.mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  States that observe a Saturday–Sunday weekend  States that observe a Friday–Saturday weekend
  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.

Overview

Federal holidays

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 holidays

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 declaration

Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951 gives the Prime Minister power to declare any day 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 an 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 declaration under Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951

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 law

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.

Table of public holidays

All holidays are state/territorial public holidays unless otherwise indicated.

Date[22] English name Malay name Johor Kedah Kelantan Kuala Lumpur Labuan Malacca Negeri Sembilan Pahang Penang Perak Perlis Putrajaya Sabah Sarawak Selangor Terengganu
1 January New Year's Day Hari Tahun Baru No No No Yes No Yes No
14 January Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No
Full moon in the month of Thai (January–February) Thaipusam Hari Thaipusam Yes No No Yes No No Yes No Yes No Yes No No Yes No
First two days of the first lunar month (January–February) Chinese New Year Tahun Baru Cina Two days; federal holiday (except second day in Kelantan and Terengganu, where it is a state holiday)
1 February Federal Territory Day Hari Wilayah Persekutuan No No No Yes No No No No No No Yes No No No No
4 March Sultan of Terengganu's Coronation Day Hari Ulang Tahun Pertabalan Sultan Terengganu No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
23 March Sultan of Johor's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Johor Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
Friday before Easter (western Christianity) (March–April) Good Friday Jumaat Agung No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No
15 April Declaration of Malacca City as a Historical City Hari Perisytiharan Bandar Melaka sebagai Bandaraya Bersejarah No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
26 April Sultan of Terengganu's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Terengganu No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
1 May Labour Day Hari Pekerja Federal holiday
First full moon in May Vesak Hari Wesak Federal holiday
17 May Raja of Perlis's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Raja Perlis No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No
22 May Hari Hol of Pahang Hari Hol Pahang No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No
30 and 31 May Tadau Kaamatan Pesta Kaamatan (Pesta Menuai) No No No No Two days No No No No No No No Two days No No No
1 and 2 June Gawai Dayak Perayaan Hari Gawai Dayak No No No No No No No No No No No No No Two days No No
First Monday of June[a] Yang di-Pertuan Agong's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Yang di-Pertuan Agong Federal holiday
Third Sunday of June Sultan of Kedah's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Kedah No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
7 July Declaration of George Town as World Heritage Site Hari Ulang Tahun Perisytiharan Tapak Warisan Dunia No No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No
Second Saturday of July Governor of Penang's Birthday Hari Jadi Yang di-Pertua Negeri Pulau Pinang No No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No
22 July Sarawak Independence Day Hari Kemerdekaan Sarawak No No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No
30 July Sultan of Pahang's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Pahang No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No
24 August Governor of Malacca's Birthday Hari Jadi Yang di-Pertua Negeri Melaka No No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
31 August National Day Hari Kebangsaan Federal holiday
16 September Malaysia Day Hari Malaysia Federal holiday
First Saturday of October Governor of Sabah's Birthday Hari Jadi Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sabah No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No No
Second Saturday of October Governor of Sarawak's Birthday Hari Jadi Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak No No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No
Naraka Chaturdashi, the day preceding the new moon in the month of Aippasi (October–November)[b] Deepavali Deepavali Federal holiday No Federal holiday
First Friday of November Sultan of Perak's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Perak No No No No No No No No No Yes No No No No No No
11 and 12 November Sultan of Kelantan's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Kelantan No No Two days No No No No No No No No No No No No No
11 December Sultan of Selangor's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Sultan Selangor No No No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No
24 December Christmas Eve Hari Sebelum Krismas No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No No
25 December Christmas Hari Krismas Federal holiday
Holidays based on the Islamic calendar (does not align with the Earth's year cycle)
1 Muharram First day of Muharram Awal Muharram (Maal Hijrah) Federal holiday
6 Safar Hari Hol of Sultan Iskandar of Johor Hari Hol Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Yes No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No
12 Rabiulawal Prophet Muhammad's Birthday Hari Keputeraan Nabi Muhammad (Maulidur Rasul) Federal holiday
27 Rejab Isra and Mi'raj Israk dan Mikraj No Yes No No No No Yes No No No Yes No No No No Yes
1 Ramadan[c] First day of Ramadan Awal Ramadan Yes No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No
17 Ramadan Anniversary of the Revelation of the Quran Hari Nuzul Al-Quran No No Yes No No Yes No No Yes
1 and 2 Syawal[c] Eid al-Fitr Hari Raya Puasa/Hari Raya Aidilfitri Two days; federal holiday
9 Zulhijjah Day of Arafah Hari Arafah No No No No No No No No No No No No No No No Yes
10 Zulhijjah[c] Eid al-Adha Hari Raya Qurban/Hari Raya Haji/Hari Raya Aidiladha Federal holiday
11 Zulhijjah[c] No State Federal No No No No No No No State No No No No Federal
Total 18 18 18 18 19 18 18 18 19 18 18 18 20 19 18 20
  1. ^ Formerly observed on first Saturday of June, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's Official Birthday will be observed on the first Monday of June for the duration of Al-Sultan Abdullah's reign as Yang di-Pertuan Agong.[23]
  2. ^ Subject to change based on astronomical considerations according to the Hindu almanac
  3. ^ a b c d Subject to change based on the sighting of the new moon

Types of holidays

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.

