In Putrajaya, folks celebrate Hari Raya in open air while observing social distancing

Soo Wern Jun
Members of the public pose for pictures at Dataran Putrajaya on the first day of Syawal in Putrajaya, May 24, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, May 24 — On a usual day Putrajaya is always busy with the working crowd, but today, residents dressed in their Hari Raya best roamed the administrative capital. 

It is the first time for many Muslims in the capital that Hari Raya will be spent not in their hometowns due to the prohibition on interstate travelling that was enforced to curb the spreading of Covid-19 which hit the country in early February. 

Families were seen taking family portraits at Dataran Putrajaya and Masjid Putra, in a celebratory mode while observing social distancing. 

“Since part of Hari Raya celebrations this year includes abiding by social distancing regulations it does not allow us to visit friends at their homes. 

“So we decided to spend time with our family here,” said a family who did not want to identify themselves. 

Members of the public pose for pictures at Dataran Putrajaya on the first day of Syawal in Putrajaya, May 24, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Although there were about 20 families seen at Dataran Perdana, all did not greet each other and remained in their own space. 

Even foreigners, including students from Universiti Putra Malaysia who are stranded in Malaysia due to the Covid-19 outbreak, also came out for a stroll at the boulevard outside of Masjid Putra. 

In a Hari Raya address last night, the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin advised those who are celebrating Hari Raya to protect aged parents and grandparents as they are more vulnerable to infection. 

“It is alright if we do not get to ‘salam’, hug and kiss our grandparents this time. It is not that we do not love them, but it is because we love them that we refrain from body contact,” he said.

He also advised the public to ensure their homes are cleaned up immediately after hosting guests, and also to refrain from visiting graves, a norm during Hari Raya.

“All these are important so that we can celebrate Aidilfitri and at the same time prevent the spread of Covid-19 once the festive holidays are over,” he added. 

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