Federal Territory Day in Malaysia
Federal Territory Day is recognised as a public holiday in Malaysia, but not all states are affected. The public holiday falls on 1 February annually.
What Is Federal Territory Day About in Malaysia?
Federal Territory Day is only a recognised public holiday in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, and Labuan. All other states in Malaysia will operate as per usual. The public holiday is in commemoration of the day Kuala Lumpur came under federal control in 1974. Prior to this, Kuala Lumpur was part of Selangor. That is, until the signing of the agreement on 28 January 1974 which changed all that.
However, the agreement only came into effect on 1 February. Thus, the public holiday is declared annually every 1 February. Labuan was the second state to follow suit to come under federal rule. Labuan changed its status on 17 May 1984 when it was taken from Sabah. Subsequently, Putrajaya became the third state under federal rule when it was purchased from Selangor on 1 February 2001.
How Is Federal Territory Day Celebrated in Malaysia?
Since only three states fall under federal rule, these three states are the only ones celebrating the public holiday. Kuala Lumpur is the original federal capital territory of Malaysia. It remains Malaysia’s official capital city despite certain judicial and executive roles transferring to Putrajaya. Since Kuala Lumpur was overcrowded, Putrajaya became the next federal territory within the vicinity. It is not considered Malaysia’s “administrative centre”. Labuan is located off the coast of Sabah and in 1990, it was declared an international free trade zone. This federal-state is the centre of offshore fossil fuels drilling. Victoria, its main city, is a hub for international finance.
In all three states, Federal Territory Day is celebrated with performances, parades, fireworks, cultural exhibitions, various games, contests and more. It’s a very exciting time indeed with a myriad of activities happening on the streets, free of charge. Official events also take place with award ceremonies being held. During these ceremonies, special ribbons are awarded to those who have made valuable contributions to the community.
What to Do During Federal Territory Day
Visitors and locals alike will have a great time partaking in the Federal Territory Day celebrations. In these three states, schools and offices will be closed for the holiday. In other states, operations run as usual since they are not affected by it. There’s no shortage of things to do in Kuala Lumpur on the Federal Territory Day holiday. Central Market and Suria KLCC where the iconic Petronas Twin Towers are located are popular hotspots. Not forgetting Petaling Street and Chinatown, a favourite among many tourists and locals alike.
If you happen to be in Putrajaya, there are landmarks and monuments not to be missed. The Perdana Putra is a blue-domed sight to behold while the Putrajaya Lake is stunning by night. The Putrajaya Wetlands Park, Botanical Gardens and Melawati National Palace are great fun for the whole family.
As for Labuan, you’ll want to catch the infamous Labuan War Cemetery where fallen World War II soldiers remain interred. Plenty of historical sites await in this state, like the Labuan Maritime Museum and “The Chimney” where the old naval coal station is.