FAS ● May 23, 2020
FAS President’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2020 Message
My dear Muslim members and the Muslim football fraternity of the FAS,
Despite the noble and well-intentioned Circuit Breaker measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, our Muslim football friends and their families have religiously fulfilled their Ramadan activities and rites with much grace, discipline and high level of tolerance; as if the gloomy element of the COVID-19 is not in existence. The collective discipline is amazing! The spirit displayed by all of you during this holy month has been very impressive and enlightening.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a time when Muslims get together to celebrate the end of the month-long fast. I am sure that many of you have been looking forward to spending it with your loved ones and friends in the traditional ways, similar to how you had done so in the pre-COVID-19 years. I, personally, was looking forward to meeting and catching up with my Muslim colleagues, friends and families in the football fraternity.
However, understandably, such expectation or desire have to be put on hold for the moment. There will be no gathering at mosques for takbir ( the communal prayer calls ) after the breaking of fast on the eve of Hari Raya. Similarly, there will be no visits to the mosques for Aidilfitri prayers on the morning of Hari Raya and no exchange of invitations between friends and relatives. Your family and friends, especially those working in the frontlines of healthcare and other essential services, may not be able to join in the celebrations as well.
In football terms, it is as if the ‘Lightning Warning System’ during a match has been activated and the match has to be stopped but for a while. The game will restart once our country’s leaders give the signal to resume and I am confident that it will be soon. I am sure that with the improvement in the COVID-19 situation, the potential of more physical meetings and Hari Raya Aidilfitri’s spirit of togetherness will become a reality.
In view of the positives that all of you have displayed during the month of Ramadan, I am extremely confident that you will create ingenious ways to keep the spirit of Hari Raya Aidilfitri very much alive and vibrant. This year’s Hari Raya atmosphere and tradition can still be experienced through other ways; virtual technology or otherwise.
Our nation in these past few months, has endured challenges that have stretched our resources, resilience and patience but you, our football friends and fraternity, have displayed and demonstrated all the hallmarks of teamwork, perseverance, solidarity and unity amongst yourselves and your family members whilst upholding the values and the spirit of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Some of these values are amply revealed in the constructive videos that you have created and produced, by the sharing of food or meals prepared by you or ordered online and by helping each other and families in so many different ways.
I have faith that as long as we continue to stay resilient and united as a big football team and a football family, we can collectively, help our nation overcome these terrible times and emerge stronger as One Team Singapore. Our lives, and at least our football lives, can resume normalcy once again. Just as we have heard about plans for the restart of leagues around the world, it is my hope that Singapore football will soon be able to return to live action as well with various scenarios planned for in anticipation of the returns of our local live football. These plans will be made known to all of you once we have more clarity with the authorities regarding the resumption of sporting activities.
On behalf of the FAS Council and staff, I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!
Lim Kia Tong