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How to maximise your annual paid leave and public holidays in 2022?

Malaysians love public holidays and 2022 happens to be a bonanza.

Malaysia is blessed. Thanks to the unique social fabric, woven by people of various ethnicities and religions, there is always a cultural festival to celebrate. Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Haji, Christmas and so on, every prominent day is commensurate with a public holiday. If it isn’t falling in the current month, it’s the following. There is always a reason to look forward to and we need not cast our gaze afar. Office workers practically live for public holidays, while entrepreneurs footing the paid time-off understandably don’t share the same enthusiasm.

By law, as enshrined in the Employment Act, an employee is entitled to annual paid leave of 8 days, rising to 16 days in accordance to the duration of one’s employment. However, it is customary for employers to offer 16 days minimum to new recruits. Some financial institutions go a step further by promising in excess of 20 days and allowing replacement leave for public holidays that coincide with Saturdays.  

If you play your card right, you can really stretch your paid leave to the span of a month, if not more. Work and life have never been so balanced. 

How to plan your paid leave around Malaysian public holidays in 2022? 

1 January 2022, Saturday, New Year’s Day  

National except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu 

It’s a forfeit and there’s nothing you can do about it. 

18 January 2022, Tuesday, Thaipusam 

Limited to Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak, Putrajaya and Selangor 

Easy, take Monday off for a 4-day weekend. 

1 February 2022, Tuesday, Chinese New Year  


2 February 2022, Wednesday, Chinese New Year 


With the Federal Territory Day falling on the first day of Chinese New Year, KL-lites are losing out. However, you can salvage it somewhat by not clocking in on Monday for a 5-day weekend, or take the whole week off, going on a 9-day see-you-later, consuming only 3 days of your annual leave by doing so. 

19 April 2022, Tuesday, Nuzul Al-Quran 

National except Johor, Kedah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak 

Call off Monday for an extra-long weekend amounting to 4 days. 

1 May 2022, Sunday, Labour Day 


3 May 2022, Tuesday, Hari Raya Aidilfitri 


4 May 2022, Wednesday, Hari Raya Aidilfitri 


Despite falling on Sunday, employees are compensated with a mandatory replacement the immediate Monday. Factoring in 2 days of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, that amounts to a 5-day weekend. I would suggest that you take the preceding Friday, the immediate Thursday, Friday and the following Monday off, so you can enjoy a 11-day holiday, plus to avoid the crowds on both weekends. 

15 May 2022, Sunday, Wesak


If you haven’t known yet, the immediate Monday would be a public holiday. So that’s a 3-day weekend. 

6 June 2022, Monday, Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s Birthday 


Thanks to the King, a 3-day weekend beckons. 

10 July 2022, Sunday, Hari Raya Haji 


A 3-day weekend for all, unless you work in Johor.  

30 July 2022, Saturday, Awal Muharram 


A public holiday falling on Saturday isn’t replaceable unless your employment contract states otherwise. 

31 August 2022, Wednesday, Merdeka Day 


Here’s a difficult choice to make: Should you go on leave the preceding Monday and Tuesday or the immediate Thursday and Friday, for a 5-day weekend? If you are undecided but still have plenty of paid leave in reserve, why not roll it into a 9-day holiday? 

16 September 2022, Friday, Malaysia Day  


A 3-day weekend, but you can make it even better, no? 

9 October 2022, Sunday, Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday  


The immediate Monday is a public holiday for all, except if your workplace is located in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. 

24 October 2022, Monday, Deepavali

National except Sarawak 

A 3-day weekend ends on a high note with the festival of lights falling on Monday. You could take Tuesday off too for an extra-long weekend. 

11 December 2022, Sunday, Sultan of Selangor’s Birthday 


With the Sultan’s birthday falling on Sunday, which is then replaced on the immediate Monday, workers in Selangor are presented with a long weekend. As December is a month typified by workers clearing their annual leave allowance, you might want to consider adding a couple of days onto the existing 3-day weekend. 

25 December 2022, Sunday, Christmas 


Workers nationwide, excluding those in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu, get a replacement holiday on Monday. You should also be aware that New Year’s Day 2023 falls on Sunday, which is then substituted with a public holiday on Monday. If you still have sufficient annual leave leftover, now’s the time to go all in with an extended holiday from 24 December 2022 till 2 January 2023.

Book your vacation now on booking.com

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Hero and feature images by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Justin Ng
Digital Content Director, Kuala Lumpur
Often think of myself as a journalist and so I delve deeper into a range of topics. Talk to me about current affairs, watches, travel, drinks, new experiences and more importantly, the business, economics and dynamics behind it.
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