KOTA KINABALU, Dec 11 — The Sabah government today declared December 24 as an additional public holiday in conjunction with Christmas starting this year.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said with the announcement, there will be an additional public holiday to Christmas which falls on December 25.

“The matter was decided in the state cabinet meeting this morning and I hope the additional holiday would benefit those celebrating the occasion.

“The additional public holiday will enable those celebrating Christmas to return home earlier,” he said when speaking at the 2019 Kota Kinabalu Christmas celebration here tonight.

Also present were three Sabah Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, Datuk Jaujan Sambakong and Datuk Christina Liew as well as state cabinet ministers.

Commenting on the celebration, Mohd Shafie said the celebration is a symbol of the solidarity and harmony of the various races and religions in the state.

“Harmony is the key to the development and progress of our country. As such we need to maintain unity for our beloved Sabah state.

“In my view, the theme tonight is ‘Purity in Harmony’ is very appropriate. Solidarity is created via harmony and harmony would become a source of strength in difficult or good times,” he added. — Bernama