Abg Jo: State evaluating impact of declaring Nov 18 public holiday on economy, employers
Posted on : 12 Nov 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari addresses the press conference. On his right is Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi.

SRI AMAN (Nov 12): The state government is assessing the impact on the economy and burden on employers in these uncertain times should a public holiday be declared on Nov 18, the eve of polling day, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

According to him, declaring a public holiday would mean employers have to pay workers double the standard rate of wage to work.

“A public holiday on Nov 18 means that there will be an added cost on employers and our economy will be affected given the current uncertain economic conditions.

“We have to consider it first because I cannot promise, although I will consider it rationally,” he told reporters after officiating at the Sarawakku Sayang Programme in Lingga here today.

He said declaring too many public holidays would also decrease productivity in Sarawak.

Abang Johari said a public holiday should only be declared when there is a genuine need, adding he did not see the urgency for one to be declared on the eve of polling day.

“Malaysia and its economy are unstable (at the moment) so we should be saving and spending prudently. If our economy is strong, then okay to do so,” he said.

According to him, the best course of action for Sarawakians is to let them choose whether to take a holiday or not on Nov 18.

“So let them do their work if they want to on Nov 18,” he said.

There have calls from some quarters for the state government to declare Nov 18 a public holiday to enable more eligible citizens to exercise their democratic rights.

Pakatan Harapan (PH) held states of Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, and Penang have already declared Nov 18 a state public holiday.

At the time of writing, Perak is said to be considering declaring Nov 18 a state public holiday as well.

Only Perak, Pahang, and Perlis will be holding their state polls simultaneously with GE15.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government will study the proposal to declare a special public holiday on Nov 18.