KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24  — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has called on Malaysians to turn the community’s racial and religious diversity into a strength to further build the country, in the spirit of Christmas tomorrow amid the new normal.

He said all Malaysians should be grateful because each festival of the country’s multi-racial and multi-religious community could be celebrated in a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere.

“I would like to wish Merry Christmas to all Christians celebrating this auspicious occasion.

“Christmas Day gives us the opportunity as a plural society, to observe the customs and traditions, not only with family members but also friends and others from all walks of life,” he said in his Christmas message today.

Muhyiddin said the harmonious relationship between the Christian and Muslim communities could be seen in the history of Andalusia, as such a situation at that time spurred progress in various fields.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister said this year’s Christmas celebration would not be as merry as before, especially the house-to-house visits by family members and friends would be limited while open house should be held in moderation.

“My advice is, for the common good, celebrate this occasion moderately by complying with the standard operating procedures or guidelines set such as taking body temperature, ensuring physical distancing and no handshakes.

“Suffice to bend the head slightly and place your hand on the chest as a mark of respect. Practise the new norms by washing hands frequently and wearing a face mask correctly,” he said. 

Muhyiddin said starting Dec 7, the government had allowed inter-state and inter-district travel across the country except areas placed under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also advised families receiving guests to sanitise their homes to protect their elderly parents and those unwell as they were at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

He also stressed that everyone needed to take precautions to ensure the safety of those around them from the viral infection.

“For those with symptoms such as fever or a cold, please stay at home. Not forgetting, I pray that the frontliners, members of the security forces on duty at the country’s borders and Malaysians abroad could celebrate this occasion with joy.

“Merry Christmas to all the celebrants,” Muhyiddin said.


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