Public holidays in Malaysia

  (Redirected from Holidays in Malaysia)

     States that observe a Saturday–Sunday weekend
     States that observe a Friday–Saturday weekend

Public holidays in Malaysia are regulated at both federal and state levels, mainly based on a list of federal holidays observed nationwide plus a few additional holidays observed by each individual state and federal territory. The public holidays are a mix of secular holidays celebrating the nation and its history, and selected traditional holidays of the various ethnic and religious groups that make up the country.

The legislation governing public holidays in Malaysia includes the Holidays Act 1951 (Act 369) in Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan, the Holidays Ordinance (Sabah Cap. 56) in Sabah and the Public Holidays Ordinance (Sarawak Cap. 8) in Sarawak.

The workweek and weekend varies between states, with most states and federal territories observing a Saturday–Sunday weekend, while Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu observe a Friday–Saturday weekend, though in Johor many private businesses and banks observe the Saturday–Sunday weekend due to close business ties with Singapore.[1][2] In states and territories with a Saturday–Sunday weekend, a public holiday that falls on Sunday is substituted by a holiday on Monday (or the next working day if Monday itself is a public holiday). In Johor and Kedah, a public holiday that falls on Friday is replaced by Sunday or the next working day, while in Kelantan and Terengganu, a public holiday that falls on Saturday is replaced by Sunday or the next working day.

OverviewEdit

Federal (national) holidaysEdit

Federal public holidays are fixed by the federal government and are observed nationwide with some exceptions. They are:

Each state and federal territory observes 14 days of federal holidays, except Sarawak which observes 13 days.

Although the second day of Chinese New Year is not listed as a federal holiday in Kelantan and Terengganu, the holiday is gazetted as a state holiday in both states, effectively making it a nationwide holiday. Additionally, the second day of Hari Raya Qurban is gazetted as a state holiday in Kedah and Perlis.

State holidaysEdit

In addition to the federal public holidays, each state may gazette a number of state public holidays to be observed in the state. For the federal territories, the Prime Minister is in charge of designating the territorial public holidays to be observed in each federal territory.

In every state, the (official) birthday of the state ruler or governor is celebrated as a public holiday. In the federal territories, the Federal Territory Day is celebrated instead.

The most widespread state holiday is New Year's Day which is observed in eight states and all three federal territories, followed by Nuzul al-Quran in seven states and all three federal territories, and Thaipusam in five states and two federal territories.

As of 2020, each state and federal territory has designated four to six state public holidays, bringing the total number of (federal and state) public holidays to 20 days in Sabah and Terengganu, 19 days in Labuan, Penang and Sarawak and 18 days in the rest of the country.

Holidays by declarationEdit

In Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan, under Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951, the Prime Minister may declare any day to be observed as a public holiday in the whole of Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan, or in one of the federal territories, or in one of the states after consultation with the relevant state government. The declared holiday must be observed by all employers as a paid holiday.

Public holidays had been declared on the polling day for a general election,[3] on the day of the installation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,[4], as well as after international sporting events to celebrate the achievements of Malaysian athletes.[5]

At the state level, the state government may declare occasional holiday (cuti peristiwa) for events such as the installation of the state ruler,[6] after major achievements in sporting events,[7][8] or even to provide an extra holiday but unable to officially gazette it (such as the annual holiday declaration for Thaipusam in Kedah).[9][10] Unlike holidays declared under Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951, observance of occasional state holidays by private businesses and organizations is voluntary, while government offices and schools (except for nationwide exams) are closed.

In Sabah and Sarawak, the power to declare any day as a public holiday rests with the state governor (in practice, exercised on the advice of the state government) in accordance with the states' respective Holidays Ordinances.

List of public holidays by declarationEdit

The table below lists additional holidays that were declared under Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951 for Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan. Unless otherwise noted, the same days were also declared as holidays by Sabah and Sarawak in accordance to their respective Holidays Ordinances.

