FAS ● May 02, 2022
FAS President’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2022 Message
2 May 2022
Dear members of the FAS,
Once again, we have arrived at the end of another blessed month of Ramadan for our Muslim friends. This year’s Eid celebrations will take on a slightly more special significance as it marks the first time in two years that majority of the COVID-19 restrictions which have been in place, have been lifted.
Hari Raya celebrations typically centre around the strengthening of existing relationships between one’s family and friends, renewing the ties that may have been lost and establishing new ones along the way. Now that the cap on the number of unique visitors to a household, previously 10 people at any one time, has been lifted, Muslims and non-Muslims alike can look forward to visiting each other and catching up on what they have missed out over the last two years. It will be especially poignant for our Muslim friends who have family across the border in Malaysia and have been unable to visit them due to the travel restrictions which were in place until recently.
The morning of Hari Raya this year will also see more of our Muslim friends having the opportunity to go to the mosque for Eid prayers now that capacity numbers for religious gatherings have been increased significantly. One of the sights that I personally look forward to every Hari Raya are the colourful clothes that are donned by all those who are out and about visiting family and friends. There are some families who take special effort in getting coordinated outfits and they certainly make a striking visual impression even from afar!
It is certainly heart-warming to see that things are slowly returning to the way they used to be. There are still some regulations that we will still need to abide by such as facial masks continuing to be required in indoor settings when people leave their homes, including on public transport. But such measures are how we have been able to traverse the difficult conditions over the last two years, by being diligent, cautious and practicising the age-old adage that prevention is better than cure. We have gotten through so much over the last two years together as a united community, let us push through the final leg and come out of this pandemic successfully.
While the Muslim community celebrates the Eid festival this month of May, our National Under-23 Men’s and National Women’s teams will not be able to partake in the occasion for too long. Both teams will be representing Singapore at the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam beginning 7 May onwards. They will be spending most of the Hari Raya period away from their family and friends as they look to make the country proud on the ASEAN stage.
The Lionesses, in particular, are set to make their first SEA Games appearance since 2003 and their fourth overall, having featured in 1985, 1995 and 2001. All 20 players in the team, who will be captained by Ernie Sulastri, will be looking forward to making their SEA Games debuts. Our Under-23 Lions will be looking to emerge from the group stage for the first time since 2013. Their best performance were three runner-up finishes, in 1983, 1985 and 1989. I ask all of you to show your strongest support for both sets of players, all of whom have put in a tremendous amount of effort and made various sacrifices to don the National jersey in their respective bids to bring glory to the nation.
We have endured so much over the last two years and together we have emerged stronger from it. The FAS stands in solidarity with our members and will continue to work tirelessly to bring back the full gamut of football activities as we endeavour to return to normalcy in the months ahead.
On behalf of the FAS Council and staff, I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Lim Kia Tong