KUCHING, Feb 12 — Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg participated in the virtual Chinese New Year Open House organised by the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) today.
In his short speech broadcast on SUPP’s official Facebook page, Abang Johari called on the Chinese community to work together to maintain unity in the efforts to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also asked them to continue to work with the state government to plan good policies to improve Sarawak’s economy as a whole.
In the event which lasted about 30 minutes, Abang Johari and his wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang also sang ‘Yee Sang’ as a symbol of the Chinese New Year celebration.
Also participating in the virtual celebration was the Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is also SUPP president.
Meanwhile, in Labuan, quarantine and border closings complicated the Chinese New Year celebrations for the community, but ingenuity, determination and imagination helped keep the day special and meaningful for many.
Local entrepreneur Alex Lee, 40, said that it has been a muted atmosphere, but the celebration goes on, and to boost the holiday spirit he decided to hang a big lantern on his doorway.
He said the celebration should not be dampened by the pandemic but one should continue to spread more hope, peace, joy and love.
“This year we will only have simple family affair, not the usual big clan gathering we normally have during this time of year.
“Our annual tradition with my parents in Kudat, Sabah, is not materialised this year…we do not have the traditional reunion dinner with ‘Yee Sang’. I just contacted my parents via video call as we joined them virtually, but it is not same of being there in person,” he said.
Lee said with the focus was on the pandemic virus, he and his family were preoccupied with guidelines on how to celebrate Chinese New Year this year with family members living in the same household, such as wearing face masks, observe physical distancing and to wash hands frequently.