The PAS-led Kelantan government has declared Feb 19 as a public holiday in a bid to boost turnout at the Act 355 rally in Kuala Lumpur.
Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said the move is to allow Kelantanese to participate in the rally, which will take place on Feb 18.
"The people of Kelantan have to work on Feb 19, which is a Sunday, and this makes it difficult for them to travel to Kuala Lumpur.
"Therefore we have declared a public holiday on that day," he was quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia after chairing the exco meeting in Kota Baru today.
The weekend in Kelantan falls on Friday and Saturday.
The rally this Saturday is meant to show support for the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, also known as Act 355.
The amendments, if passed, will grant the syariah courts power to hand out stiffer punishments that would be closer to the stipulated sentence under hudud for certain offences.
It seeks to increase the maximum punishment from three years' imprisonment, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the rotan to 30 years' imprisonment, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes of the rotan.
The rally will take place in Padang Merbok and strong participation from PAS and Muslim NGOs are expected.
Earlier today, PAS said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Jamil Khir Baharom had also confirmed his attendance at the rally.
A counter-rally objecting to the proposed amendments is expected to take place in Taman Jaya, also on Feb 18.- Mkini