20 September, 2003
Kota Kinabalu: The public holiday on Wednesday announced by Chief Minister Datuk Musa Haji Aman has not been gazetted and is therefore not a statutory holiday.
A Sabah Labour Department official said under the Sabah Labour Ordinance (SLO), such holiday is merely an ordinary holiday.
He said since the Chief Minister merely announced the holiday and did not get it gazetted as a statutory holiday, those who worked on that day were not entitled to any extra allowance.
“Of course, if the employers wish to pay extra, better still, but they are not obliged to do so as there is no law saying they must pay overtime or extra allowance,” he explained.
Musa, who is also Finance Minister, made a sudden announcement soon after midnight Tuesday to declare Wednesday a public holiday as a gesture of appreciation by the State Government for all those Sabahans involved in making the Merdeka Month closing celebration here a success.
The official said under the SLO, there are only 12 statutory holidays.
These are Jan 1, Chinese New Year (2 days), Good Friday, Harvest Festival (2 days), Hari Raya Puasa (2 days), Hari Raya Haji, Head of State’s Birthday, Workers’ Day and Christmas.
The official said those who worked on Wednesday were only entitled to normal pay and no pay for those who did not work.
“For those monthly-salaried workers who did not come to work on Wednesday, their employers may deduct their salary for that day.
“If the Wednesday holiday is gazetted, those who worked on that day can enjoy a minimum double pay,” he added.