Jun 195 mins

Public holidays in Malaysia include a mixture of secular holidays celebrating the nation, its histories, and traditional holidays of the various ethnic and religious groups. Let’s find out the types of public holidays in Malaysia and key dates to look out for in 2021!

Holidays in Malaysia

National holidays are usually observed by most governmental and private organisations while State holidays are only relevant to its specific state itself. In addition, the main Holy days of each major religion are public holidays, and it will take place on either the western or religious calendars.

Types of Public Holidays in Malaysia

There are three different types of public holidays in Malaysia:

Holiday What does it mean?
Federal (National) Holidays Fixed by federal government and observed nationwide
State Holidays Each state may gazette a number of state public holidays to be observed in the state
Holidays by declaration Prime Minister may declare any day to be observed as a public holiday

Employment Laws for Public Holidays

Any employee whose employment is covered by the Employment Act 1955 are entitled to eleven paid public holidays a year. Five of the holidays are fixed by law namely:

  • National Day
  • Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s Birthday

  • Birthday of the ruler or governor of the state

  • Labor Day

  • Malaysia Day

While the remaining six holidays are to be chosen by employer from gazette public holidays. Any public holiday declared under Section 8 of Holiday Act 1951 are to be counted as a paid holiday.

Key Public Holidays Celebrated in Malaysia

All the public holidays that are celebrated and observed in Malaysia are listed below – check out if your state is entitled to these holidays!

Key Public Holiday What is the occasion about?
Hari Merdeka Independence Day/ National Day for Malaysia
Chinese New Year Marks the start of the lunar new year
Wesak Day Holiday observed by Buddhists and Hindus
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong King of Malaysia’s date of birth
Hari Raya Puasa (Aidilfitri) Marks the end of Ramadan where Muslims fast during daylight hours
Hari Raya Haji (Hari Raya Qurban) Hari Raya Haji (Hari Raya Qurban)
Deepavali Most important festival for our Hindu community and it symbolises the triumph of light over darkness – the victory of good over evil
Christmas The season of giving, celebrated mostly by Christians
Awal Muharram Marks the first day of new year in the Islamic calendar
Malaysia Day Commemorates the establishment of Malaysian federation

Public Holidays in Malaysia 2021

There are some key holidays celebrated in the country, and it is usually marked by a special occasion. These public holidays include:

Date Day Public Holiday States Involved
1 Jan Fri New Year’s Day National except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis & Terengganu
14 Jan Thu YDPB Negeri Sembilan’s Birthday Negeri Sembilan
28 Jan Thu Thaipusam Johor, Kuala Lumpur,
Negeri Sembilan, Penang,
Perak, Putrajaya & Selangor
1 Feb Mon Federal Territory Day Kuala Lumpur, Labuan & Putrajaya
12 Feb Fri Chinese New Year National
13 Feb Sat Chinese New Year Holiday National
14 Feb Sun Chinese New Year Holiday Johor, Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu
4 Mar Thu Installation of Sultan Terengganu Terengganu
11 Mar Thu Israk and Mikraj Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis & Terengganu
23 Mar Tue Sultan of Johor’s Birthday Johor
2 Apr Fri Good Friday Sabah & Sarawak
13 Apr Tue Awal Ramadan Johor, Kedah & Melaka
15 Apr Thu Declaration of Melaka as a Historical City Melaka
26 Apr Mon Sultan of Terengganu’s Birthday Terengganu
29 Apr Thu Nuzul Al-Quran National except Johor,
Kedah, Melaka, Negeri
Sembilan, Sabah &
1 May Sat Labour Day National
2 May Sun Labour Day Holiday Kelantan & Terengganu
13 May Thu Hari Raya Aidilfitri National
14 May Fri Hari Raya Aidilfitri Holiday National
16 May Sun Hari Raya Aidilfitri Holiday Johor & Kedah
22 May Sat Hari Hol Pahang Pahang
26 May Wed Wesak Day National
30 May Sun Harvest Festival Labuan & Sabah
31 May Mon Harvest Festival Holiday Labuan & Sabah
1 Jun Tue Hari Gawai Sarawak
2 Jun Wed Hari Gawai Holiday Sarawak
7 Jun Mon Agong’s Birthday National
20 Jun Sun Sultan of Kedah’s Birthday Kedah
7 Jul Wed Georgetown World Heritage City Day Penang
10 Jul Sat Penang Governor’s Birthday Penang
17 Jul Sat Raja Perlis’ Birthday Perlis
19 Jul Mon Arafat Day Terengganu
20 Jul Tue Hari Raya Haji National
21 Jul Wed Hari Raya Haji Holiday Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis
& Terengganu
22 Jul Thu Sarawak Day Sarawak
30 Jul Fri Sultan of Pahang’s Birthday Pahang
10 Aug Tue Awal Muharram National
24 Aug Tue Melaka Governor’s Birthday Melaka
31 Aug Tue Merdeka Day National
13 Sep Mon Hari Hol Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Johor
16 Sep Thu Malaysia Day National
2 Oct Sat Sabah Governor’s Birthday Sabah
9 Oct Sat Sarawak Governor’s Birthday Sarawak
19 Oct Tue Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday National
4 Nov Thu Deepavali National except Sarawak
5 Nov Fri Sultan of Perak’s Birthday Perak
11 Nov Thu Sultan of Kelantan’s Birthday Kelantan
12 Nov Fri Sultan of Kelantan’s Birthday Holiday Kelantan
11 Dec Sat Sultan of Selangor’s Birthday Selangor
24 Dec Fri Christmas Eve Sabah
25 Dec Sat Christmas Day National
26 Dec Sun Christmas Holiday Kelantan & Terengganu

Note: Public holidays dates are not fixed and are subject to change based on governments’ rulings

Are you looking to live, work, or start a business in Malaysia? From business incorporation, working visas, tax services to relocation services, we’ve got you covered!


What if the public holiday falls on a Sunday?2021-09-14T19:28:28+08:00

If the public holiday falls on a Sunday, Monday will be the replacement day off.

Is Christmas a public holiday in Malaysia?2020-10-16T16:43:50+08:00

Yes. Christmas is a public holiday in Malaysia. 

What if the public holiday falls on Sunday in Malaysia?2020-10-16T16:43:29+08:00

If a public holiday falls on Sunday in Malaysia, you will get a replacement day off on Monday. 

Do I get double pay if I work on a public holiday in Malaysia?2021-09-14T19:28:59+08:00

If you must work on a public holiday, you do get double wages. If you happen to work overtime on the public holiday, kindly noted that you are entitled to triple wages.

What if a public holiday falls on my day off in Malaysia?2021-09-14T19:29:38+08:00

Compliant with Malaysia’s Employment Act 1955, you are either entitled to a replacement holiday or one extra day’s salary of the Public Holiday at an ordinary rate of pay if a public holiday falls on your non-working day.

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