Linundus Kinabalu Headline Animator


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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Declare Harvest and Gawai Festivals as National Holidays.

I found the following article regarding National Public Holidays in Warkah, which prompted me to write something for the Federal Government to consider.

“There is a total of 13 days of national public holidays. The Malaysian school holidays for 2009 are 77 days i.e 9 days for first and second mid term break, 16 days for mid year break and 43 days for year end break. Malaysia Calendar 2009, Public And School Holidays | Warkah, Sep 2008

There is a total of 13 days of national public holidays. The Malaysian school holidays for 2009 are 77 days i.e 9 days for first and second mid term break, 16 days for mid year break and 43 days for year end break.

On top of this national level holidays, there are also a few days of state holidays that are declared by the various states and federal territories.

Details of Malaysia holidays for 2009 are listed below;

National Public Holidays

26 January Chinese New Year 27 January Chinese New Year 9 March Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday

1 May Labour Day 9 May Wesak Day

6 June Birthday Celebration of Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di Pertuan Agong

31 August National Day

20 September Hari Raya Puasa* 21 September Hari Raya Puasa*

17 October Deepavali

27 November Hari Raya Haji*

18 December Maal Hijrah* 25 December Christmas

State Public Holidays

1 Jan New Year - Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, Putrajaya, Malacca, N.Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor 18 Jan Sultan of Kedah’s Birthday - Kedah

1 Feb Federal Territory Day - Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, Putrajaya 8 Feb Thaipusam - Johor, N.Sembilan, Perak, Penang, Selangor

4 Mar Anniversary of Installation of Sultan of Terengganu - Terengganu 30 Mar Sultan of Kelantan’s Birthday - Kelantan 31 Mar Sultan of Kelantan’s Birthday - Kelantan

8 Apr Sultan of Johor’s Birthday - Johor 10 Apr Good Friday - Sabah, Sarawak    ) Suggested National Holiday 15 Apr Declaration of Malacca as a Historical City - Malacca 19 Apr Sultan of Perak’s Birthday - Perak

7 May Hari Hol Pahang - Pahang 17 May Raja Perlis’ Birthday - Perlis 30 May Harvest Festival - Labuan, Sabah    ) 31 May Harvest Festival - Labuan, Sabah    ) Suggested National Holiday for

1 Jun Hari Gawai – Sarawak                          ) 2 days on 31st May and 1st June. 2 Jun Hari Gawai – Sarawak                          ) 29 Jun Hari Hol Johor - Johor

11 Jul Penang Governor’s Birthday - Penang 19 Jul Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan’s Birthday - N.Sembilan 20 Jul Sultan of Terengganu’s Birthday - Terengganu 20 Jul Israk and Mikraj - Kedah, N.Sembilan, Perlis

22 Aug Awal Ramadan* - Johor, Kedah, Malacca

7 Sep Nuzul Al-Quran - Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor, Terengganu 12 Sep Sarawak Governor’s Birthday - Sarawak 16 Sep Sabah Governor’s Birthday - Sabah

10 Oct Malacca Governor’s Birthday - Malacca

* Subject to changes

School Holidays

14 Mar - 22 Mar First Mid Term Break 30 May - 14 Jun Mid Year Break 22 Aug - 30 Aug Second Mid Term Break 21 Nov - 01 Jan Year End Break

The above school holidays are for all states except for Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, where the holiday start a day earlier.”

YAB Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is currently on a State visit in Sabah, his maiden visit since becoming the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The Prime Minister praised the State for displaying the best example of his “One Malaysia: People First, Performance Now” – a slogan which he has been canvassing ever since he became the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

He said that no other State in the country fully epitomised the concept (of One Malaysia) than Sabah.

“This (Sabah) is the best example of the One Malaysia concept. Not only we (here) respect one another but seamless between them,” he said, speaking Monday at a dinner hosted by the State Government at Pacific Sutera, Kota Kinabalu.

