How Many Public Holidays in Malaysia

Holidays are never enough. We may not having the highest number of holidays in the world, but it’s still a lot.

So, how many public holidays are there in Malaysia? Let’s find out.

How many public holidays in Malaysia?

Malaysia has 19 public holidays. However, the actual number can vary significantly depending on the state or territory, as Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and 3 federal territories, and each has the power to declare additional holidays.

For example, some states may have additional holidays to celebrate the birthdays of their respective sultans, or to commemorate significant local events or festivals.

The federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya, on the other hand, do not have a sultan, and therefore do not observe these additional holidays.

Similarly, states with a significant Chinese, Indian, or indigenous population may also have additional holidays to celebrate cultural or religious festivals unique to these communities.

Consequently, the actual number of public holidays in Malaysia can vary from the official 19 to upwards of 25 or more in some states.

What are the compulsory public holidays in Malaysia?

Here’s the list of gazetted public holidays in Malaysia which is compulsory to be given to employees:

  1. New Year’s Day (January 1)
  2. Thaipusam (Date varies each year, a Hindu festival)
  3. Federal Territory Day (February 1)
  4. Chinese New Year (Date varies each year)
  5. Labour Day (May 1)
  6. Wesak Day (Date varies each year, a Buddhist festival)
  7. King’s Birthday (First Saturday of June)
  8. Hari Raya Puasa (Date varies each year, end of Ramadan)
  9. National Day (August 31)
  10. Malaysia Day (September 16)
  11. Hari Raya Haji (Date varies each year, Islamic festival)
  12. Awal Muharram (Islamic New Year, date varies each year)
  13. Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday (Date varies each year)
  14. Deepavali (Date varies each year, a Hindu festival)
  15. Christmas Day (December 25)

Please note that some holidays are not observed in certain states.

For example, Thaipusam is not observed in certain states like Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu. Similarly, Christmas is a public holiday only in states with significant Christian populations.

Why Malaysia has so many public holidays?

Malaysia is a multicultural and multireligious country with a diverse population consisting of Malays, Chinese, Indians, and indigenous Bumiputera.

Each of these ethnic groups has their own religious and cultural holidays. As a sign of respect and unity, the government recognizes and observes these holidays.

This includes Muslim holidays like Eid, Buddhist holidays like Wesak Day, Hindu holidays like Deepavali, and Christian holidays like Christmas.

There are also national holidays like Independence Day and Malaysia Day. Hence, the high number of public holidays in Malaysia.

Is Malaysia the country with the most public holidays?

No, Malaysia is not the country with the most public holidays. That title goes to Cambodia, which officially recognises 28 public holidays per year. Malaysia, however, does rank high with about 19 public holidays per year.

The number of public holidays in Malaysia can vary depending on the state, as some holidays are specific to individual states.

These holidays cover a range of cultural, religious, and national events, reflecting the country’s diverse culture and religious practices.

These include Islamic holidays like Eid, Hindu celebrations like Deepavali, Buddhist holidays, Christian holidays like Christmas, and national holidays like Independence Day.

In contrast, Cambodia’s public holidays primarily revolve around Buddhist celebrations, the monarchy, and historical events.

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