lau Gawai Dayak’, ‘Selamat Ngintu Ari Gawai Dayak’, ‘Selamat Andu Gawai Dayak’ to all the Dayaks of Sarawak that we love,” he added.

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