PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has urged the Kedah state government to restore the Thaipusam public holiday for the sake of workers.
MTUC secretary-general Kamarul Bahrin Mansor said in a statement today that the reinstatement of the Thaipusam holiday which was supposed to be an occasional holiday would further strengthen national unity and harmony in the country.
“Thaipusam is an important celebration for Hindu workers and reinstating it as a public holiday for these workers is a recognition for them.This would also mean that workers do not have to apply for their annual leave to perform their prayers. By restoring the holiday in the state it would not bring any loss to the country,“ he said.
In a recent meeting between MTUC and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, he said the congress was informed that if any changes were made, the effects should bring better results than they were before.
Therefore, Kamarul Bahrin said the cancellation of the Thaipusam holiday is a step back by the Kedah state government for its workers.
“The PM’s advice should be a guide that any changes that bring good should be maintained and to be adhered to. The cancellation of Thaipusam as a public holiday is a step back by the state government and it should be defended for the workers,“ he said.
He said the Kedah government should instead focus on how to tackle Covid-19 and to provide more job opportunities to its people to ensure that food is on the table.
Kamarul Bahrin also urged politicians to stop politicking on the holiday issue to gain workers’ support.
Last Wednesday, Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor announced that there will be no public holiday for Thaipusam and all activities will be cancelled due to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
However, Thaipusam is still a public holiday in other states.