A viral WhatsApp message has been spreading like wildfire because it claims that this Jan 31 would be a public holiday. But it seems like it is not true.
The viral message tagged along with a The Star article which its headline stated that the new King will take his oath of office on Jan 31. The message said Malaysians could get 11 days of consecutive holidays by taking annual leaves on February 4, 7 and 8 as there will be four public holidays in the week − the Agong’s Inauguration day (Jan 31), Federal Territory Day (Feb 1), Chinese New Year (Feb 5 & 6).
However, the daily’s article did not specify that the day the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong takes oath would be a public holiday. It merely reported that the Conference of Rulers will hold a meeting on Jan 24 to decide who will be the King and the elected Sultan will be sworn-in on Jan 31.
The new King will then have the freedom to choose when to hold his ceremonial installation, which will be a holiday according to past records.
When Sultan Muhammad V was sworn-in as the King on Dec 13, 2016, NST quoted the then Chief Secretary to the Government as saying that it would not be a holiday as claimed by social media news. The public holiday eventually fell on April 24, 2017, where the Kelantan Sultan decided that the day would be his installation ceremony.
Dr Mohammad Shamsuddin, an expert on Malay customs from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said the newly elected King will choose when to celebrate his Royal stint which normally holds within a year after swearing-in.
“He will be advised by the Conference of Rulers on a proper date to hold the ceremony.
“Usually, it is within a year of the swearing-in. However, the King can immediately assume all his duties right after taking the oath of office, even though he has yet to be installed as the King ceremonially.
“While the taking of oath of office is done among the Conference of Rulers themselves, the installation ceremony is largely a public affair, to announce to the public and the world that the country has installed a new King,” explained Mohammad.
In a statement, Malaysia Government Call Centre (MyGCC) has also clarified that this Jan 31 will not be a public holiday.
“According to the information given by the Office of the Keeper of the Rulers Malaysia, 31 January 2019 (Thursday) is the 252nd Conference of Rulers to choose the King and sign the oath of the position.
“We would like to inform that there will not be a public holiday for that date because it is not the King’s ceremonial installation.
“The King’s ceremonial installation public holiday will be announced by the Cabinet after the meeting and the King’s declaration,” MyGCC cited the Office of the Keeper of the Rulers Malaysia as saying.
There you have it, guys! It is not a public holiday. Stop sending fake news around to get your friends and family excited for nothing.