Sarawak is home, sweet home for Hidayah

Hidayah and her husband.

JOHOR BAHRU: Nur Hidayah Mohamad Mustapha, a Sarawakian who has lived in Johor for about 10 years, is glad she and her family can now return to Sarawak.

This follows the lifting of the ban on interstate travel announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Yaakob last Sunday.


“I moved to Johor as I followed my husband, Zairuddin Khalil who works here. My family and I usually returned to my home state every school holiday at the end of the year.

“However, following the increase in daily positive Covid-19 cases in our country earlier this year, we were unable to return due to the implementation of the interstate travel ban.

“The last time we returned to Sarawak was in December 2018. My children often ask when they can visit Sarawak.

“After I explain the current Covid-19 situation, they finally understand why we had not been able to visit the state,” said the mother of four.

However, although the ban on interstate travel has been lifted, Hidayah currently has no plans to bring her children back to Sarawak as they are still in school.

InsyaAllah, if there are no obstacles, we plan to return next year during the school holidays,” she said, adding that previously, her family also often returned to her husband’s hometown in Melaka.

To satisfy her longing for her hometown and Sarawak, Hidayah started a small business by selling layered cakes (kek lapis) and some other Sarawak delicacies.

The business, which she has been running for the past nine years at Pasar Borneo, has received good response from locals including Sarawakians living in Johor as well as Singaporeans.

“Even though my business is good, it has not dispelled my homesickness. As the Malay proverb says ‘Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri, lebih baik di negeri sendiri’ (it may rain gold in someone else’s country and raining hailstones in your country, yet it’s still best to be back in your own country).

“Hence, I am very relieved that the State Disaster Management Committee recently relaxed the conditions for entry to Sarawak.

“This will definitely make it easier for Sarawakians like me,” she said.

Hidayah also hoped that the daily positive Covid-19 cases in the country would decrease and that Malaysia’s economy would recover.

“For those who want to go back to their hometowns, make sure you are free of Covid-19 to ensure the safety of other family members,” she advised.