Declaring public holiday for all FTs today comes under fire

PETALING JAYA: The decision to declare today a public holiday for all Federal Territories following KL City FC’s victory in the Malaysia Cup has come under fire from various quarters.

Expressing her unhappiness over the holiday, infectious diseases expert Prof Datuk Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said it was unnecessary.

“It’s thrown our specialist professional exams, clinics and operating theatre schedules all helter-skelter,” said the World Health Organisation (WHO) Science Council member on Twitter.

Dr Adeeba, who was a Universiti Malaya Professor of Infectious Diseases and a former dean of its Faculty of Medicine, said the holiday was not needed.

“In my humble opinion, we don’t need this, especially at a time when we have so much catching up to do as a result of Covid-19,” she said.

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim had declared a public holiday for all Federal Territories today following KL City FC’s win over Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in the Malaysia Cup final on Wednesday.

Bangi Member of Parliament Ong Kian Ming said the sudden declaration was irresponsible, socially and economically disruptive.

He said businesses conducting transactions with government offices would have to delay these to next week, resulting in lost time and productivity.

Netizens also greeted the declaration with complaints that it was a waste to declare a public holiday over such a small event.

“Many love to makan gaji and ‘berholiday’. On the other hand, many might lose one day’s pay while just recovering from no work during the lockdown,” said Facebook user Yiu King Ng.

“Haven’t we had enough holidays? KL is our commercial centre. Putrajaya is our administrative centre,” pointed out Ramli Osman. Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan had since clarified that the additional public holiday was not a paid holiday under the Employment Act.

However, Saravanan encouraged the private sector to give a paid holiday.

Meanwhile, Shahidan said the decision to declare the holiday was referred to the Prime Minister and the Chief Secretary to the Government.

“And the decision was made. I only announced it,” he said while winding up the Supply Bill 2022 (Budget 2022) at the committee level for his ministry in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

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