PETALING JAYA: September is shaping up to be a good month for planning activities and family gatherings, thanks to the large number of public holidays.
After National Day on Aug 31, there will be four major public holidays in September – Hari Raya Haji, the birthday of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, Malaysia Day and Awal Muharram.
On top of that, the Term 2 school holidays also start on Saturday.
The 60th National Day celebrations will be on Aug 31 followed by the national Hari Raya Haji celebration on Sept 1.
The King’s birthday will be on Sept 9, followed by Malaysia Day on Sept 16 and Awal Muharram on Sept 22.
Some states like Kelantan and Terengganu will also have Sept 2 as an extra day for the Hari Raya Haji celebrations, while the Sarawak Governor’s birthday will also be on Sept 9.
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MUTC) secretary-general J. Solomon said the public holidays would be good for workers, especially those in high-pressure environments.
“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 said.
He added that many workers also take the opportunity to visit their hometown during breaks.
“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 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.
“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.”
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 added.