JOHOR BARU, June 20 — The Johor state government may implement an official two-and-a-half-day weekend, with Friday as a half-day, followed by Saturday and Sunday as weekend rest days, according to several high-placed sources.
One source told Malay Mail that the proposed two-and-a-half-day weekend will allow Muslims to prepare for Friday prayers.
“As part of the proposal, the state government will end its Friday workday at noon, and civil servants will not be required to return to the office after Friday prayers.
“Saturday and Sunday will be observed as official rest days and the start of the working week will be the following Monday.
“From Monday to Thursday, there may possibly be an additional hour of working time from 8am to 6pm to make up for Friday’s half-day. At present, official work hours are from 8am to 5pm,” said the source on condition of anonymity to Malay Mail as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
The source was responding to a query about Johor’s possible return to Saturday and Sunday rest days.
The Johor government has been observing Friday and Saturday as its rest days since January 1, 2014, following a decree from Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar in conjunction with his 55th birthday celebration on November 23, 2013.
The state monarch was reported to have said that the change was to make it easier for Muslims in the state to attend Friday prayers.
Another 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 arrangement looks set to be implemented and it was communicated to Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar before he left for his trip on June 18,” he said.
The same source pointed out that implementation time would take about three months to allow for the synchronisation and calibration of certain systems within the state government.
“As it is, we are fine-tuning the proposal to be approved and endorsed soon.
“Hopefully, the new weekend rest days can be implemented by this year,” said the source, adding that many parties were supportive of the move.
Earlier, Pasir Raja assemblyman Nor Rashidah Ismail proposed for the state government to adopt a three-day weekend for a four-day work week.
She said countries such as Belgium, Iceland, Scotland, Spain, Japan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) practised a four-day work week from Monday to Thursday with rest days from Fridays to Sundays.
Nor Rashidah said this during her debate on Sultan Ibrahim’s decree during the state assembly meeting held at Bangunan Sultan Ismail in Kota Iskandar in Iskandar Puteri today.
On June 14, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said the state was looking at the possibility of reviewing its rest days after listening to feedback from the people about the difference in rest days between the government and private bodies.
He said a solution to the matter could be announced soon.