SINGAPORE - Muslims coping with the second Hari Raya Aidilfitri marred by Covid-19 restrictions have been praised for their resilience.
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli told the community on Wednesday (May 12): "Following the fresh outbreak of cases locally, tighter measures have been reintroduced. I understand that many of you are disappointed.
"However, I am grateful that many of you understood why this was necessary. I urge the community to be calm and patient as we do our part for our collective safety."
Muslims are facing increased restrictions at social gatherings as Singapore moves to fight a rise in community infections.
People can gather only in groups of five, down from eight previously, until May 30, while households can now receive only five distinct visitors a day.
Still, it is a marked improvement from last year's Hari Raya, which fell seven weeks into Singapore's circuit breaker, when visiting was forbidden.
Families then had to send greetings to one another on video-conferencing platforms like Zoom.
Mr Masagos touched on the improved situation, thanking mosque officers, volunteers and healthcare workers for making some practices such as tarawih prayers possible, albeit with limited capacities.
Tarawih prayers are special night prayers held only during Ramadan.
"Indeed, this would not be possible without our community's resilience and solidarity in fighting the pandemic with the rest of Singapore," he said.
Mr Masagos also used his Hari Raya message to talk about the work that Muslims here have done during Ramadan to help the poor, both within and beyond the community. "Our community exemplified the value of Blessings to All, or Rahmatan Lil Alamin," he said.
"For example, organisations and volunteers, including from other faiths, came together under the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation's Blessings to All project to deliver over 20,000 meals to low-income families and migrant workers."
Mr Masagos also asked Muslims to remain vigilant and to celebrate Hari Raya safely and responsibly so that the community's collective sacrifices would not be in vain.
"May we be blessed with good health and may Ramadan and Hari Raya next year be better than this year," he added.