Malaysian PM: Celebrate Deepavali joyously, but adhere to COVID-19 rules

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin wishing Happy Diwali (PM office)

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin wishing Happy Deepavali (PM office)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has wished Hindus in the country a very Happy Deepavali, but stressed that while celebrating the occasion joyously, they should comply with the stipulated standard operating procedure (SOP) since the struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing.

Muhyiddin said Malaysians should respect and appreciate the diversity that exists in the country by sharing in the joy of the celebration.

“Malaysians are lucky because our country comprises multi-cultural and multi-religious communities. Each race has its own culture, tradition and customs, which is a source of strength for us as a plural country that is peaceful, harmonious and united,” he said, quoted by the national news agency Bernama.

The Prime Minister urged Malaysians of all races to work together to tackle the tough challenges the country is facing.

“We are currently facing various tough challenges. Let’s work together, united by a resilient spirit and persevere for a brighter future for all,” he said.

He also advised Hindus to celebrate the festival of lights by not shaking hands or gathering in large groups and to practice physical distancing.

“The celebration of Deepavali this year is slightly different as it falls at a time the country is facing the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of daily cases recorded recently is quite high and the government has had to enforce the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) to control and curb the spread of the virus in our communities,” he said.

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