Year Date Remarks
2017 26 April (Wed) Day of Installation of the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong[4][11][12]
4 September (Mon) Additional holiday in commemoration of the 2017 SEA Games[5][13][14]
2018 9 May (Wed) Polling day for the 14th general election[3][15][16]
10 & 11 May (Thu & Fri)[A] Additional holidays for the 14th general election (except Sabah and Sarawak)[17]
10 & 13 May (Thu & Sun)[B]
17 & 18 May (Thu & Fri) Additional holidays for the 14th general election (Sarawak only)[18]
2019 30 July (Tue) Day of Installation of the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong[19][20][21]
A In states and federal territories observing the Saturday—Sunday weekend
B In states observing the Friday—Saturday weekend

Entitlement in employment lawEdit

In Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan, employees whose employment is covered by the Employment Act 1955 are entitled to 11 paid public holidays a year. Five of the holidays are fixed by law: National Day, Yang di-Pertuan Agong's Birthday, birthday of the ruler or governor of the state (Federal Territory Day in the federal territories) where the employee is contracted to work, Labour Day and Malaysia Day. The remaining six paid holidays are chosen by the employer from the gazetted public holidays, with notice provided to employees before the start of each calendar year. In addition, any public holiday declared under Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951 is to be observed as a paid holiday.

Should an employee be required to work on a paid holiday, the employee may be given another day off, or compensated at two times their ordinary wages in addition to holiday pay. Overtime work done on a paid holiday is to be compensated at three times the hourly rate of pay (or three times the ordinary rate per piece for piece-rated employees).

Employment in Sabah and Sarawak is regulated by the Labour Ordinance of the respective states. Employees in Sabah are entitled to 14 paid public holidays a year while those in Sarawak are entitled to 16 days, with four fixed holidays on National Day, Yang di-Pertuan Agong's Birthday, the State Governor's Birthday and Labour Day. The provisions on compensation for work done on paid holidays are identical to the Employment Act 1955.

