KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 — After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the practice of holding open houses sprang back to life today with multi-racial crowds gathering to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
With the easing of standard operating procedures after the country entered the transition to the endemic phase on April 1, many quarters including the Menteri Besar in several states took the opportunity to hold an open house.
In Johor, the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and the Permaisuri of Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, graced the open house of Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi at Saujana.
Also present were Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and his consort Yang Amat Mulia Che’ Puan Besar Khaleeda Bustamam.
Also in attendance were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, who is Ayer Hitam MP, Johor state executive councillors and government heads of department.
Some 10,000 people turned up for the menteri besar’s open house, with many arriving at his official residence as early as 8.30 am although the event was held until 3pm.
Checks by Bernama found that many came with their families in colour-coordinated baju raya to brighten up the occasion.
Guests were served a wide variety of delicacies, including special Bugis food burasak and lepat loi, laksa Johor, mi rebus, otak-otak, kacang pool and beriani.
In Selangor, an Aidilfitri reception at the residence of Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari was also a lively affair with the attendance of people of various races.
Among those present were state executive councillors, elected representatives and heads of government department and agency in the state.
Amirudin told reporters that the event, held from 9 am to noon, was originally scheduled for the first day of Syawal.
“This event was planned for the first day of Raya but since Aidilfitri was declared one day earlier (than expected), we decided to hold it on the second day of Syawal,” he said.
In Perak, the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah and the Raja Permaisuri of Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim, attended the state-level Aidilfitri celebration at the compound of Stadium Indera Mulia in Ipoh.
Their Highnesses arrived at about 3.40pm, and were received by Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad and state executive councillors.
Thousands of people attended the reception to partake in a widespread of delicacies which included lemang, rendang, sate, nasi impit and cakes.
Saarani, in his speech, expressed his appreciation to the security forces, frontliners and the people for helping the country to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
In Pahang, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail’s open house at Dewan Terbuka Laman Sejahtera Sungai Koyan 1 in Lipis also attracted thousands of people from all walks of life.
The event was graced by the Regent of Pahang Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
Apart from mingling with guests, Tengku Hassanal also obliged requests to take photographs with him and distributed duit raya to children.
The visitors were treated to food like sate, lemang, ketupat and rendang and a presentation of Raya songs to liven up the atmosphere.
In Sarawak, Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife Puan Sri Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang held their open house from 10am to 4pm, attracting thousands of people from various backgrounds.
Abang Johari said the event marked a good start in the return to normalcy after two years of grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sarawak Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib attended the open house at about 1pm.