Long weekends and elections are just some things 2018 has in store for Malaysia – here’s what to expect

Alas, it’s time to bid another year adieu.

Malaysia saw its fair share of attention-grabbing headlines in 2017, including US Department of Justice’s court filings against 1MDB funds, and leaked photos of AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes’ beautiful wedding.

As the year comes to an end, there is already heated discussion on events that are set to make the news in 2018.

Needless to say, there are many things that we can anticipate to see in Malaysia in 2018.

Here are five events you can look forward to hearing more about in the coming year.

1) Elections

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The topic on everyone’s lips these days is of course the upcoming 14th Malaysian general election (GE14).

While a date has yet to be set, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi hinted on Nov 12, 2017 that it would take place within 180 days.

Many pundits believe it will happen some time after Chinese New Year and before fasting for Ramadhan begins, but there is little confirmation at this time.

One thing’s for sure though – all eyes will be on Prime Minister Najib Razak and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the lead up to the polls.

2) Long weekends

2018 can’t beat 2017 in terms of official long weekends.

According to The Star, there were 10 official long weekends in 2017. But 2018 isn’t looking to be too bad as there will still be five official long weekends for many working Malaysians in the new year – and the first one falls on New Year’s Day!

The others are the first day of Chinese New Year on Feb 16, Hari Raya Puasa on June 15, National Day on Aug 31 and Malaysia Day on Sep 16.

There will also be six other public holidays which will fall on Tuesdays, making it possible for Malaysians to get their long weekend by just taking one day off work.

3) Malaysia to be the first overseas market to use WeChat Pay

A customer uses WeChat Pay to pay the bill inside a restaurant in Guangzhou, China.

Malaysia is set to become the first overseas market to get Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay in 2018.

WeChat is a mobile chat app widely-used in China. The app allows users to chat with friends, book appointments and taxis, shop online and make e-payments.

According to Reuters, the Chinese tech giant obtained its e-payment license to operate in Malaysia in 2017.

There are currently 20 million active WeChat users in Malaysia.

4) Tallest building in Malaysia

The upcoming Exchange 106.
Mulia Group

Look out! Malaysia is getting a new tallest skyscraper in Kuala Lumpur.

Slated to be ready by the second quarter of 2018, The Exchange 106 will stand 492.3 metres above ground, housing 106 floors and six basement levels.

The Tun Razak Exchange development is reportedly on track to receiving its first tenants in the third quarter of next year.

5) Artbox is coming to town

Mark your calendars – Bangkok’s famous Artbox market is coming to Malaysia this February.

This hipsters’ favourite is the perfect place for you to take Insta-worthy food snaps.

Some of the more well-known items previously sold at the pop-up flea market include rainbow cheese toasts, over-the-top desserts and custom-made accessories.