Declare Deepavali a public holiday in S’wak, KL urged
Borneo Post October 27, 2011, ThursdayKUCHING: The small Indian population in Sarawak should not be used as an excuse by the federal government to exclude the state from the Deepavali holiday, said Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing yesterday.
“Sarawak is not Malaysia, and if you talk about Malaysia you have got to look at the whole of Malaysia. So, Sarawak, being part of Malaysia, should be entitled to have a Deepavali break even though the number of Indians here may not be that many,” he said.
Masing said that the small population should not be the issue. The issue is that there are Indians residing in the state and “who are loyal Malaysians, and I think they also deserve a break”.
Speaking to newsmen after attending Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus’ graduation ceremony here yesterday, Masing said the fact that Deepavali was not a public holiday for Sarawak actually surprised him.
He said this was because under the 1Malaysia concept it should be “one Malaysia, one break and one holiday, and not like what was happening now”.
Masing added that it was the decision of the federal government whether to make Deepavali a public holiday for Sarawak or not.
“It is for the federal government to make a declaration. We cannot declare it as a public holiday ourselves,” he explained.
Masing opined that if events such as Deepavali were not declared a public holiday, then the 1Malaysia concept doesn’t hold water.
“By right this kind of things should be done automatically by the federal leadership … there is no need to wait for the state to push for it.”
Masing, however, pointed out that under statutory requirement only a certain number of days for holidays were permitted annually and as such if Deepavali were to be declared a public holiday for Sarawak then the government had cancel one holiday to replace it.
Point 1 Tiada pemipin MIC atau PPP pernah memperjuangkan keperluan Dayak atau Sarawak di kerajaan persekutuan
Point 2 Kalau Deepavali jadi cuti umum di Sarawak maka Gawai atau Good Friday perlu dibatalkan untuk ganti hari kerja yang hilang. Inikah yang dimahukan oleh Yang Berhormat Tan Sri James Jemut Masing?
Point 3 Setiap press statement oleh menteri adalah di anggap polisi kerajaan negeri kerana beliau adalah ahli kabinet Sarawak. Adakah press statement oleh Yang Berhormat Tan Sri James Jemut Masing ini polisi kerajaan negeri atau belum dirujuk?
Does this press statement by Right Honourable Tan Sri James Jemut Masing displays wisdom and maturity befitting a Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak?