A different Hari Raya amid COVID-19 but ‘make it one that is still full of meaning’: President Halimah
SINGAPORE: Hari Raya will have to be celebrated differently due to the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but the occasion can still be “full of meaning” by staying connected with family and friends through digital means, said President Halimah Yacob on Saturday (May 23).
“The end of Ramadan brings forth the warm festivities of Hari Raya, a celebration that is traditionally marked by seeking of forgiveness, house visits and enjoying the company of family and loved ones,” President Halimah said in a televised Hari Raya greeting on Channel 5.
“To the Muslim community, while we navigate through a different kind of celebration this year, let us make it one that is still full of meaning.
“Strengthen family bonds virtually, stay connected to enjoy festive activities together, yet in the comforts of our own homes,” she said.
“Stay safe, so that we can all look forward to better celebrations ahead,” said the President and wished all Muslims a Selamat Hari Raya.
READ: Several initiatives organised to help Muslims fulfil Hari Raya obligations during circuit breaker period
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also acknowledged that the occasion would have to be celebrated differently and commended the Muslim community for finding “creative ways” to stay connected.
“Our Muslim friends will celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri a little differently this year because of COVID-19. But you have found creative ways to meet up with family and friends, while keeping your loved ones safe,” he said in a televised speech.
“May we all draw strength from one another during this difficult but festive period,” said Mr Lee as he delivered his best wishes.
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said Ramadan has always been about developing resilience, as well as the spirit of mercy and compassion.
He described this year’s Hari Raya as “even more meaningful“ with people staying united to keep everyone safe.
“Despite a uniquely different Ramadan and Hari Raya, I am heartened to see families bonding together, and keeping ties warm with loved ones far and near through creative ways, thanks to technology,” he said in his English greeting.
“My heartfelt wishes to our Muslim community including our migrant workers. Stay safe, healthy and happy,” said Mr Masagos. “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Maaf Zahir Batin!”