The Kedah state government has declared Jan 18 next year as an occasional holiday for Thaipusam.

State Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor told this to reporters after attending a function in Yan, Kedah, yesterday, reported Bernama.

"The occasional holiday is not given automatically each year.

"It has to be discussed and approved in an exco meeting," Sanusi said, adding that it is hoped that the approval would bring joy to the Hindus who celebrate the festival in Kedah.

It is worth noting that Sanusi had refused to give a public holiday for Thaipusam this year, when the country was undergoing the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the celebrations had been called off, there was no need for a holiday, the PAS lawmaker had justified.

The announcement courted backlash from various quarters but Sanusi had refused to budge from his position.

Thaipusam is observed as a state holiday in Selangor, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak, and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. Kedah has observed the festival as an optional or occasioanal state holiday since 2013.

Source: Bernama
Photo source: Malaysiakini, Astro Awani