Martin Ben

KUCHING: Dayaks who are unable to return to their villages and hometowns to celebrate the festive seasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic are urged to be patient.

In trying to console them, Kedup assemblyman Martin Ben hoped they could understand and adhered to restrictions that unfortunately would make Gawai Dayak this year not as lively as before.

He told Suara Sarawak in an interview here that after the situation had improved, the Dayak would have many more Gawai for as long as they survived.

Having observed that Serian District with a predominantly Dayak population was still a yellow zone, he hoped that it would turn green soon.

He believed that this could be achieved if the people continue to be disciplined and comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) under the conditional movement control order (CMCO).

“I take this opportunity to wish Selamat Hari Raya to Muslims and Selamat Hari Gawai to the Dayak.

“During the festive seasons, we must strictly adhere to governmental directives that include holding no open houses, and no visiting friends and relatives,” he said.

Chairman of Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SMDC) and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas had ordered that Sarawakians were not allowed to go ‘ngabang’ (festive visitation) or visit graves of loved ones during Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Gawai Dayak.

He said only immediate family members can be together and not more than 20 people are allowed to gather at any one time in any house during the two festivals.