Public holiday for all on September 3

Beijing has announced that September 3 will be a one-time national holiday, marking the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II.

Lawmakers have approved that September 3 will be a special holiday, despite controversy that played out from a six-hour debate over two days, SCMP reports.

Pan-democrats, dubbing it a “political holiday”, argued that the city’s autonomy under “one country, two systems” had been undermined. “It is sad to see that the Leung Chun-ying government must follow Beijing’s order even over a holiday,” Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan said. Dr Kwok Ka-ki of the Civic Party described it as “a product of the bad relations between Beijing and Tokyo” and an “opportunity to do something to embarrass and criticise Japan.”

Pro-government lawmakers contended that the pan-democrats were politicising the problem. “Taking advantage of the debate over the special holiday to criticise China is not respecting those who suffered during the war,” said Tam Yiu-chung of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

Unionist legislators proposed that September 3 become an annual public holiday. Explaining the potential implications for the economy, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said, “So far, the government has no plan to do so.”

This holiday will apply to all (including imported workers and foreign domestic helpers) under a continuous contract for three or more months.

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