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Malaysia’s attempt to scrap Diwali holidays invites criticism

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Kuala Lumpur: 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.

(IANS)

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In a Sudden Move, Malaysia’s King Abdicates Throne

The Council of Rulers is expected to meet soon to pick the next king.

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Malaysia
Malaysia King Sultan Muhammad V salutes during the national anthem at the opening of the 14th parliament session at the Parliament house in Kuala Lumpur, July 17, 2018. VOA

Malaysian King Sultan Muhammad V abdicated on Sunday in an unexpected move, after just two years on the throne.

The palace said in a statement that the 49-year-old ruler had resigned as Malaysia’s 15th king with immediate effect, cutting short his five-year term. No reason was given in the statement.

It marked the first abdication in the nation’s history.

Sultan Muhammad V, ruler of northeast Kelantan state, took his oath of office in December 2016, becoming one of Malaysia’s youngest constitutional monarchs.

Malaysia King
Malaysia’s King Sultan Muhammad V at the Trooping of Colours ceremony.

He is said to have married a 25-year-old former Russian beauty queen in November while on a two-month medical leave. Reports in Russian and British media and on social media featured pictures of the wedding, which reportedly took place in Moscow. Neither the sultan, the palace nor the government had officially confirmed the wedding.

Speculation that Sultan Muhammad V would step down emerged this past week, shortly after he returned from his leave, but Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Friday that he was unaware of any abdication plans.

Also Read: Muslims in Malaysia Rally In Kuala Lumpur To Keep Status

Under a unique system maintained since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957, nine hereditary state rulers take turns as the country’s king for five-year terms.

The Council of Rulers is expected to meet soon to pick the next king.

The monarch’s role is largely ceremonial, since administrative power is vested in the prime minister and parliament. But the monarch is highly regarded, particularly among the ethnic Malay Muslim majority, as the supreme upholder of Malay tradition. (VOA)