Holidays are not good for the economy
Published on: Sunday, February 28, 2021
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Credit: malaysiakini.com
IT was pleasant to read the front page of Daily Express on Thursday, 4th February 2021 – Opposition Praises Hajiji.  

Kota Kinabalu DAP Member of Parliament Chan Foong Hin said Hajiji was unlike Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor who had cancelled the Thaipusam Holiday in Kedah.

Chan is either ignorant of the  democratic principle on the requirement of each state in Malaysia, or he was simply after publicity as if there is nothing else to talk about.

Public Holidays are a free day when everybody should not be working to enjoy the day – 24 hours. 

It is a holiday.  However, in the case of Kedah, it made the democratic decision based on economic grounds.  

Kedah has about a million people and less than 10,000 celebrate the Thaipusam holiday and was democratically decided by the majority of YBs in Kedah.  

On the economic scale, if the Thaipusam holiday continued, it would mean 990,000 Kedah citizens are forced to stay home and just drink coffee and watch TV. 

Maybe this is what Chan wanted.  The earnings and production loss by these 990,000 people, just say RM30 per day would amount to RM29,700,000.

This is the amount that Kedah lost and continue to lose every year had the Thaipusam holiday continue.  

It may be that  Chan can devise an economic programme for the one million people in Kedah who could not work that day and have their earnings replaced.

Irrespective that Malaysia has the highest number of holidays in the world.  In addition, if the Prime Minister declares a holiday for Malaysia’s achievement due to the record production of masks, we the “Bruneians” in Sabah numbering not less than 500,000 out of 3.5 million Sabahans are also deserving a holiday.  

Every year we quietly celebrate “Adai-adai” on the 31st August.  

If Thaipusam in Sabah is for only about 20,000 Indians, then we deserve equality of holidays.

As YB Chan Foong Hin claimed he is fighting for a just cause, he should be fair to us Bruneians and bring to Parliament and the State Government that 31st August be declared a public holiday for the 500,000 Bruneians in Sabah.  

This day can be known as Adai-Adai day.  It is hoped that YB Chan Foong Hin will not fail us Bruneians, assuming of course his intent is to be fair and just.

Chan must be made aware that holidays reduce the income of the country and more so of the workers.  

Employers who are forced to ask workers to work on holidays to fulfil contracts like harvesting oil palm, have to pay double time.  

Chan must also be aware that at least 30pc to 40pc of Sabah’s 3 million acres of planted oil palm is currently not being harvested due to Holidays, Covid-19 and shortage of workers.

Awang Chanai, Papar

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