KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today announced an extra public holiday in accordance with Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which could fall on either April 21 or April 22.
If Aidilfitri were to fall on April 21, then next Monday will be the additional public holiday.
If it falls on April 22, which is a Saturday, then this Friday will be the extra public holiday instead, he said.
“The government has agreed to give one extra day of public holiday to help Malaysians make their preparations for Aidilfitri and to return to their hometowns,” he said during a press conference livestreamed on Radio Television Malaysia's Facebook page.
For Sabah and Sarawak, Anwar said the state governments can announce the additional public holiday on those dates based on the states’ respective Holidays Ordinances.
“The unity government continues to be committed in ensuring the welfare of Malaysians is preserved under Malaysia Madani in all aspects.
“It is hoped that the many efforts of programmes implemented in relation to Aidilfitri will bring meaning to all Malaysians,” he said.
Last week, Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek announced that April 19 would be a special school holiday, in addition to the mid-term holiday which starts on April 20.
Fadhlina said the announcement took into account various views, especially teachers, to allow those travelling back to their hometowns to better manage their schedule for the weekend-long celebration.
Earlier this month, Islamic Affairs Minister Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar said the National Fatwa Council would discuss the determination of the date after the prediction of the International Astronomy Centre based in the United Arab Emirates that Syawal 1, in most Islamic countries is on April 21.
In Malaysia, the declaration of the date of Syawal 1, would be made by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal immediately after receiving the report of the moon sighting and consent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who represents the Malay Rulers.
This year, the Muslim celebration may fall either on April 21 or 22, subject to the observation of the new moon of Syawal that will occur after sunset on April 20.