Public holidays by states and federal territoriesEdit

2020 Date[22] Date if not fixed by Gregorian date English name Malay name  
Johor
 
Kedah
 
Kelantan
 
FT Kuala Lumpur
 
FT Labuan
 
Malacca
 
Negeri Sembilan
 
Pahang
 
Penang
 
Perak
 
Perlis
 
FT Putrajaya
 
Sabah
 
Sarawak
 
Selangor
 
Terengganu
1 January (Wed) New Year's Day Hari Tahun Baru  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y
14 January (Tue) Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan  Y
25 and 26 January (Sat and Sun)[G1][J1] 1st and 2nd days of the first lunar month (January–February) Chinese New Year Tahun Baru Cina Nationwide[D1]  Y Y
1 February (Sat) Federal Territory Day Hari Wilayah Persekutuan  Y  Y  Y
8 February (Sat) Full moon in the month of Thai (January–February) Thaipusam Hari Thaipusam  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y
4 March (Wed) Anniversary of Installation of the Sultan of Terengganu Hari Ulang Tahun Pertabalan Sultan Terengganu  Y
22 March (Sun)[G2] Rejab 27 Isra and Mi'raj Israk dan Mikraj  Y  Y  Y  Y
23 March (Mon) Sultan of Johor's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Johor  Y
10 April (Fri) Friday before Easter (March–April) Good Friday Jumaat Agung  Y  Y
15 April (Mon) Declaration of Malacca City as Historical City Hari Perisytiharan Bandar Melaka sebagai Bandaraya Bersejarah  Y
24 April (Fri)[A1][I1] Ramadan 1 First day of Ramadan Awal Ramadan  Y  Y  Y
26 April (Sun) Sultan of Terengganu's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Terengganu  Y
1 May (Fri)[I2] Labour Day Hari Pekerja Nationwide  Y
7 May (Thu) First full moon in May Wesak Day Hari Wesak Nationwide  Y
7 May (Thu)[L] Hari Hol of Pahang Hari Hol Pahang  Y
10 May (Sun)[G3] Ramadan 17 Day of Nuzul Al-Quran Hari Nuzul Al-Quran  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y
24 and 25 May (Sun and Mon)[A2][H] Syawal 1 and 2 Eid al-Fitr Hari Raya Puasa/Hari Raya Aidilfitri Nationwide  Y Y
30 and 31 May (Sat and Sun)[G4] Tadau Kaamatan Pesta Kaamatan (Pesta Menuai)  Y Y  Y Y
1 and 2 June (Mon and Tue) Gawai Dayak Perayaan Hari Gawai Dayak  Y Y
6 June (Sat)[K1] 1st Saturday of June Yang di-Pertuan Agong's Birthday/King's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Yang di-Pertuan Agong Nationwide  Y
21 June (Sun) 3rd Sunday of June Sultan of Kedah's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Kedah  Y
7 July (Tue) Declaration of George Town as World Heritage Site Hari Ulang Tahun Perisytiharan Tapak Warisan Dunia  Y
11 July (Sat) 2nd Saturday of July Penang State Governor's Birthday Hari Jadi Yang di-Pertua Negeri Pulau Pinang  Y
17 July (Fri) Raja of Perlis's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Raja Perlis  Y
22 July (Wed) Sarawak Independence Day Hari Kemerderkaan Sarawak  Y
30 July (Thu) Zulhijjah 9 Day of Arafah Hari Arafah  Y
30 July (Thu) Sultan of Pahang's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Pahang  Y
31 July (Fri)[A3][I3] Zulhijjah 10 Eid al-Adha (1st day) Hari Raya Qurban/Hari Raya Haji/Hari Raya Aidiladha (hari pertama) Nationwide  Y
1 August (Sat)[A4][K2] Zulhijjah 11 Eid al-Adha (2nd day)[E] Hari Raya Qurban/Hari Raya Haji/Hari Raya Aidiladha (hari kedua)  Y  Y  Y  Y
20 August (Thu) Muharram 1 First day of Muharram Awal Muharram (Maal Hijrah) Nationwide  Y
31 August (Mon) National Day/Merdeka Day Hari Kebangsaan/Hari Merdeka Nationwide  Y
16 September (Wed) Malaysia Day Hari Malaysia Nationwide  Y
24 September (Thu) Safar 6 Hari Hol of Sultan Iskandar of Johor Hari Hol Almarhum Sultan Iskandar  Y
3 October (Sat) 1st Saturday of October Sabah State Governor's Birthday Hari Jadi Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sabah  Y
9 October (Fri) 2nd Friday of October Melaka State Governor's Birthday Hari Jadi Yang di-Pertua Negeri Melaka  Y
10 October (Sat) 2nd Saturday of October Sarawak State Governor's Birthday Hari Jadi Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak  Y
29 October (Thu) Rabiulawal 12 Muhammad's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Nabi Muhammad (Maulidur Rasul) Nationwide  Y
14 November (Sat)[C] Naraka Chaturdashi, the day preceding new moon in the month of Aippasi (October–November) Deepavali[F] Deepavali  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y
6 November (Fri) 1st Friday of November Sultan of Perak's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Perak  Y
11 and 12 November (Wed and Thu) Sultan of Kelantan's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Kelantan  Y Y
11 December (Fri) Sultan of Selangor's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Selangor  Y
24 December (Thu)[23][24][25] Christmas Eve Hari Sebelum Krismas  Y
25 December (Fri)[I4] Christmas Hari Krismas Nationwide  Y
Total holidays 18 18 18 18 19 18 18 18 19 18 18 18 20 19 18 20
 Y indicates the holiday is observed in the state/federal territory;  Y Y indicates a two-day holiday
All holidays indicated as nationwide (except second day of Chinese New Year in Kelantan and Terengganu[D2]) are federal holidays.
A1 A2 A3 A4 subject to change based on sighting of the new moon
B was formerly observed on 17 May; amended to 17 July for 2018–2021 to avoid conflicting with observance of Ramadan
C subject to change based on astronomical considerations according to the Hindu almanac
D1 D2 The second day of Chinese New Year is not a federal holiday in Kelantan and Terengganu. However, it is gazetted as a state holiday in both states, effectively making it a nationwide holiday.
E federal holiday in Kelantan and Terengganu
F federal holiday in all states and federal territories except Sarawak
G1 G2 G3 G4 in states and federal territories observing the Saturday–Sunday weekend, the following Monday is a public holiday
H in states and federal territories observing the Saturday–Sunday weekend, the following Tuesday is a public holiday as Monday is also a public holiday
I1 I2 I3 I4 in Johor and Kedah, the following Sunday is a public holiday
J1 in Kelantan and Terengganu, the following Monday is a public holiday as Sunday is also a public holiday
K1 K2 in Kelantan and Terengganu, the following Sunday is a public holiday
L in Pahang, with two public holidays falling on 7 May (Thu), the following day 8 May (Fri) is also a public holiday

