Main image via Malay Mail
Tomorrow’s the coronation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah. It’s a grand affair that doesn’t happen very often, and it’s certainly been the talk of the town in recent weeks. Malaysians, of course, are not only excited for the installation of our new Agong, but also because the government has declared July 30 as a public holiday under the Section 8 of the Holidays Act 1951 (Act 369) for Peninsular Malaysia and the Federal Territory of Labuan to honour the installation of our 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Companies are also allowed to substitute any other day to replace the paid public holiday or provide public holiday pay rates if no replacement is made. In either case, all companies must notify their employees about their decision.
One company, however, came under fire because their decision was neither of the options mentioned above. A memo from the company leaked online, detailing that the company “will not entertain any future additional public holiday announcement by the government,” including the coronation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. In the memo, they warned their employees that anyone who chooses to be absent without leave will receive a warning letter.
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Since it went viral online, many netizens have expressed contempt at the company’s decision, deeming it as a blatantly disrespectful act against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Others, however, noted that the coronation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is not gazetted as a compulsory public holiday, which would allow for the company to continue its operations according to the memo.
However, the Ministry of Human Resources have since released an official statement that they are investigating the case as the coronation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is provided for under the Holidays Act 1951, making the total count of public holiday entitlement 12 days, instead of 11, for the year of 2019.
The employer will be reminded of its responsibility to adhere to Section 60D(1) of the Employment Act 1955 to provide the employees 'a paid holiday at his ordinary rate of pay'.
According to a report by The Star, a spokesperson from the company has since confirmed that the company will not be open tomorrow in view of the public holiday tomorrow.