KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — The feeling of sadness and despair of not being able to return home for the upcoming festive seasons – Aidilfitri, Pesta Kaamatan and Hari Gawai – is perfectly understandable, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.
“I have to apologise, but in the interest of our safety and health, balik kampung (return to hometowns) inter-state travel will not be allowed.
“I know many would be sad over not being able to return home to celebrate Hari Raya. Please be patient. When the situation has returned to normal again, you can return home to visit your parents and relatives,” the Prime Minister said in his special address aired over television networks today.
The Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), which has been extended to June 9, prohibits inter-state travel in an effort to break the COVID-19 infection chain.
Sharing his sadness over what would likely be a Hari Raya away from home for many, Muhyiddin requested television and radio stations to liven up the festive atmosphere by playing cheerful and upbeat Aidilfitiri numbers.
“Perhaps television and radio stations can play (popular P Ramlee classic) ‘Dendang Perantau’ once in a while, but if played too often, I would feel the sadness too.
“So, air Hari Raya songs that are cheerful and lively. I watched this song, ‘Jange Kelik La Weii’ (Don’t Come Home in Kelantanese dialect) on YouTube. This song is alright I suppose,” he quipped.
The prime minister said this ‘new atmosphere’ does not mean Muslims in the country would not be able to celebrate Aidilfitri, which is expected to fall on May 24, in a cheerful and lively manner, adding that the same goes to those celebrating Pesta Keaamatan (May 30 and 31) and Hari Gawai (June 1 and 2) as well.
He said visits among neighbours and relatives within the same state will still be allowed with a maximum of 20 people in attendance at any one time.
“So there is no need to host large scale receptions or Open Houses. Each family must follow health standard operating procedures such as social distancing, the use of face masks and by maintaining personal hygiene such as using hand sanitisers throughout the festive period.
“Ensure your homes are clean. Clean your tableware and cookware once you have used them to fete your guests,” he said.
Muhyiddin also reminded the people of the Health Ministry’s advice to stay away from crowds and confined spaces, as well as to maintain safe distancing when in conversation with guests.
Earlier, the prime minister wished Muslims a blessed Nuzul al-Quran and prayed that Muslims will be able to perform their obligatory fast without much difficulty, and also conveyed his Mother’s Day wishes to all mothers in the country.
“InsyaAllah, we pray that together, we will be able to fight this battle against COVID-19,” he said.