Types of holidaysEdit

Malaysia has one of the highest numbers of public holidays in the world, ranking number seven in the top ten countries after Thailand, Indonesia, India and Hong Kong. Some holidays are federally gazetted public holidays and some are public holidays observed by individual states. Other festivals are observed by particular ethnic or religion groups, but are not public holidays. The main holy days of each major religion are public holidays, taking place on either the western calendar or religious ones.

SecularEdit

The most widespread holiday is the "Hari Kebangsaan" (National Day), otherwise known as "Hari Merdeka" (Independence Day) on 31 August commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya. This, as well as Labour Day (1 May), the King's birthday (9 September) and some other festivals are major national public holidays. Federal Territory day is celebrated in the three Federal territories. Malaysia Day, held on 16 September to commemorate the formation of Malaysia, became a nationwide holiday in 2010. Before that it was celebrated only in Sabah. New Year's Day is also observed as a public holiday in all Malaysian states, except for Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, and Terengganu.

Religious and ethnicEdit

Muslim holidays are highly prominent in Malaysia. The most important of these is Hari Raya Puasa (also called Hari Raya Aidilfitri) which is the Malay translation of Eid al-Fitr. It is generally a festival honoured by the Muslims worldwide marking the end of Ramadan will the fasting month. In addition to Hari Raya Puasa, they also celebrate Hari Raya Aidiladha (also called Hari Raya Haji referring to its occurrence after the culmination of the annual Hajj or Hari Raya Qurban), Awal Muharram (Islamic New Year) and Maulidur Rasul (Birthday of Muhammad).

Malaysian Chinese typically hold the same festivals observed by Chinese around the world. Chinese New Year is the most prominent, lasting for 15-days and ending with Chap Goh Mei (十五瞑). Other festivals celebrated by Chinese are the Qingming Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Malaysian Indians of the Hindu faith celebrate Deepavali, the festival of light,[26] while Thaipusam is a celebration in which Hindu pilgrims from all over the country meet at the Batu Caves.[27] The most important Sikh festival is the Sikh new year or Vaisakhi festival. Other important days are Lodi and Gurpurab. Other Indian and Indochinese communities observe their new year celebrations at around the same time, such as Pohela Boishakh of the Bengalis and Songkran (water festival) of the Thais. People in the northern states do celebrate the Thai festival of Loy Kratong.[28]

Wesak (Malay for Vesak), the Buddhist festival commemorating Buddha's birth, is a public holiday.[26] Malaysia's Christian community observes most of the holidays observed by Christians elsewhere, most notably Christmas[26] and Easter. Good Friday, however, is only a public holiday in the two Bornean states. The harvest festivals of Gawai in Sarawak and Kaamatan in Sabah are also important for East Malaysians.[29]

New Year's Day, Chinese New Year, and the start of the Islamic calendar are all public holidays.[26]

ParticipationEdit

Despite most of the festivals being identified with a particular ethnic or religious group, festivities are often participated in by all Malaysians. One example of this is the celebration of Kongsi Raya which is used when Hari Raya Puasa and Chinese New Year coincide. The term Kongsi Raya (which means "sharing the celebration" in Malay) was coined because of the similarity between the word kongsi and the Chinese New Year greeting of Gong xi fa cai. Similarly, the portmanteau Deepa Raya was coined when Hari Raya Puasa and Deepavali coincided.[30]

