Merry Christmas!

Every year, in my company, we will have an annual year end shutdown where people are forced encouraged to take a few days leave between Christmas and the New Year to give ourselves a long break. I guess it is the same for most American companies that deal with manufacturing goods. And since tomorrow is Awal Muharram, today is officially my last working day of the year.

I say officially because unofficially, I will still check in on certain days because there will be a total power shutdown and I have to be around to monitor the turning off and turning on of critical equipment.

Anyway, from tomorrow onwards, until next year, life will be a bit more relaxed for me. And because of said unofficial activities above, this year marks the first time that I will NOT be heading home to KL during the year end festivities.

Speaking of holidays, I read a blog post from Marta earlier today and realized that Christmas is NOT a public holiday in China. In fact, now that I think about it, I believe it isn’t a public holiday in a lot of countries in the world. This reminds me that us Malaysians are indeed a lucky bunch.

We have three main ethnic races in Malaysia: Malays, Chinese and Indians. If you are on the Borneo side of the country then a few more like Iban, Kadazan, Dayak etc. We are also made up of many religions:Β Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus, etc. To be fair to all, every major celebrations related to any of these bunch of people are designated as public holidays FOR ALL.

Hari Raya is public holiday for us. Chinese New Year is public holiday for us. Deepavali is public holiday for us. And yes, Christmas and New Year are also holidays for us. Damn! We really do have LOTS of holidays! In fact, this is a constant source of frustration among my work counterparts in the States. They frequently commented that we get have a public holiday on an average of once every 2 weeks.

And yet we still bitch about having a lack of holidays all the time!

Gah… I don’t know what I am writing today. I guess I am suffering from the post-holidays syndrome. Anyway, here’s what I had for lunch today. My last lunch of the year with colleagues. The salad reminds me of a Christmas tree.

DSC_0016 (1024x719)
The Last Supper Lunch: Chicken Cordon Bleu

What? Green with bits of red, does it not resemble a Christmas tree in the malls?

I think I will still blog throughout the holidays. But probably short and meaningless posts. I suspect not many people will be reading blogs anyway. Maybe I will write more about football.

So, in case I don’t see you again until next year,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!

30 Comments

  1. You know what? I have daily kakaotalks with a gang of Korean opahs and they always freaked out in disbelief that we had so many public and state holidays! They want to move to Malaysia now as they slave like the dogs they eat.

    I discovered recently why China shuts down for minimum a week’s holidays when they had 3 Golden Weeks!! Oh well, their country is mighty huge and would take many folks few days to reach their village per journey, so closing for a week is just nice. You know, their domestic air tickets are most crazily priced in the world so they hop onto buses and trains instead. After holidays, they have to pay back the off days granted!! There is no free lunch as I had thought. Sigh!

    • I cringe every time I look at China’s Golden Weeks traffic rush. Makes our annual KL exodus look like child’s play. 😐

      It is true, there is no such thing as real holiday, even for us. Even if you get a holiday, the tasks doesn’t disappear. You still have to complete 365 days worth of work in 340 days or something..

  2. Here in Australia most offices and the corporate world shuts down from Christmas eve up until New Year’s day. You don’t have to take leave to take these holidays, it’s basically given to you. Then again, we don’t have many public holidays at all. Excluding the Christmas holidays, there are around 8 public holidays in a year for Melbourne – but some industries like the higher education sector where I’ve worked in and out of have around 6 in a year.

    It does seem that every month there’s a public holiday in Malaysia. Can be good, can be bad.

    • I guess it balances out. The Christmas to New Year stretch is already a week, so 5 working days. Plus 8 other days, it comes pretty close to our 15 days, doesn’t it? And you get to keep ALL your annual leave days for better times. We got forced encouraged to lose 5 days of annual leave.

      • That is true. But what I don’t like about everyone taking holidays at the same time is that you know traffic will be bad and flights are often more expensive at this time of the year. As for annual leave, I rarely get any of that – I work contracts and often am encouraged or usually disallowed to take annual leave, but I get paid out the leave at the end of it each time.

        • What?? How can they disallow you to use your annual leave?? I thought Australia is a country with much more respect for human rights than, say… Malaysia!

          I personally hate festive season traveling too. If I can help it, I’d rather spend these days relaxing at home. Which is why I am not too devastated with not going back to KL this time… πŸ™„

          • Well…think of contract work vs permanent work. When you work a contract, you often work for a set time (for example six months) – and it’s because the company has work needed to be done for that period and you have the skills for it. And that period tends to be a busy time for the industry, hence annual leave won’t be appropriate unless you are sick.

            Over the last few years I’ve worked contracts in higher education and the government. While I rarely get time off, the hours are long and feel job insecurity, the trade off is the pay is (usually) very good and you can choose to work as and when you want.

            As for a permanent role in a company, that is a completely different story. But I’ve met many white collar workers who accumulate lots of annual leave and are reluctant to take it πŸ™„

            • I never thought of contract work like that, not when the contract is a long one (6 months or a year). I suppose you are right on the work urgency.

              If I could transfer my leave into money, I would be taking zero days off happily. Unfortunately, my leaves can only carry forward a year, and then if I still DO NOT use them, they will be forfeited. πŸ™

              • If you get paid out leave here, you get 17.5% loading, or that much percent extra based on how much your leave is worth.

                But that is the price you pay when you work contracts whether short or long term. Rare days off. And at any time you can be shown the door.

                • I actually did go through Australian job sites, and it seems quite a lot of job there are contract based jobs, even for jobs that Malaysians would not imagine could be contract rather than permanent, even nurses for example. I guess if one day I really do want to move Down Under, I would really have to wrap my head around such a change of work culture. 😐

      • Eh?? That’s not as much as I was expecting haha. In Spain we have around 14 public holidays, and most of them are Catholic festivities, so if we had more religions we would be on holidays half of the year haha.
        Plus we have one month holidays in the summer! China should learn from Spain πŸ˜€

        • Yes!!! Thank you! Thank you! Now I know what to say to the Americans when they complain about our holidays! I’ll tell them to imagine working with Spain if they think us is bad! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  3. Merry Christmas to you too! I think I read somewhere that Malaysia is one of the countries with the most public holidays around the world. No complaints from me. πŸ™‚

  4. Since your company is shutting down the manufacturing lines, how come there are still machines up that need you to go in to supervise their shutting down during the total power down? Since no manufacturing lines running, can’t you shut down totally all equipments today so that you don’t need to go in again to supervise them?

    • Because my babies testers are made of high precision measurement instruments that require to be turned on constantly. So we have a specially arranged backup generator set to provide power during total plant shutdown period. So we will have to switch power on some testers, shutdown some other testers, then switch power again, bla bla bla. It’s all very technical, so I don’t want to bore you with it. Suffice to say, I have to go to work for a bit, here and there. πŸ™„

  5. Last time when I worked for a Japanese affiliated with US advertising company, we were “forced” to take compulsory leave during Christmas and New Year period.

    • Don’t say forced. Encouraged only hahaha! According to the HR, “You can still come to work, no one is forcing you to take leave, just that the office will have no air-con.” πŸ™„

  6. Uhhh, Malaysia indeed has a lot of holidays, far more than Australia and NZ too. Chinese New Year isn’t exactly a public holiday here, though.

    Btw, a cheery Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!! ^^

    • It’s Australia, where they’re still printing the Queen for their stamps, of course CNY is not a holiday LOL!

      Merry Christmas to you too! πŸ˜€

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