Warm Gawai greetings from state leaders

Date:

BY NOOR SYAHHIRA HADY & NATASHA JEE

KUCHING: Hari Gawai, also known as Gawai Dayak, is celebrated yearly in Sarawak on June 1. But the celebrations will begin tonight – at midnight – in the Dayak longhouses with the Tuai Rumah (headmen) leading toast to longevity (called Ai Pengayu).

This year’s Hari Gawai will be more merrier as certain restrictions imposed on the celebration in the past two years because of the COVID-19 have been lifted.

However, state leaders remind Dayaks to celebrate with caution and to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set as the war against the deadly virus is not over yet.

In conjunction with the Hari Gawai celebration, New Sarawak Tribune spoke to some of the state leaders to get them to share their Gawai hopes and wishes.

Nicholas Kudi Jantai Masing

Nicholas Kudi Jantai Masing
(Baleh assemblyman)

This year, I hope we will live freely and get our life back to normal after going through all the challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of us have lost our parents, brothers, sisters and best friends to the virus but they will remain in our memories forever.
Please celebrate your Gawai with joy. Have safe journeys home and please remember to follow the SOPs to keep you and your families safe. ‘Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai, Lantang Senang Nguan Menua’.

Dr Simon Sinang Bada

Dr Simon Sinang Bada
(Tebedu assemblyman)

The government imposed the movement control order (MCO) to stop thE COVID-19 pandemic from spreading and to save lives, and with the cooperation of everyone, we came out triumphant.

Hence, this year, we are able to celebrate Gawai. This is the time for us to celebrate all the good things in our lives.

In the past, Gawai was celebrated to thank God after good padi harvests. Today, Gawai is celebrated because of abundant harvests, job promotions, our success, good health and many other things. I wish all Dayaks a ‘Happy and joyous Gawai Dayak.

Datuk Henry Harry Jinep

Datuk Henry Harry Jinep
(Deputy Transport Minister II & Tasik Biru assemblyman)

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all those who are celebrating “Selamat Hari Gawai” wherever they are.

Continue to stay vigilant, follow the SOPs and stay safe in order to protect ourselves and our families from COVID-19.

Datuk Gerald Rentap Jabu

Datuk Gerald Rentap Jabu
(Deputy Minister for Youth, Sport and Entrepreneur Development I (Youth and Sport Development) & Layar assemblyman)

I hope all of us can be with our families during this festive season. Gawai is a meaningful celebration to honour our hard work and reflect on our blessings. Even so, I urge all to follow the SOPs in order to stay healthy and safe.

In the wake of the pandemic, we should be cognizant of the challenges of the new world order and must strive to learn and reap the benefits from such opportunities.

We must also stay together and be mindful of those who are less fortunate and affected by the pandemic situation. Lending a helping hand goes a long way for others.

As the Dayak community represents the largest number of Sarawakians, we must remain united to ensure we are not left behind.

Datuk Snowdan Lawan

Datuk Snowdan Lawan
(Deputy Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts II (Creative Industry and Performing Arts) & Balai Ringin assemblyman)

Gawai is merrier and grander this year, partly because of the good commodity prices, especially from oil palm fruit bunches that fetched no less than RM1,000 per tonne for many months now. Moreover, people are returning to their longhouses after being unable to do so for the past two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway, the land transport has also improved.

Nevertheless, being merrier doesn’t mean you have to be extravagant. Spend wisely and only on what your family needs. It is important to save some money for your children’s education and rainy days.

Since we have not fully won our battle against the pandemic, do take care of your health. If you are travelling long distances, drive safely and ensure your vehicles are in good conditions.

With that, on behalf of my family, I wish all my Cabinet colleagues, friends, relatives and especially the rakyat in my constituency ‘Selamat Ngintu Hari Gawai, Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai, Chelap Lindap, Lantang Senang Nguan Menua’.

Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa

Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa
(Engkilili assemblyman)

Wishing all Dayak friends ‘Selamat Hari Gawai’. Enjoy your Gawai despite the differences in political backgrounds and beliefs. As you enjoy yourself, don’t forget to practise the 3Cs, namely, t avoid crowded places, confined space and close conversations.

Royston Valentine

Royston Valentine
(Tellian assemblyman)

Wishing all my Dayak friends a very happy Gawai, Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai, Lantang Senang nguan menoa. May the celebration bring us a lot of happiness and prosperity. Stay vigilant and always remember that we still have to follow some of the SOPs to stay safe from COVID-19.

Billy Sujang

Billy Sujang
(Opar assemblyman)

Happy Hari Gawai to all Dayaks in Borneo. May this year’s Gawai celebration bring blessings, good luck, good fortune and good health to us all. We are happy to celebrate Gawai this year. I hope that it will also strengthen ties between relatives which are vital in a multi-racial society like in Sarawak.

Datuk Majang Renggi
(Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Port Development II (Port Development) & Samalaju assemblyman
Gawai Dayak is a major celebration for Sarawak, particularly the Dayak community. It is an important platform to promote and enhance unity and cooperation between people of different cultural and religious beliefs.

It is my hope that the Gawai Dayak festival this year will strengthen closer multi-ethnic ties among people in Sarawak. Selamat Gawai, Gayu Guru, Gerai Nyamai, Lantang Senang, Nguan Menoa.

Rolland Duat Jubin

Rolland Duat Jubin
(Melluan assemblyman)

‘Selamat Hari Gawai Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai Lantang Senang Nguan Menua’ from me and my family! May abundant blessings and prosperity be showered upon all my supporters and Gawai celebrants in Sarawak, especially at Meluan. Oooohaaa!

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