A practice known as "open house" (rumah terbuka) is common during the festivities, especially during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali, Chinese New Year and Christmas. Open house means that all well-wishers are received and that everyone regardless of background is invited to attend.[31] Open houses are normally held at the home of the host and food are also prepared by the host, however, there are also open houses held at larger public venues especially when hosted by government agencies or corporations. Also during the festivities, most Malaysians would take the time off work or school to return to their hometowns to celebrate the festivities with their extended relatives. This practice is commonly known as balik kampung and usually causes traffic jams on most highways in the country.[32]

Festivals of MalaysiaEdit

Religious festivalsEdit

Muslim festivalsEdit

Buddhist festivalsEdit

Christian festivalsEdit

Hindu festivalsEdit

Taoist festivalsEdit

Sikh FestivalsEdit

Ethnic festivalsEdit

Chinese festivalsEdit

East Malaysian festivalsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Johor banks to skip rest day switch". Malay Mail. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  2. ^ "New weekend but business as usual in JB". The Straits Times. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2019 – via AsiaOne.
  3. ^ a b "Putrajaya declares May 9 a holiday". Malay Mail. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b "April 24 a public holiday for Agong's installation". Malay Mail. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b "PM Najib declares Sept 4 a public holiday for Malaysia's outstanding success in Sea Games". New Straits Times. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Kedah declares Oct 22 as occasional public holiday". Malay Mail. 4 October 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Selangor govt declares Monday a holiday after Msia Cup win". New Straits Times. 13 December 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Win or lose, Sunday declared holiday in Terengganu". New Straits Times. 24 October 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Kedah declares Thaipusam 'occasional state holiday'". The Star (Malaysia). 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Thaipusam to remain annual occasional public holiday in Kedah if BN in power: MB". New Straits Times. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Sabah also declares April 24 a public holiday". New Strait Times. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  12. ^ "April 24 a public holiday for Sarawak too". Borneo Post. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Sabah declares Sept 4 a public holiday as well". New Strait Times. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Sept 4 a public holiday in Sarawak". New Strait Times. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Sabah government announces May 9 as public holiday". New Strait Times. 12 April 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  16. ^ "Sarawak government declares May 9 as public holiday". The Star. 12 April 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Public holidays on Thursday and Friday: Ali Hamsa". New Strait Times. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  18. ^ "May 17 and 18 declared additional public holidays in Sarawak". The Star. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  19. ^ "July 30 declared public holiday over coronation of King". The Star. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Sabah declares July 30 public holiday for King's coronation". Malay Mail. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  21. ^ "Sarawak to observe July 30 as public holiday for King's coronation". The Star. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  22. ^ Table of Public Holidays 2020, Cabinet, Constitution and Inter-Governmental Relations Division, Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia)
  23. ^ "Sabah announces additional public holiday on Dec 24". The Star. 11 December 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  24. ^ The Holidays Ordinance (Sabah Cap. 56) – The Holidays (Amendment First Schedule) Order 2019, Cabinet, Constitution and Inter-Governmental Relations Division, Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia)
  25. ^ Public Holidays 2020, Official Website of the Sabah State Government
  26. ^ a b c d Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2008). World and Its Peoples: Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. p. 1221.
  27. ^ "Festivals of Malaysia ~ Thaipusam Festival". Go2travelmalaysia.com. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  28. ^ Ben van Wijnen. "Loi Krathong". Malaysiasite.nl. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  29. ^ "Malaysia – Holidays". Go2travelmalaysia.com. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  30. ^ "The English Teacher" (PDF). Malaysian English Language Teaching Association. 2 May 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  31. ^ "Religion". Matic.gov.my. Archived from the original on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  32. ^ "Ripple effect of the festive rush". New Straits Times. 7 September 2010. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2010.

External linksEdit