Categories: News

Johor mulls possibility of 4.5-day work week

This revision will allow Muslims to prepare for Friday prayers while civil officials will not be expected to return to work afterwards


THE Johor state government is said to be considering an official two-and-a-half-day weekend, with Friday as a half-day, followed by Saturday and Sunday as rest days, according to several high-placed sources.

Malay Mail reported yesterday that the state’s proposed two-and-a-half-day weekend will allow Muslims to prepare for Friday prayers while civil officials will not be expected to return to work afterwards.

However, it said, to compensate for Friday’s half-day, it is possible that there will be an additional hour of working time from Monday to Thursday.

Currently, the official working hours are 8am to 5pm.

Since Jan 1, 2014, the Johor government has been observing Friday and Saturday as weekends, after a decree issued by Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar in conjunction with his 55th birthday celebration on Nov 23, 2013.

The change was made to ease Muslims in the state to attend Friday prayers.

Malay Mail’s source, who is privy to information on the proposed rest-day revision for Johor, confirmed that the state government is potentially looking at implementing a two-and-a-half-day weekend with a four-and-a-half-day work week.

“The agreement appears to be in place, and it was notified to Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim prior to his departure on June 18,” he stated.

According to the same source, the synchronisation and calibration of multiple state government systems would take three months.

“As it stands, we are fine-tuning the idea for it to be authorised and endorsed as quickly as possible,” the source said.

The source said it is hoped the implementation can be done by this year since many parties were supportive of the move.

Pasir Raja assemblyman Nor Rashidah Ismail had also previously recommended that the state government adopt a three-day weekend in exchange for a four-day work week.

According to her, this is a practice in countries such as Belgium, Iceland, Scotland, Spain, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

Nor Rashidah said this during today’s state assembly meeting at Bangunan Sultan Ismail in Kota Iskandar, Iskandar Puteri, where she was debating Sultan Ibrahim’s royal address.

Supporting the proposal, on June 14, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi also said the state government was looking at the possibility of reviewing its rest days after listening to public concern about the difference in rest days between the government and private bodies.

He said a solution to the matter could be announced in due time.


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