Put life and love ahead of Raya traditions, says PM

Muhyiddin Yassin’s Hari Raya message contained reminders about upholding hygiene. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: As Muslims prepare to celebrate their first Hari Raya tomorrow in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has urged them to give priority to health and safety ahead of customary practices and traditions this year.

“It is all right if, for this Hari Raya, we do not shake their hands, hug or kiss our grandfathers or grandmothers. It does not mean we do not love them. But because we love them, we avoid touching them,” he said in a Hari Raya Aidilfitri message.

“Take care of your aged mothers, fathers and grandmothers, they are more vulnerable to getting infected with Covid-19.”

Muhyiddin said that although Aidilfitri will be celebrated without the holding of open houses, kenduri, or the presence of relatives, it should not be used as an excuse not to celebrate Aidilfitri with joy.

“Create an atmosphere of excitement, joy and happiness for the Aidilfitri celebration with family members,” he said. “Similarly, for those who are in orphanages and welfare homes, I am sure many kind-hearted workers and volunteers will strive to create an atmosphere of joy in welcoming Aidilfitri among the residents,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the procedures set by the government were based on “maqasid sharia” or the principle of prioritising life and safety. “Sacrifice some of the customs and norms so that we may avoid Covid-19 infections and save our own lives and the lives of others around us,” he said.

It was necessary to avoid shaking hands, kissing and hugging family members, especially the elderly, and to observe the limit placed on family visits, of 20 persons in each house.

He said self-discipline was of utmost importance to ensure the success of efforts to curb the pandemic. The public must get used to hygiene procedures before the government can decide when the conditional movement order may be lifted.

He ended his message by quoting the lyrics of a Hari Raya song by Ahmad Jais.

Muhyiddin and other senior officials will be spending Hari Raya in home quarantine after they came in close contact with the auditor-general, Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid, at a post-Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. However, the prime minister and other officials have tested negative for Covid-19.

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