Curbs during Hari Raya disappointing but necessary: President Halimah
The tighter Covid-19 safety measures in place are necessary to save the lives of Singaporeans, said President Halimah Yacob, as she called on everyone here to do their part to overcome the pandemic.
In her Hari Raya Aidilfitri message yesterday, Madam Halimah said it was unfortunate that Muslims will have to again celebrate under the shadow of Covid-19, as they did last year.
"Some of us are understandably disappointed by the recent tightening of safe management measures, as Hari Raya has always been the time for us to enjoy the company of family and friends. I, too, was looking forward to hosting my children and their families," she said of the festival tomorrow.
"But I hope we also understand that these measures are necessary to protect all Singaporeans, given the emergence of new virus variants and the increase in the number of local community cases."
Singapore tightened its rules on social gatherings from last Saturday. Until May 30, people can gather in groups of up to only five, down from eight.
The restrictions also apply to households, which can receive no more than five distinct visitors a day.
This means that for the second year in a row, Muslims here will have to make adjustments.
Last year, the festival fell on May 25, seven weeks into Singapore's circuit breaker period, and visiting was forbidden.
Madam Halimah said during the fasting month of Ramadan she met different groups of Singaporeans. They included workers in the healthcare and security sectors who, she noted, work tirelessly to keep Singapore safe and secure, as well as those in social service agencies who bring aid and cheer to the vulnerable in the community.
"I was heartened to see everyone in high spirits and exemplifying the values of Ramadan, of compassion, empathy and sacrifice," she said.
Madam Halimah wishes all Muslims Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.