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Malaysia Public Holidays 2023 Guide

9 min read|Last Updated: September 1, 2022|
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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 2023!

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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.

Malaysia Incorporation Specialist Suey

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

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.

Malaysia Incorporation Specialist Suey

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 2023

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

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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