KUALA LUMPUR – National athletes today ushered in Syawal on a moderate scale at the quarantine-based national training camp, as they could not celebrate Aidilfitri with their families.
In a posting on the NSC official Facebook page, its director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail was seen performing Aidilfitri prayers with national athletes and then celebrating at Cafe Atlet in Bukit Jalil, partaking in delicacies such as lemang, ketupat and rendang.
“To all national athletes, let’s all come together and fight this pandemic for the sake of our beloved Malaysia. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. We look after each other; we look after our families,” said Shapawi in his video-taped Raya message.
Following the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), athletes preparing for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July and SEA Games in Hanoi in November checked into quarantined-based training last week.
Among the training venues are the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil and Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara.
Gymnastic queen Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, who is undergoing training in camp, also shared her Aidilfitri greetings on social media, accompanied by her photo.
“To all those who are able to be with family be grateful and cherish these special times. To be so close to family but not being able to be with them is hard.
“To those who can’t, are unable and especially those who are by themselves. Know that we are all with you in spirit and I hope that even though times are tough, we can all get through this together. I send you all my love. Happy Eid Mubarak,” said Farah Ann, who has qualified for Tokyo 2020.
Badminton legend and chef de mission to Tokyo Olympics Datuk Lee Chong Wei, in extending his Raya greetings also related the experience of his domestic maid who could not return to Indonesia to be with her family for the second year running.
“On this auspicious day, Chong Wei, Wong Mew Choo and family wish Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all who are celebrating. Although it is not easy, we have to be grateful for what we have before us.
“We pray that for next year’s Raya, COVID-19 would be defeated. We pray that next year grandfathers and grandmothers can tightly hug their children and grandchildren. Enjoy eating Raya food together. Play firecrackers together. Merrily get together. We pray for all to be together soon.
“I would like to end with a phrase I’ve used in previous years. I seek your forgiveness. Like in badminton, we start at 0-0. Luv-all,” he said in his Facebook posting.