Malaysia’s attempt to move Diwali holidays faces heat

Kuala Lumpur, June 25 (IANS) A recent attempt by Malaysia’s Terengganu state education department to include Diwali holiday dates in the summer to extend the Hari Raya break has faced the ire of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA).

The MCA political party expressed its disapproval of the education department’s directive allowing schools to bring forward the November 11-12 Diwali holidays to July 22-23 to extend the Hari Raya break, forcing the Diwali days to be regular school days, a release from MCA said.

“This is inconsiderate as Hindu students and teachers, who as fellow Malaysians, will want to celebrate Diwali with their families and friends,” MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said in statement.

The move was “insensitive to all Malaysian citizens irrespective of race and religion,” she added.

MCA has called on the Terengganu Education Department to be sensitive with religious holidays and follow strictly to those gazetted by the Federal government.

Hari Raya is one of the biggest holidays in Malaysia, celebrated by Muslims at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

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