KUCHING: Having to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri in a very different way this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic should give Sarawakians time for reflection, said Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
He said the speed with which the virus spread forced the federal and state governments to enforce the Movement Control Order (MCO) and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
Taib said because of that the people have to comply with the CMCO and the advice to stay at home this Hari Raya, and also comply with the terms and conditions set by the state authority and the National Security Council.
“In view of the pandemic, we have to celebrate our Hari Raya in accordance with the current situation or as recognised by the world as the ‘new reality’ that has existed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I believe, the way we celebrate our Hari Raya in a situation like this, needs us to see how we all can enjoy together as a people of Malaysia, who have achieved so much success and prosperity,” he said in his Aidilfitri message.
He said amidst all the inconveniences caused by the pandemic, everyone should feel proud for contributing to the level of development and progress, unity and good relationships between the people of various ethnic groups, religions, and beliefs.
Taib pointed out that at one time the per capita income of Sarawak was only RM4,000 and this has jumped tenfold to RM40,000, so the people should thank God for His grace in enabling a rise in the standard of living.
“I believe the people will continue to support the present government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who will continue to move forward and turn Sarawak into a developed state and high income economy.
“Aside from that, Sarawak has got its development agendas to achieve that status and make Sarawak the richest and the most developed state by 2030,” he said.
Taib pointed out Abang Johari had launched various programmes, especially to transform rural development, steering Sarawak to become more developed and progressive.
He called on Sarawakians to continue to help those in the lower income group so that they can move forward in tandem with the wave of development in the nation and the state.
In this regard, he said the government must focus introducing various aid programmes to help both Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera to grow and excel in their business undertakings.
Taib also thanked the people of Sarawak, who in togetherness had provided unwavering support to the state government towards achieving the goal of becoming a developed state by 2030.
He also reminded the public to always use a face mask and gloves, practise social distancing of at least one metre, and to avoid crowded and busy places.
“I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Muslims in Sarawak and in the country, which also comprise of other races, the Chinese, Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, and others, a Selamat Hari Raya,” he added.