Following the country's upcoming National Day on 31 August, Malaysians can look forward to a string of public holidays in September. There will be four major public holidays in September for Malaysians – Hari Raya Haji (1 Sep) , the birthday of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V (9 Sep), Malaysia Day (16 Sep) and Awal Muharram (22 Sep).
In fact, Malaysia’s 60th National Day celebrations on 31 August will be followed by the national Hari Raya Haji celebration on 1 Sep.
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Additionally, the school holidays for term 2 will also start on Saturday (2 Sep). In fact, The Star has reported that some states such as Kelantan and Terengganu will also have 2 Sep as an extra day for the Hari Raya Haji celebrations, while the Sarawak Governor’s birthday will also be on 9 Sep.
In the report, Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MUTC) secretary-general J. Solomon said that the public holidays would be good for workers, especially those in high-pressure environments. He commented: “Employers shouldn’t look at public holidays as unproductive, given the current work environment and the stress workers undergo.”
“I think they deserve the break,” he added.
He also highlighted in the report that many workers also take the opportunity to visit their hometown during breaks. He said: “I think employers should not think that they are going to lose money. The health and value of the employees should be given emphasis.”
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, however, felt that productivity would suffer as many workers may not give their best closer to a public holiday.
“Before and after these days, they will be in holiday mood so they will not put in 100% effort,” he said.
He also said that “some may even take medical leave and this can also cause problems to the employers.” “The employers still have to pay wages, and the cost will be higher if companies want to operate on public holidays as they need to pay more,” Datuk Shamsuddin commented.
Furthermore, Shamsuddin said Malaysia also adopted a five-day week, and as such there were ample holidays. “Employees also hardly exhaust their annual leave because they are entitled to two off-days weekly,” he concluded.