Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Case for More Holidays

As a multi-cultural nation, Malaysia has lots of public holidays. There have been calls by politicians and industrialists to reduce the number of such holidays so that Malaysians can be more “productive”. We need to work harder in order to compete with China and India, or so they say.

Unfortunately, as a working adult who studies MBA part-time, I can’t have enough holidays. I spend between 15 and 18 hours every week on my study. Those people who call for fewer holidays probably think that I am very lazy.

Do you still remember that, not too long ago, former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir declared Saturday off for government officers? The move was immediately imitated by the bankers. Dr. Mahathir’s reason for more holidays was to boost domestic tourism.

Consider this hypothetical example:

An amateur photographer travels to every corner of the country during weekends and public holidays. He publishes a book to showcase his works. A European reads his book and finds Malaysia a beautiful country. He decides to spend his winter holidays in this tropical country with his family…

So, is the amateur photographer unproductive?

We can’t compete with China and India on hard work and wages, so we need to compete on ideas. The government, rather than reducing the number of public holidays, should encourage the people to engage in activities that are beneficial and productive.

One thing you can do during the holidays is to be a voluntary social worker...


  1. i think the garment is dumb lah. they are always 'enlightened' by some ideas, execute, then roll back. so duh

  2. The more holidays the merrier! I want more holidays ~~

  3. day-dreamer
    You have more than enough holidays lah...

    Just like the teaching of Maths and Science in English, huh?

    Shoot more lenglui pics during holidays!

  4. Holidays are never enuff for me. Hahahaa

  5. kyh
    As an undergraduate, you can always skip class :P

  6. More holidays! I want more holidays! 3 days work/4 days rest will be the reality if I'm elected PM. haha!

  7. its more of the attitude. if the attitude stinks, working 7 days a week won't solve anything also

  8. foongpc
    Sorry, non-Malay can't be PM...

    Agree. For people working on projects, it is pointless to remain in the office when there is no work.

  9. voluntary social worker... cool idea ~ ^_^

  10. 迷迭香
    Being a social worker is more meaningful than seeing Xmas tress, huh?

  11. hard work no equal to productive..

    many people work too hard already, they shd enjoy the life..

  12. Wah... shoot using my water gun ah?

  13. oh yeah this is true.

    once i went for an interview in a MNC company who had an expat to interview me

    he told me about the amount of holidays that malaysia has, by the way its in Sel state, so there are more holidays ...

    i was laughing when he said that

  14. kikey
    I only hope that people of China and India also 'enjoy their life', then we will have less pressure, LOL...

    Thailand has even more holidays, and I believe Australians have more annual leaves.

    Actually, a lot of tourists go to Thailand when they celebrate Songkran and Loy Kratong, so Thais makes money for having fun.

  15. i wouldnt know wat to do with my holidays

  16. Haha! That's true, so I guess the chances of getting 3days work/4days rest is nil. LOL! But wait, people may rethink about a Chinese being PM when they know what I have in store for them. Haha!

  17. bengbeng
    Go study MBA, then you'll know you want more holidays.

    It sounds like anyone can be a PM so long as he/she advocates 3 days work, LOL...

  18. We have the same concept here. We call it holiday economics.

  19. 宝茹
    Holiday economics? That's a good concept!