Not another public holidays in Bolehland

oh my guli!

Not another public holidays! How many this year already? 18 days in 2010. Is that a record or what?  I haven’t checked the facts yet, but how many developed countries have that many public holidays in a year? I can hear “loud cheers” around the neighbourhood when news of this seeped through. I just shake my head in disbelief.

Here, we have our government wanting to “carry” our country into a high income nation, and yet we have so many public holidays. Did he not know that public holidays are a financial burden to private businesses, especially the SME?

Yeah, it might be a populist decision to make by a politician, but as the head of government of Malaysia, it is very unwise. Many workers might not understand it. They just want to enjoy the extra day off.

For business owners, having to deal with public holidays are costly. One has to pay double wage to employees to work on that day (manufacturing, retail and food businesses don’t close on public holidays). In order to cope with the extra costs, the business owners have to find means to pass the costs, either to the workers (in the form of less pay increment/bonus) or to the consumers (in the form of higher prices or reduced quality).

Factories don’t close shop just because it is a public holiday. Those machines run 24/7/365. Higher costs will impact our price competitiveness in the export markets, as other developing countries with cheaper operating costs have a financial advantage over “public holidays happy”-Malaysia.

So what if we have won a regional football tournament? As a Malaysian, I am proud, and it is one thing that bind us together regardless of race, religion or class. Celebrate it. Enjoy it. Buy more Malaysian football jerseys. Display our national flags. Play futsal. But there is no need to call for a public holiday.

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