Sabah schoolkids to sit out state-level National Day parade this year, says Masidi

KOTA KINABALU: Schoolchildren will not be allowed to participate in the state-level National Day parade at the Padang Merdeka here on Aug 31.

State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun (pic) said this was part of the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“This was the decision we made after taking into consideration the Covid-19 situation in Sabah which fluctuates from day to day,” he told reporters after chairing the state-level National Day celebration meeting here on Thursday (July 28).

“We have not reached a stage where we can say we are really stable, so we decided to let schoolchildren sit out the parade first this year.

“We want to avoid the risk of outbreaks among school-going children because we know that once they are infected, the chance of the virus spreading in schools are high,” he added.

The state's Covid-19 spokesperson however said that the celebrations on Aug 31 will hopefully still attract a high number of participants from government agencies as well as other organisations.

Nonetheless, he said, the parade organisers namely the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) have been reminded to hold the parade in a coordinated manner to curb the risk of infection.

“Besides controlling the participants, we will also shorten the time for the parade for this purpose,” he said.

Meanwhile, Masidi said Sabah will kick off its National Day programme celebration with a state-level launch on July 31, simultaneously with Warriors Day at Padang Merdeka here.

After the launching, he said, the Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, accompanied by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, will distribute Malaysia and Sabah flags to the various departments to be hoisted at their respective offices.

“The Sabah governor and Chief Minister will also flag off a convoy by the Information Department which will visit every Sabahan district in order to promote the National Day celebration.

“Because we can’t hold many physical activities for now due to the post-pandemic situation, I would like to call on individuals or private companies to put up the Malaysian and Sabah flags at their premises as a symbolic gesture to celebrate National Day,” he said.

Towards this end, Masidi said various government departments and agencies will be lining up a number of activities to celebrate the occasion throughout August.

He said the state is also in the midst of identifying candidates from the younger generation to recognise in conjunction with National Day.

“These individuals are those who made Sabah and Malaysia proud for their achievements at the national as well as international levels,” he said.

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