Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom

KUCHING: Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) has urged its members and the Dayak community to adhere to the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC)’s standard operating procedure (SOP) for this year’s Gawai celebration in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its president Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom said SDNU is in sync with SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas on matters regarding SOPs for Gawai celebration including the allocation of only one day for the celebration.

“We also concur with SDMC’s condition that the attendance at such celebrations be limited to close family members numbering not more than 20 at a time.

“We understand that there are eagerness among the people to rush home for Gawai celebration however, inter-district travels in Sarawak are only allowed with written police permission.

“For the safety and health of our families, relatives and friends, we should tone down the usual Gawai celebration activities and stick to traditional practice of ‘miring’ but skip the celebration part,” he advised fellow Dayaks in a statement yesterday.

Mawan added for those who have good internet access, they could use video calls to communicate with families and relatives. “For Christians celebrating Gawai, they are advised to observe social distancing during the Gawai Eve prayers and always put on face mask and sanitise as well as wash your hands regularly,” he said.