Tan Sri James Jemut Masing

KUCHING: This year’s state-level Gawai Dayak celebration may be put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing has urged all Dayak leaders to cancel the gathering for the safety of everyone.

Last year’s gathering was hosted by the Bidayuh community while the Orang Ulu community was supposed to host this year’s celebration.

Asked about the Gawai celebration in the villages, he said the villagers might be allowed to celebrate but only among family members.

“It may be allowed in their homes or longhouses if the location is within the green zones and not under the Covid-19 red zones,” said the Baleh assemblyman.

On Friday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the country might continue to ban mass gatherings until year end even after the lifting of the movement control order (MCO). 

He said mass gatherings were not encouraged for the next six months or one year.

The MCO was enforced on March 18, and the government has also imposed a ban on gathering of more than 50 people which included religious gatherings, weddings, sports events and concerts.