24 December has been declared as an additional public holiday in Sabah by the state government
"The matter was decided in the state cabinet meeting this morning," announced Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal during the 2019 Kota Kinabalu Christmas Celebration on Wednesday, 11 December, reported Malay Mail.
"So I am making an official announcement of two public holidays on 24 and 25 December."
He said the additional public holiday will give those celebrating Christmas more time to return home and celebrate the holiday.
The chief minister also declared that this additional public holiday will be practised annually, starting this year
Mohd Shafie elaborated that the celebration is a symbol of unity and harmony between the people of many different religions and race in the state
"The theme of tonight's event, 'Purity in Harmony', is very appropriate," he said, as quoted by Bernama.
"Harmony plays a key role in the development and progress of our country. As such, we need to maintain unity for our beloved Sabah state."
"Unity exists with harmony and this would become a source of our strength in good and difficult times," he added.