If we were to achieve the objective of “One Malaysia” concept, there should be “seamless” as well as “borderless” between the Malaysian communities as a whole.

For a start, let us have common public holidays for all Malaysians instead of the individual States celebrating their own holidays, in particular the following State Holidays:

30 May Harvest Festival - Labuan, Sabah    ) 31 May Harvest Festival - Labuan, Sabah    ) Declare National Holiday for

1 Jun Hari Gawai – Sarawak                          ) 2 days from 31st May and 1st June. 2 Jun Hari Gawai – Sarawak                          )

Presently, the States of Sabah and Sarawak are celebrating their own public holidays in conjunction with their own Harvest Festival and Hari Gawai respectively. But in Sabah, Labuan is included although it is under the Federal Territory.

Since there are Sabahans and Sarawakians in Semenajung Malaysia, these people should not be denied of their opportunity to enjoy the holidays observed in their own respective States.

We take cognizance of the fact Malaysia has one of the most number of State and National Holidays as compared to other countries, particularly in comparison with the Singapore national holidays.

As a first positive step towards realising the “One Malaysia” concept seamlessly and borderless, the Federal Government should consider declaring the Harvest Festival (Sabah) and Hari Gawai (Sarawak) state public holidays  as National Holidays from 31st May – 1st June.  Both States can still continue to celebrate their two-day Festivals celebrations in their own respective States as have been done in the past, while those Sabahans and Sarawakians residing in Semenanjung Malaysia can then enjoy the festive holidays.

On the religious front, the Federal Government should also consider declaring Good Friday as National Holiday instead of confining it only to Sabah and Sarawak. The Christians in Semenanjung Malaysia deserve to be given a holiday on this day as Good Friday is the most important day (Passion of Christ) in the Christian Calendar. This comes under “People First” concept.

Our political leaders from Sabah and Sarawak should seriously take this matter with the Federal Government in order to make the Prime Minister’s “One Malaysia” concept a reality.


  1. macam mana mahu minta holiday. kamu ini bangsa lain lain lah. bagus lagi itu philipine indonesia bugis jawa bila dapat ic 1st class bumiputera dan umnoputera .

  2. We must be patience,our Masidi and Sarawak counterpart has made the best suggestion that we shall be called Bumiputra Sabah/Sarawak with an option to put our ethnic race like Kadazan, Dusun, Murut, Rungus, Iban, Bidayuh, etc. so Tobpinai-tobpinai give your supportlah by diplomatic way not emotional in this matter.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Linundus replies ...

    I am not emotional in this matter but merely trying to put the correct term lest certain politician continues to propose the wrong term in this context.

    Annonymous still cannot understand the term “Bumiputra” which is not a race, or he/she simply refuses to understand the meaning of the term when it was first introduced under the National Economic Policy (NEP) after the May 13th 1969 to uplift the economic status of the Bumiputras.

    My contention was, and still is, that ‘Bumiputra Sabah’ is not the right term to call the ethnic races of Sabah as its connotation is purely an economical term.

    How could we categorise the ‘Bumiputras’ into demography, geography or religion when it was intended as an economic definition to lift up all those privileged to be defined as “Bumiputras”?

    Even Masing “agreed that the term lain-lain (others) should be dropped from official documents and forms, and replaced by Dayak Iban, Dayak Bidayuh and Dayak Orang Ulu to reflect the three major groups in Sarawak.”

    “There is no such race as lain-lain,” said Masing.”

    This goes to say that the term “Bumiputra” is not relevant nor it is appropriate to replace the term lain-lain in all official documents and forms, but instead should be replaced by ethnicity name(s) to reflect major community groups in Sabah and Sarawak respectively.

    “Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president James Masing has distanced himself from his deputy’s (Joseph Entulu’s) proposal to drop the term ‘Dayak’, which has provoked angry reactions from those representing the community”.

    “Joseph Entulu, who is also federal deputy minister, had reportedly suggested last Saturday that the word be replaced by the individual name of the 26 non-Muslim native communities in the state”.