Padungan Cat ready for CNY

Dr Sim (centre) together with Wee (left) and Hilmy (right) wishing Sarawakians a very Happy Chinese New Year.

KUCHING: The city’s iconic cat statue at the Padungan roundabout now dons a traditional Chinese costume, with a beautiful red and floral design, to welcome the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration.

The cat’s costume is also paired with a matching headgear and face mask, along with a lantern hanging off the cat’s paw.

Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, together with Kuching City South Council (MBKS) mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng and deputy mayor Hilmy Othman, was present to put the costume on the cat statue on Saturday (Jan 30).

The cat statue would wear different costumes to reflect the different festivals or celebrations such as CNY, Gawai Dayak, Deepavali, and Christmas.

It is a significant event as it symbolises Kuching City’s multicultural population.

Meanwhile, Dr Sim also took the opportunity to remind the public to celebrate the festival responsibly, especially when the state is still fighting against Covid-19.

“Let’s celebrate this CNY under the new norm by strictly adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC),” he said.

He urged Sarawakian to always wear face masks in public, avoid crowded places and big gatherings, constantly wash their hands with soap or use hand sanitisers, and always practise physical distancing.

“Please love your family and keep them safe from Covid-19,” he said.

Dr Sim also said as there is a surge of Covid-19 cases in Sarawak, and SDMC had announced that no public gatherings or celebrations are allowed.

“The CNY celebration in Sarawak is only allowed on the first day with an attendance of 20 people at a time and limited to immediate family members only.

“Please play your part as a responsible person and together we can fight Covid-19 together,” he said.