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Despite all the previous buzz about our neighbours over at Johor having the possibility of reverting back to a Saturday-Sunday weekend (with Friday as a half-day), it seems like it might not be happening as soon as we might expect.

(So if you’ve been packing your luggage to move, you can probably put a pause to that for now.)

Rumours of Two-and-a-Half-Day Weekends in Johor Emerged

Previously, “high-placed sources” told Malay Mail that the Johor government is considering a two-and-a-half-day weekend from Friday noon to Sunday.

Apart from that, news of an extra hour of work every day from Monday to Thursday in order to make up for the half-day on Friday also made its way around.

For the uninformed, weekends in Johor currently run from Friday to Saturday.

It was also revealed that the additional half-day rest for Friday would be implemented in order for Muslims to prepare for their Friday period.

One source even claimed that Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar was informed about the new weekend plan before he departed for a trip on 18 June.

The source also shared that it would take around three months for the scheme to be fully implemented since it would take time for various aspects of the arrangement to be coordinated within the state government.

Apart from that, the same source revealed that there are multiple involved parties who are in favour of the shift to a two-and-a-half-day weekend.

However, as ideal as this arrangement may seem, it was soon revealed that the decision to convert the weekends in Johor will not be happening for now.

Decision Currently Put on Hold Due to Permission Needed from Ruler

After the initial news that the weekends in Johor would be changed, State Housing and Local Government Committee Chairman Datuk Mohd Jafni Md Shukor clarified that the decision to change the weekend arrangements has currently not been made yet.

He explained that this was due to the fact that the Johor Ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, needs to provide permission for the proposal to be implemented.

Mohd Jafni, who also assumes the role of assemblyman for Bukit Permai, also revealed at a media conference at Kota Iskandar in Johor today (21 June) that in the meantime, the Johor government has started to gather opinions from various stakeholders regarding this issue.

Since the government has yet to progress beyond the stage of collating and analysing the information provided by the different stakeholders, he also confirmed that the two-and-a-half-day weekends will not be implemented for now.

He also emphasised the importance of a “comprehensive study” to be carried out before a decision involving this matter is made.

Other Times Where Two-and-a-Half-Day Weekends Were Considered or Suggested

Apart from the statement given by Mohd Jafni, two-and-a-half-day weekends have also been brought up during other occasions.

Just yesterday (20 June), Pasir Raja assemblyman Nor Rashidah Ismail brought up a similar suggestion during her debate on Sultan Ibrahim’s decree during the state assembly meeting which was held at Bangunan Sultan Ismail in Kota Iskandar in Iskandar Puteri.

In particular, she proposed for the local government to arrange for a three-day weekend and a four-day work week for the people.

Referencing various countries such as Belgium, Iceland, Scotland, Spain, Japan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), she suggested for the Johor government to hold the work week from Mondays to Thursdays, with Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays being the weekend.

She also pitched for an hour to be added to every work day if productivity was a concern, meaning that the standard office hours will be from 8am to 6pm instead of 8am to 5pm on Mondays to Thursdays if the arrangement is implemented.

Liow Cai Tung, a member of the Johor State Legislative Assembly, also encouraged for the relevant reviews and proposals to be sped up so that the government can obtain consent from the Johor Ruler as soon as possible.

Apart from Nor Rashidah’s debate speech, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi previously announced on 14 June that the Johor government has been looking into opinions given by both the government and private parties, especially with regards to the difference in rest days.

At that point in time, he added that a solution to the issue at hand might be offered in the near future.

Weekends in Johor

And if you’re wondering why weekends in Johor are different from that in Singapore, here’s why.

After a decree that was issued by Sultan Ibrahim during his 55th birthday celebration on 23 November 2013, the weekends in Johor were switched from Saturday and Sunday to Friday and Saturday.

From 1 January 2014 until now, Johor has regarded Friday and Saturday as its rest days of the week for the public sector.

As for the private sector, they are given the freedom to choose whether or not they take Friday and Saturday as their off days for every week.

Additionally, apart from Johor, other states such as Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu also observe Friday and Saturday as their rest days for the weekend.

Featured Image: Muhammad Syahid / Shutterstock.com

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