The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began on May 16, is likely to come to an end at sundown on Friday, June 15 (depending on the moon). During this time, operations in Malaysia will come to a virtual standstill as Muslims gather to pray and celebrate with family and friends. Eid al-Fitr celebrations are likely to have a significant impact on many businesses, stock exchanges, and public services, which may be unavailable or operating on a reduced schedule. Festivities (and disruptions) could continue into Monday, June 18. As this period is typically marked by increased travel, heavy road traffic after sundown along with other transportation disruptions (crowded airports, etc.) is to be anticipated.
Eid al-Fitr celebrates the conclusion of a month of dawn-to-sunset fasting and remains one of the most important dates on the Muslim calendar. Generally speaking, the month of Ramadan is historically marred by a significant increase in terrorist threats and as such there is a potential for attacks to be carried out during Eid celebrations. Nearly 60 percent of the Malaysian population is Muslim, 86 percent of which support sharia law, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scripture, as the official law of the land in their country.
Malaysia has been on its highest security alert since January 2016 due to the terrorist threat. According to Western intelligence agencies, terrorist attacks could potentially happen anywhere in Malaysia, including in places visited by foreign nationals.
Individuals in Malaysia are advised to allow for additional travel time, to remain vigilant, and to avoid large public gatherings.
Individuals should remain vigilant and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. Due to a high risk of terrorist attacks, always be on guard when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted (e.g. public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.).
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