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‘Please don’t go back to longhouses this Gawai Dayak’
Tarikh : 21 May 2020  Sumber Berita: Borneo Post Online

Temenggong Wilfred Billy Panyau

KAPIT: Kapit folk who are working elsewhere have been asked not to return to their longhouses for Gawai Dayak this year.

Kapit Division Iban community leader Temenggong Wilfred Billy Panyau, who made the appeal, said they should instead remain where they are working during the festival.

“Amidst the government’s tirelessness efforts to contain and prevent this Covid-19 pandemic, as a Dayak community leader, I would like to advise those celebrating Gawai Dayak to stay back where they are now.

“If they are from Singapore, Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Labuan, just stay back at their workplace.

“This is in line with the government’s efforts to break the chain of infection. Moreover, inter-state and inter-district travel is not encouraged at all during this Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which ends June 9,” he said.

He stressed that protecting the health of longhouse folk should be prioritised.

“As adults, and parents or guardians, we need to think twice and make it a priority to look after our family members’ health and wellness. Money saved on the cost of travelling and celebration could be used for other meaningful purposes such as children’s education and improving the standard of living. Remember we are now fighting against an invisible enemy – the virus. The celebration can be held later,” Billy added.

He also pointed out that during the CMCO until June 9, flights between the peninsula, Sabah, and Sarawak are limited.

“Probably the ticket would be more expensive than previously. Why not save the money for other useful purposes,” he suggested.

He said those arriving in Sarawak would also need to be quarantined as required by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee.

Kapit is a green zone with no Covid-19 positive cases reported.