Abdul Karim (centre) flanked by Jaul (left) and Assistant Minister of Community Wellbeing Datuk Francis Harden Hollis at the press conference. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING:To ensure the health and safety of all during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, no large-scale gatherings, public concerts, parades, or processions will be held in conjunction with the state-level National Day celebration in Simanggang this year.

State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion pointed out that in past years, National Day was usually celebrated on a large scale with major public events.

“This year, we will only have two or three activities which are in a controlled environment,” he said at a press conference at the Baitul Makmur Building 2 (West Wing), Petra Jaya here yesterday.

He said that the Unity Walk on Aug 31 as well as the dinner on Aug 30 at Hotel Sri Simanggang would be limited to 250 participants in line with the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the National Security Council (MKN), Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), and State Health Department (JKNS).

Aside from this, he said that most of the participants would be locals from Simanggang itself.

“We are very particular about the pandemic, so whatever programmes we are having, we will comply with all the SOPs set by SDMC and JKNS,” said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He assured that all locations involved in the celebration such as Dewan Suarah and Hotel Sri Simanggang would be sanitised completely and participants in the events will undergo temperature checks.

He pointed out that Sarawakians’ awareness of Covid-19 was very high.

In addition, he said that the Sri Aman District Council had been instructed to ensure cleanliness at markets, public washrooms, and others.

“Flags and banners will be put up so that Simanggang town will be cheery and suited to the celebration,” he said.

Meanwhile, in response to a question from a reporter as to why Simanggang was selected as the venue for this year’s celebration, Abdul Karim explained that the venue was selected based on rotation.

“We have 12 divisions in Sarawak, so it will move around all these divisions,” he said.