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Employers Are Reminded That The Agong's Birthday On 9 September Is A Paid Public Holiday

"Non-compliance of the law is an offence which carries a fine of not more than RM10,000."

Cover image via NST/Malaysia Education Hub

Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem reminded all employers in Malaysia that 9 September is a paid public holiday.

9 September is Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhamad V's official birthday.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem

Image via Malaysia Education Hub

In a report by Bernama yesterday, 18 July, Richard Riot, said that employers must be aware of the fact that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's birthday falls on a public holiday (Saturday). So, the day after must naturally be a paid public holiday for employees.

This may affect employees in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu where weekends fall on Fridays and Saturdays. All other states in Malaysia follow the usual Saturday-Sunday weekend.

"Non-compliance of the law is an offence which carries a fine of not more than RM10,000 under Section 99A of the Employment Act 1955; Section 130M of the Labour Ordinance (Sabah Chapter 67); and Labour Ordinance (Sarawak Chapter 76)."

Richard Riot said this is stated in Section 60D (1)(a) of the Employment Act 1955, Section 103(1)(a) of the Labour Ordinance (Sabah chapter 67) and Section 104 (1)(a) of the Labour Ordinance (Sarawak chapter 76).

Meanwhile, despite the fact that Sarawak has declared 9 September as the birthday of its Yang di-Pertua Negeri, no additional public holidays will be given for the occasion there.

Section 60D (1) states that employees are entitled to paid holiday on eleven of the gazetted public holidays, five of which are:

• National Day

• The birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong

• The Birthday of the Ruler or the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (based on the state the employee works in)

• Workers' Day

• Malaysia Day

However, note that for employers who have already mentioned in their handbook/employment contract that they do not observe all gazetted public holidays, they are under no statutory obligation to observe certain days that are declared as public holidays.

For example, earlier this year, 24 April 2017 was declared as a public holiday in celebration of the installation of Sultan Muhammad V as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

However, quite a number of employers did not observe this as a public holiday due to operational requirements or urgencies. As such, employers can require their employees to work on that day but they will have to grant their employees any other day as a paid public holiday in substitution, in line with the Holiday Act 1951.

If a public holiday falls on a rest day and the following day is a working day, then that day shall be a paid holiday substitution. For example, if a public holiday falls on a Sunday, Monday shall automatically be a public holiday too.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong's birthday has been amended twice this year

Sultan Muhammad V was installed as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara on 24 April 2017.

Image via Bernama/New Straits Times

In April, it was announced that the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong's official birthday would fall on the last Saturday of July instead of the first Saturday of June.

This would mean that the Agong's birthday would fall on 29 July this year. According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Department, the amendment was made because the first Saturday of June in the years 2017, 2018, and 2019 falls in the month of Ramadan.

A few months later, on 13 July, the Prime Minister's Department released another statement saying that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's official birthday has been postponed to 9 September.

"The Government has agreed to move the birthday celebration of His Highness Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V for the year 2017 from Saturday, 29 July 2017 to Saturday, 9 September 2017," read the statement, as reported by The Star.

This amendment will be in effect for the next five years, until 2021.

This announcement by the Human Resources minister serves as a reminder for employers on the rights employees are entitled to under the Employment Act 1955. More on your rights as an employee in Malaysia:

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