“THANKFULLY, Malaysia doesn’t win the FIFA World Cup, otherwise public holiday will be declared for the whole country till the next tournament” was a cynical quip from a food & beverage (F&B) acquaintance in response to tomorrow (Friday) being declared a public holiday for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur (KL), Putrajaya and Labuan.
The arbitrary declaration of public holiday just because KL City ended a 32-year drought to lift the Malaysia Cup by defeating Johor Darul Takzim 2-0 on Tuesday (Nov 30) is sheer illogical as the victory is certainly “not historical enough” to warrant a public holiday.
“What do politicians know about the pain of missing out on the Friday lunch crowd which is often bigger than other weekdays given the longer lunch hours (in view of Friday’s prayers),” lamented the F&B acquaintance, referring to Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
“As much as employees will rejoice with the prospect of getting paid for working on a public holiday, business owners can only think of nursing the hole in their pocket … this is all nonsensical and has to come at a time when you think that you can recoup losses from the lengthy lockdown disruptions to your business.”
According to a legal expert, such holidays declared arbitrarily and not part of the gazetted list need not be entertained by businesses. Companies have the option to ignore such declarations.
Thankfully, it is BAU (business as usual) for all financial institutions tomorrow – at least those in Kuala Lumpur – as per Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) latest directive sighted by FocusM.
“Pursuant to Banking and Financial Institutions (Exemption) Order 2006, BNM has determined that banks in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur will remain open and operate as usual on Friday, December 2021,” noted a circular endorsed by assistant governor Fraziali Ismail.
However, it is lights-off on the trading floor for Bursa Malaysia.
“Bursa Malaysia and its subsidiaries will be closed on Friday, Dec 3, 2021 in conjunction with the public holiday for the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan announced by the Federal Territories Minister yesterday,” the stock exchange pointed out in a statement.
“Bursa Malaysia and its subsidiaries will resume operations on Monday, Dec 6, 2021,” it added.
According to a study by online savings platform CupoNation Australia on the numbers of paid public holidays in 195 countries worldwide for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, Malaysia alongside Azerbaijan and Bulgaria are ranked second in the list of countries with most paid public holidays at 19.
Topping the list is Iran where workers are entitled to one month paid annual leave and 27 paid public holidays.
Norway has the lowest in the world with only two paid public holidays. – Dec 2, 2021