KUCHING, July 10 — Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak are finally able to celebrate Aidiladha and perform ‘ibadah korban’ (sacrificial rites) freely and in a lively atmosphere, after such celebration had been curtailed for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although there are no longer strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) and restrictions on the number of congregants in mosques and surau, the public who were present still wore face masks as a means of preventing the spread of infection.

In Kuching, Sarawak, congregants flocked to mosques and surau, as they did not want to miss the opportunity to perform their Aidiladha prayers and participate in sacrificial rites, after the Sarawak Islamic Religious Council (MIS) allowed the rituals to be performed at mosques and surau in the state.

Sarawak Premier, Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg, performed the Aidiladha prayers with hundreds of congregants at the Sarawak Jamek Mosque in Petra Jaya here, and later attended the sacrificial rites, organised by MIS.

Through this programme, the sacrificial meat was distributed to 100 asnaf (tithe recipients) from Gabungan Saudara Kita in the city.

Abang Johari, who is also the Gedong Member of Parliament, will also attend a similar event this evening at the Al-Kawthar Mosque in Gedong.

Meanwhile, in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, thousands of congregants performed the Aidiladha prayers at the Sabah State Mosque and Kota Kinabalu City Mosque.

Muslims in the city also did not want to miss the opportunity of performing their prayers at mosques and surau this year, after being unable to do so for the past two years due to the SOPs imposed following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although the SOPs of the Covid-19 preventative measures have been relaxed, a new culture has emerged where the public in attendance still practiced self-control by wearing face masks and using hand sanitiser as precautionary measures.

A Bernama check also found that the traffic situation around Kota Kinabalu was relatively quiet, as many returned to their hometowns to celebrate Aidiladha with their families. — Bernama