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.

FUN FACT: Malaysia Day only became officially recognised as a public holiday in 2010 and it was only observed as a state holiday in Sabah and Sarawak previously. The former Prime Minister Najib Razak officially declared it a Malaysian public holiday in parliament on 19 October 2009.

Types of Public Holidays in Malaysia

There are three different types of public holidays in Malaysia:

HolidayWhat does it mean?
Federal (National) HolidaysFixed by federal government and observed nationwide
State HolidaysEach state may gazette a number of state public holidays to be observed in the state
Holidays by declarationPrime 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.

NOTE: Employees in Sabah are entitled 14 paid public holidays a year while employees in Sarawak are entitled 16 days!

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 HolidayWhat is the occasion about?
Hari MerdekaIndependence Day/ National Day for Malaysia
Chinese New YearMarks the start of the lunar new year
Wesak DayHoliday observed by Buddhists and Hindus
The Yang di-Pertuan AgongKing 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)
DeepavaliMost important festival for our Hindu community and it symbolises the triumph of light over darkness – the victory of good over evil
ChristmasThe season of giving, celebrated mostly by Christians
Awal MuharramMarks the first day of new year in the Islamic calendar
Malaysia DayCommemorates 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:

DateDayPublic HolidayStates Involved
1 JanFriNew Year’s DayNational except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis & Terengganu
14 JanThuYDPB Negeri Sembilan’s BirthdayNegeri Sembilan
28 JanThuThaipusamJohor, Kuala Lumpur,
Negeri Sembilan, Penang,
Perak, Putrajaya & Selangor
1 FebMonFederal Territory DayKuala Lumpur, Labuan & Putrajaya
12 FebFriChinese New YearNational
13 FebSatChinese New Year HolidayNational
14 FebSunChinese New Year HolidayJohor, Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu
4 MarThuInstallation of Sultan TerengganuTerengganu
11 MarThuIsrak and MikrajKedah, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis & Terengganu
23 MarTueSultan of Johor’s BirthdayJohor
2 AprFriGood FridaySabah & Sarawak
13 AprTueAwal RamadanJohor, Kedah & Melaka
15 AprThuDeclaration of Melaka as a Historical CityMelaka
26 AprMonSultan of Terengganu’s BirthdayTerengganu
29 AprThuNuzul Al-QuranNational except Johor,
Kedah, Melaka, Negeri
Sembilan, Sabah &
Sarawak
1 MaySatLabour DayNational
2 MaySunLabour Day HolidayKelantan & Terengganu
13 MayThuHari Raya AidilfitriNational
14 MayFriHari Raya Aidilfitri HolidayNational
16 MaySunHari Raya Aidilfitri HolidayJohor & Kedah
22 MaySatHari Hol PahangPahang
26 MayWedWesak DayNational
30 MaySunHarvest FestivalLabuan & Sabah
31 MayMonHarvest Festival HolidayLabuan & Sabah
1 JunTueHari GawaiSarawak
2 JunWedHari Gawai HolidaySarawak
7 JunMonAgong’s BirthdayNational
20 JunSunSultan of Kedah’s BirthdayKedah
7 JulWedGeorgetown World Heritage City DayPenang
10 JulSatPenang Governor’s BirthdayPenang
17 JulSatRaja Perlis’ BirthdayPerlis
19 JulMonArafat DayTerengganu
20 JulTueHari Raya HajiNational
21 JulWedHari Raya Haji HolidayKedah, Kelantan, Perlis
& Terengganu
22 JulThuSarawak DaySarawak
30 JulFriSultan of Pahang’s BirthdayPahang
10 AugTueAwal MuharramNational
24 AugTueMelaka Governor’s BirthdayMelaka
31 AugTueMerdeka DayNational
13 SepMonHari Hol Almarhum Sultan IskandarJohor
16 SepThuMalaysia DayNational
2 OctSatSabah Governor’s BirthdaySabah
9 OctSatSarawak Governor’s BirthdaySarawak
19 OctTueProphet Muhammad’s BirthdayNational
4 NovThuDeepavaliNational except Sarawak
5 NovFriSultan of Perak’s BirthdayPerak
11 NovThuSultan of Kelantan’s BirthdayKelantan
12 NovFriSultan of Kelantan’s Birthday HolidayKelantan
11 DecSatSultan of Selangor’s BirthdaySelangor
24 DecFriChristmas EveSabah
25 DecSatChristmas DayNational
26 DecSunChristmas HolidayKelantan & Terengganu

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

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FAQs

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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