Secular

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, Sarawak and Labuan. 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 ethnic

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 Prophet 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 (十五暝). 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,[24] while Thaipusam is a celebration in which Hindu pilgrims from all over the country meet at the Batu Caves.[25] 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.[26]

Wesak (Malay for Vesak), the Buddhist festival commemorating Buddha's birth, is a public holiday.[24] Malaysia's Christian community observes most of the holidays observed by Christians elsewhere, most notably Christmas[24] 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.[27]

New Year's Day, Chinese New Year, and the start of the Islamic calendar are all public holidays.[24]

Participation

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.[28]

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.[29] 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.[30]

Festivals of Malaysia

Muslim festivals

Festival[31] Date Status Ethnic Group Note
Islamic New Year / Maal Hijrah / Awal Muharam 1 Muharam Nationwide Malay
Maulidur Rasul 12 Rabiulawal Nationwide Malay
Israk dan Mikraj 27 Rejab Nationwide Malay
Awal Ramadan / Awal Berpuasa 1 Ramadan Nationwide Malay
Nuzul al-Quran 17 Ramadan Nationwide Malay
Hari Raya Aidilfitri / Hari Raya Puasa 1 Syawal Nationwide Malay
Awal Zulhijjah 1 Zulhijjah Nationwide Malay
Hari Arafah 9 Zulhijjah Nationwide Malay
Hari Raya Aidiladha / Hari Raya Haji / Hari Raya Korban 10 Zulhijjah Nationwide Malay

Buddhist festivals

Festival[32] Date Status Ethnic Group Note
Vesak Day Full moon day of the month of Vaisakha Nationwide Chinese, Indian, Siamese

Christian festivals

Festival Date Status Ethnic Group Note
New Year's Day 1 January Nationwide
Intrudu Water Festival Sunday before Ash Wednesday Malacca Kristang
Good Friday The Friday preceding Easter Sunday Nationwide
Easter Nationwide
Festa San Pedro 29 June Malacca Kristang
Christmas Eve 24 December Nationwide
Christmas Day 25 December Nationwide

Indian festivals

Festival Date Status Ethnic Group Note
Pongal First day of the month of Tai Nationwide Indians
Thaipusam mid-January to mid-February Nationwide Indians
Puthandu / Tamil New Year / Vaisakhi Nationwide Indians
Deepavali / Diwali / Festival of Lights Nationwide Indians

Chinese festivals

Festival Date Status Ethnic Group Note
Beginning of Spring January/February Nationwide Chinese
Chinese New Year / Lunar New Year / Spring Festival January/February Nationwide Chinese
Festival of the Heavenly God or Jade Emperor January/February Nationwide Chinese
Lantern Festival / Chap Goh Meh January/February Nationwide Chinese
Qing Ming Festival / Cheng Beng April Nationwide Chinese and Chitty
Duanwu Festival / Dragon Boat Festival / Chang Festival June Nationwide Chinese
Qixi Festival / Chinese Valentine's Day August Nationwide Chinese
Hungry Ghost Festival August/September Nationwide Chinese
Nine Emperor Gods Festival September/October Nationwide Chinese
Mid-Autumn Festival / Mooncake Festival September/October Nationwide Chinese
Double Ninth Festival 9th day of the 9th lunar month Nationwide Chinese
Dōngzhì Festival / Tang Chek Festival / Winter Solstice Festival December Nationwide Chinese

Ethnic festivals

Festival Date Status Ethnic Group Note
Pesta Kalimaran 31 March Sabah Murut
Pesta Kaul March or early April Mukah, Sarawak Melanau
Songkran April West Malaysia Siamese
Regatta Lepa 20–22 April Semporna, Sabah East coast Bajau
Tadau Kaamatan 30, 31 May Sabah and Labuan Kadazan-Dusun
Hari Gawai 1, 2 June Sarawak Dayak
Pesta Rumbia 9 and 10 July Kuala Penyu, Sabah Bisaya and Kadazan
Pesta Kelapa 2 September Kudat, Sabah Rungus
Tamu Besar 29 and 30 October Kota Belud, Sabah West coast Bajau
Loi Krathong October/November West Malaysia Siamese
Pesta Jagung 5 and 6 November Kota Marudu, Sabah Kadazan-Dusun

International and National Festivals

Festival Date Status Ethnic Group Note
International Women's Day 8 March Worldwide
International Workers' Day 1 May Worldwide
Mother's Day Second Sunday of May Worldwide
Teachers' Days 16 May Nationwide
Father's Day Third Sunday in June Worldwide
Parents' Day First Sunday in July Nationwide

See also

References

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  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 Straits 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 Straits Times. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Sept 4 a public holiday in Sarawak". New Straits Times. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Sabah government announces May 9 as public holiday". New Straits 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 Straits 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 2022, Cabinet, Constitution and Inter-Governmental Relations Division, Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia)
  23. ^ "Agong's birthday moved from June 6 to June 8". New Straits Times. 4 March 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  24. ^ a b c d Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2008). World and Its Peoples: Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. p. 1221. ISBN 9780761476429.
  25. ^ "Festivals of Malaysia ~ Thaipusam Festival". Go2travelmalaysia.com. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  26. ^ Ben van Wijnen. "Loi Krathong". Malaysiasite.nl. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  27. ^ "Malaysia – Holidays". Go2travelmalaysia.com. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  28. ^ "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.
  29. ^ "Religion". Matic.gov.my. Archived from the original on 10 April 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  30. ^ "Ripple effect of the festive rush". New Straits Times. 7 September 2010. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
  31. ^ "TARIKH-TARIKH PENTING DALAM ISLAM : TAHUN 2020 / 1441 – 1442 H BAGI MALAYSIA" (PDF). Islam.gov.my. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  32. ^ "Parading for Buddha". Mypenang.gov.my. Retrieved 15 January 2022.