"Pity Them" – Syed Saddiq Calls For 2-Day Public Holiday For Deepavali Celebrations

The MUDA president claimed that a one-day public holiday is not enough time for Hindus to celebrate Deepavali.

Cover image via Berita Harian & Herald Malaysia

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Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman recently called for the extension of the Deepavali public holiday that will be held on Monday, 24 October

The MUDA president tweeted on 16 October that a local university student had messaged him, asking for an extension of the holiday.

According to the student, many Hindu students were disappointed because there was only one public holiday to celebrate the Deepavali festival.

"It is just one day and we cannot celebrate our festival as we have class the very next day, and most of us cannot even go back home to visit and celebrate [Deepavali] with our family members," the student voiced out. 

Aside from the student, Syed Saddiq revealed that many other Malaysians had reached out to him regarding this concern

The former Muar MP then called for the caretaker government to consider extending the public holiday to allow ample time for those celebrating Deepavali.

"I want to propose to Keluarga Malaysia to lengthen [the Deepavali public holiday]. Let it be like Hari Raya or Chinese New Year. Pity [those celebrating Deepavali]," he tweeted.

The MUDA president received mixed reactions from the public over his urging to extend the Hindu festival.

Many netizens pointed out that Deepavali had always been given a one-day public holiday and that this year should be no different.

"[Deepavali] has always been a one-day holiday for decades," one netizen said.

Another Twitter user pointed out that the public holiday allocations have worked well for the country for years. Therefore, there was no need to implement more days off for cultural celebrations.

Image via Twitter
Image via Twitter

However, Syed Saddiq responded to this notion by saying that the issue shouldn't be accepted just because it was the norm.

"'Same as before' shouldn't be an excuse. When we can, we should improve," the politician said.

Other netizens indicated that the number of holidays given to each celebration is according to the percentage of the population in Malaysia

"Should a citizen who practises a different religion than the majority be given their own public holiday? Even Western countries that have a Christian-majority population don't provide public holidays for their Muslim citizens," a Twitter user said.

Another netizen gave an analogy: "If a village had six Malays, three Chinese, and one Indian, giving them equal public holidays would not be worth it. But, they, of course, should be allowed to celebrate."

Image via Twitter
Image via Twitter

On the same day, Syed Saddiq was heckled by a group of youths while he was giving a talk in Muar, Johor

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