How Many Public Holidays in Malaysia: Total Number

The total number of public holidays in Malaysia varies between states. The discrepancy is due to some counts’ inclusion of state-specific holidays or other special observances. Malaysia is a multicultural and multi-religious country, and this diversity is reflected in its public holidays. Some holidays are observed nationwide, such as New Year’s Day, National Day, and the birthdays of the King. However, others are specific to certain states or regions. For example, Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated in certain states, while Hari Gawai is a harvest festival celebrated in East Malaysia.

In addition, each state celebrates the birthday of its own Sultan or Governor. Therefore, if you are an employee or a tourist planning a visit or move to Malaysia, it would be beneficial to research the specific public holidays in the area you will be in. It can significantly impact businesses’ operating hours and the availability of services. You should check a reliable local or governmental resource for the most accurate information about public holidays in Malaysia.

How many public holidays in Malaysia?

Malaysia has 19 public holidays. However, the actual number can vary significantly depending on the state or territory. Malaysia is a federation of 13 states and 3 federal territories, each with the power to declare additional holidays. For example, some states may have different holidays to celebrate their respective sultans’ birthdays or 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)

Just so you know, some holidays are not observed in certain states. For example, Thaipusam is observed in only some states, like Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu.

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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