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Four-day Break due to Additional Public Holiday for Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

How is Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrated in Malaysia?

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a public holiday in Malaysia.


It is a time when Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.


During Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Muslims visit their families and friends, seek forgiveness, and perform special prayers. It is also a time for forgiveness, charity, and compassion.


The Sighting of the Moon

The announcement of the date for Hari Raya Aidilfitri is based on the sighting of the new moon.


In Malaysia, the sighting of the new moon is traditionally conducted by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) and the Islamic Religious Councils of each state. Once the new moon is sighted, the date for Hari Raya Aidilfitri is officially announced.


Dates for Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2023

Initially, Hari Raya Aidilfitri was expected to fall on Saturday (April 22, referred to as "HRP 1"), with the second day of the celebration on Sunday (April 23, referred to as "HRP 2").


However, with the announcement by the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council, there is a possibility that Hari Raya Aidilfitri may fall on Friday (April 21), and correspondingly, the second day will be on Saturday (April 22). [The Star - Date of Hari Raya to be decided on 29th of Ramadan (April 20), says FT Mufti]


Additional Public Holiday for Hari Raya Aidilfitri in 2023

On April 18, 2023, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that there would be an additional public holiday in celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.


This additional public holiday will be granted in accordance with Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951 for Peninsular Malaysia and Labuan.


For Sabah and Sarawak, the state governments have the authority to determine the date for the public holiday.


Here is a table summarising the dates for Hari Raya Aidilfitri and the additional public holiday:


Rest Day in Malaysia

In Malaysia, every employee is entitled to a rest day of one whole day each week. Under section 59(1) of the Employment Act 1955 in Malaysia, the employer is responsible for determining the rest day.


Rest Day in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu

The states of Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu have their official rest day fall on Saturday.


These states follow the Islamic workweek, where Friday is considered a holy day, and Sunday is a regular workday.


Rest Day in Kuala Lumpur and Other States

The other states in Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur, have their rest day on Sunday, following the Western workweek.


It's worth noting that some companies may choose to have a different rest day depending on their specific industry or company policies.


Public Holidays Falling on Rest Days

Under s 60(1) of the Employment Act 1955, except as provided in subsection 60A(2), no employee shall be compelled to work on a rest day.


Under 60D(1), if any public holiday falls on a rest day or any other public holiday, the working day following the rest day or the other public holiday shall be a paid holiday in substitution of the first mentioned public holiday.


Know Your Rights as an Employee for companies that observed the 2 Hari Raya Aidilfitri Holidays

For companies that observed the 2 Hari Raya Aidilfitri Holidays, i.e., 22 April 2023 and 23 April 2023 (or, as the case may be, 21 April 2023 and 22 April 2023), the aforesaid 2 days are public holidays for HRP1 and HRP 2 respectively.


Let's look at 4 scenarios where a rest day falls on a Sunday or Saturday:

  • Rest Day Falling on Sunday

    • Scenario 1: HRP 1 on Friday, HRP 2 on Saturday

    • Scenario 2: HRP 1 on Saturday, HRP 2 on Sunday

  • Rest Day Falling on Saturday

    • Scenario 3: HRP 1 on Friday, HRP 2 on Saturday

    • Scenario 4: HRP 1 on Saturday, HRP 2 on Sunday

Rest Day Falling on Sunday

In both scenarios (1 and 2), employees are entitled to a four-day break from work from April 21 to April 24 and are not obliged to work during this period.


Rest Day Falling on Saturday

In both scenarios (3 and 4), employees are also entitled to a four-day break from work from April 21 to April 24 and are not obliged to work during this period.


In Scenario 3, as Saturday is a rest day and HRP 2 falls on that day, according to Section 60D(1), the working day after the rest day (April 22) shall be a paid holiday in place of HRP 2.


As for Scenario 4, since Saturday is a rest day and HRP 1 falls on that day, under Section 60D(1), the working day (April 23) after the rest day (April 22) shall be a paid holiday instead of HRP 1. However, April 23 is also the second day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which is a public holiday.


Under Section 60D(1), if any public holiday falls on another public holiday, the working day after the other public holiday shall be a paid holiday in substitution of the first mentioned public holiday. Hence, April 24 shall be a paid holiday in substitution of the first mentioned public holiday.


Rest Day falls other than Saturday or Sunday

It's worth noting that companies may have different days off depending on their industry or policies.


For instance, hairdressers and restaurants may not choose Saturdays and Sundays as their days off since they tend to have more business on holidays than on weekdays.


For example, let's consider Barbershop A, which takes Wednesdays off every week and let's look at 2 scenarios below:


Scenario 5: HRP 1 on Friday, HRP 2 on Saturday

Scenario 6: HRP 1 on Saturday, HRP 2 on Sunday In Scenario 5, the barber has to work on Sunday (April 23) and the next Monday (April 24), which happens to be a public holiday.


In Scenario 6, the barber is required to work the next Monday (April 24) but will entitle to a public holiday on Friday (April 21).


As a result, scheduling days off may become complicated and require careful planning to ensure employees have sufficient time off while meeting business needs.


For companies that observed one day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri as a public holiday

If those companies only observed one day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri as a public holiday, the situation would be different.


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