The number of public holidays here is truly insane. If you’re used to the English system of three Bank Holiday Mondays a year – and be grateful for them – then the Malaysian system is a real eye-opener.
For a start, there are three main ethnic groups, so there are holidays for Islamic, Chinese and Indian festivals, plus all the other holidays for country-wide celebrations, like Independence Day.
Not only that, but the dates of the holidays can just randomly change with very little notice. Imagine the rioting in the Home Counties if August Bank Holiday Monday was suddenly changed to August Bank Holiday Wednesday, a couple of weeks beforehand.
This has worked in my favour next week. There was supposed to be a holiday next Thursday, which is one of my days off, but I found out on Monday that the holiday has now been moved to Friday, which gives me the equivalent of a long weekend … three days off in a row … yay!
And that’s in addition to the public holiday we had last week, and the one we’ve got this week … oh – and not to mention the five-day weekend we had two weeks ago.
The five-day weekend was originally supposed to be a four-day weekend at the end of August, because Eid and Independence day fell on two consecutive days – Thursday and Friday. Then, on that Thursday, the Prime Minister announced that because of Malaysia’s outstanding performance in the South East Asia Games, he was declaring the Monday a Public Holiday too … Go Malaysia!
“There are too many public holidays in Malaysia. But… due to the overwhelming support and the tremendous performances by our athletes, therefore, the government would like to announce 4 September as a public holiday,” Najib announced to a roaring crowd.
And here’s a list of Kuala Lumpur’s public holidays for 2017:
|1 Jan||Sun||New Year’s Day|
|2 Jan||Mon||New Year Holiday|
|28 Jan||Sat||Chinese New Year|
|29 Jan||Sun||Chinese New Year Holiday|
|30 Jan||Mon||Chinese New Year Holiday|
|1 Feb||Wed||Federal Territory Day|
|24 Apr||Mon||Installation of YDP Agong|
|1 May||Mon||Labour Day|
|10 May||Wed||Wesak Day|
|12 Jun||Mon||Nuzul Al-Quran|
|25 Jun||Sun||Hari Raya Aidilfitri|
|26 Jun||Mon||Hari Raya Aidilfitri Holiday|
|27 Jun||Tue||Hari Raya Aidilfitri Holiday|
|31 Aug||Thu||Merdeka Day|
|1 Sep||Fri||Hari Raya Haji|
|4 Sep||Mon||Sep 4 Holiday (SEA Games)|
|9 Sep||Sat||Agong’s Birthday|
|16 Sep||Sat||Malaysia Day|
|22 Sep||Fri||Awal Muharram|
|1 Dec||Fri||Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday|
|25 Dec||Mon||Christmas Day|
And now compare that to England’s somewhat meagre ration:
|1 January||Monday||New Year’s Day|
|30 March||Friday||Good Friday|
|2 April||Monday||Easter Monday|
|7 May||Monday||Early May bank holiday|
|28 May||Monday||Spring bank holiday|
|27 August||Monday||Summer bank holiday|
|25 December||Tuesday||Christmas Day|
|26 December||Wednesday||Boxing Day|
As I said … truly insane.