Saturday, May 28

Covid-19: Don’t let your guard down when celebrating Gawai, MP tells Dayaks

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Chuat (third left) hands over a Gawai goodie pack to a recipient on wheelchair. Chuat’s wife Datin Regina Claudia Janting (second left), Richard (left) and Julaihi are also seen in the photo.

KUCHING (May 15): The fight against Covid-19 still continues in the coming Gawai celebration in spite of the transition to the endemic phase, said Betong MP Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat.

He advised the Dayak community to never let their guards down in their eagerness to celebrate the festival in less restrictive manner this year compared to 2020 and 2021.

“I know we are all looking forward very much to celebrate the Gawai the usual way in our longhouses after not having the opportunity to do so over the last two years.

“Gawai is about two weeks away. When we celebrate, we must not forget to practice the standard operating procedures (SOP) against the Covid-19.

“I know the temptation and the urge are there to throw caution to the wind when we are joyfully celebrating.

“But we must always be very mindful of the need to protect one another,” he said at the presentation of Gawai goodies from Petronas and Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd (MLNG) at Betong Resident Office today.

Chuat said the people in the state were very lucky as they had a government which had been very caring and supportive especially at the beginning of the pandemic.

“We had also seen how many big corporations including Petronas and MLNG had generously chipped in to the efforts to help all those affected.

“One of our local leaders, Datuk Amar Douglas, who is Bukit Saban assemblyman, had and is still leading the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee in the fight.

“He together with our Premier Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and many others including the frontliners had done very well for us.

“So let us all continue to tread the careful path,” Chuat said.

He was representing Uggah, who is Deputy Premier of Sarawak, at the event where recipients in the Betong Division received some Gawai goodies from Petronas and MLNG.

Chuat on behalf of Uggah commended the two corporations for their thoughtful gesture.

Petronas Sarawak General Manager Julaihi Mohd Mantali, political secretary to Sarawak Premier Dr Richard Rapu and Betong Resident Richard Abunawas were among those joining him at the function.

Meanwhile, Chuat when officiating at the Betong 2022 Gawai Carnival, said Betong’s crop of past and present leaders had laid a very solid framework of infrastructure and amenities development.

He said their efforts had been greatly facilitated by the solid unity and support of the people.

He gave assurance that many more  would be done for their further progress, well- being and prosperity and these included in modern agriculture.

He also suggested to future organisers of the carnival to include more local products, activities and programmes.

“Betong tourism industry is yet to be fully tapped. We have natural touristy destinations. We also have the Bukit Sadok where legendary Dayak warrior Rentap had built his fortress.

“These need to be promoted,” he said.