PUTRAJAYA: Here’s another reason to look forward to the Hari Raya break – an extra day of public holiday and toll-free travel awaits Malaysians during the festivities.
The additional day will either be this Friday or the coming Monday.
If the first day of Syawal falls on Friday, Malaysians will have a public holiday on Monday, April 24.
But if Saturday is declared as the first day of Syawal, then Friday will be the extra holiday.
The additional public holiday is based on Section 8 of the Holidays Act for Peninsular Malaysia and also Labuan.
“For Sabah and Sarawak, the respective state government can declare the date for the additional public holiday accordingly,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told a special press conference yesterday.
He said these initiatives reflected the government’s continuous commitment to look after the welfare of the people in all aspects.
Tomorrow, the sighting of the new moon of Syawal will take place at 29 locations nationwide.
The Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal will declare the date for Hari Raya that same night via radio and TV broadcasts.
According to the Office of the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal, the Conference of Rulers had agreed that the date for Hari Raya would be decided based on Rukyah (sighting of the new moon) and Hisab (astronomical calculations).
Anwar said that those travelling during the Hari Raya holiday period would be exempted from paying tolls.
This toll-free travel is available for four days – from today till Friday as well as on Monday, April 24.
“This will involve 33 highways and is for all classes of vehicles.”
“It is the government’s hope that these initiatives will allow the people to celebrate a meaningful Hari Raya,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that in conjunction with Hari Raya, the Prisons Department will initiate a licenced prisoner release (OBB) programme, involving more than 1,000 prisoners.
This initiative will allow Muslim inmates to celebrate Hari Raya with their loved ones and families.
“This is also aimed at encouraging them to strengthen family ties, not just for Muslim inmates but also those of other faiths,” he said.
The Prime Minister also announced that the police are offering special rates for the public to settle their traffic summonses. Each summon can be settled at RM50 between April 21 and May 21 but this is not applicable to summonses issued this year.
“To ensure smooth traffic, police will mount Ops Lancar for Hari Raya with a focus on high traffic volume routes.
“This will be followed by a week-long Ops Selamat. Together with other agencies, police will ensure there is no congestion at hotspot areas,” Anwar added.