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KUALA LUMPUR, 12 April 2017:
Civil servants from the Punjabi-Sikh community are allowed to take unrecorded leave to celebrate Vaisakhi Day on Friday, April 14.
The Tourism and Culture Ministry said in a statement although there is no public holiday for the celebration, the unrecorded leave would enable them to celebrate the festival – which marked the start of the harvesting season according to their religious calendar.
On that day, the Sikh community observed the ‘langar’ ceremony – which entails the serving and giving of free food to the needy regardless of race, religion, belief or background at every Gurdwara (Sikh temple), said the statement.
The ministry, in collaboration with the Malaysian Punjabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will be holding the MyVaisakhi Fest 2017 on April 29 at the Malaysian Tourism Centre (MaTic) to celebrate the festival, listed in the national tourism calendar.
Traditional dances, musical, Bangra and Punjabi arts and cultural performances will be held during the festival.
Separately, employers must observe April 24 as a public holiday in conjunction with the coronation of Sultan Muhammad V as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, said Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem.
The federal government had declared April 24 as a public holiday in conjunction with the coronation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as provided or under Section 8, Public Holidays Act 1951 and gazetted on April 3, he said.
“As such, this holiday comes as a public holiday and is compulsory for employers to give their employees the day off as per 60D (1) (b) of the Employment Act 1955,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Riot said based on Section 60D (1A) of the Employment Act 1955, employers can replace another day as a paid public holiday.
“Employers must inform their workers whether they choose April 24 as the public holiday or replace it with another day. If there is no replacement, employees working on that day (April 24) must be paid public holiday rates.”
Riot also said that in view of April 24 also being a public holiday – in conjunction with Israk and Mikraj in Kedah, Negeri Sembilan and Perlis – employers who opt to recognise Israk and Mikraj as a public holiday must also observe the requirements under Section 60D(1)(b)(ii) of the Employment Act 1955.
The section states that if a public holiday falls on another public holiday, the next day is also a paid public holiday.
As such, April 25 is also a public holiday for the states of Kedah, Negeri Sembilan and Perlis.