DAP Youth unhappy Chinese schools not allowed days off for Hokkien New Year

A man lights candles for prayers at a temple in Kuala Lumpur ahead of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

PETALING JAYA: A DAP Youth leader has claimed that district education offices (PPD) in three states had rejected requests from Chinese schools to celebrate the Hokkien New Year.

DAP Youth secretary Teh Hoong Keat said schools in Selangor, Perak and Perlis were not allowed to take the additional days off.

“It is unacceptable to know that PPD had turned down the schools’ request,” Teh said in a statement.

“Before this, schools would apply for the extra holidays so that students can participate in this traditional celebration,” he said.

The Hokkien New Year, also known as Pai Ti Kong, falls on the ninth day of the Lunar New Year.

“For Hokkiens, ‘pai ti kong’ is a more important celebration than the first day of the Lunar New Year. Today, even non-Hokkiens also celebrate ‘pai ti kong’,” said Teh.

Teh hoped the education ministry would investigate the matter, adding that the decision could set a precedent for state education authorities to reject other requests for special holidays.

“Please treat all races fairly,” he added.