After it was announced that polling for GE14 will be held on 9 May, the choice of date was a cause of concern for many Malaysians, as it falls on a Wednesday i.e. working day
In light of criticism from the rakyat, the Prime Minister’s Office has declared 9 May a public holiday across the country
Prior to the announcement, several local companies had already given their employees the day off shortly after the polling date was announced
Although employers are obligated to give employees a sufficient amount of time to vote for any general election, some companies have gone above and beyond to make sure staff members exercise their right to vote.
KL-based PR company H2S Consulting and production company GRIM FILM were among the first to give employees the day off to cast their ballots.
Local florist Happy Bunch also announced that they will be closed for the day with co-founder Joanne Ho saying that, "As citizens of Malaysia, we have a right and that right comes with an obligation"
"To vote for what we believe will be good for our future and our children's future. What happens on 10 May, next year, three years from now, will depend on whether we exercise that obligation. As a Malaysian company, we too have a civic duty to enable our team members to be able to exercise that right and obligation," she added.
Some companies also went the extra mile, such as the management of ShekinahPR who gave employees one extra day so they have enough time to travel home and vote
Shah Alam-based Marble Emporium even went viral on social media after a memo announcing the factory’s three-day closure as well as the company giving employees travel allowances and air tickets was posted up yesterday
“If employers can spend on compulsory annual return tickets for their foreign workers, why can’t the same be done for our Sabahan and Sarawakian workers once every five years for the general election?” said Sim, according to The Star.
Sim added that 11 of his workers from Sabah and Sarawak will receive three days off from 7 to 9 May, free return air tickets, and RM300 travel allowance each, with expenses coming up to about RM1,000 per worker.
Meanwhile, despite not being required to do so by Singaporean laws, jewellery store owner Ngo Hea Ong gave his Malaysian employees the day off anyway so they can return home to vote
“Seven out of nine of my employees are Malaysians... my employees are mostly from Beruas and Gopeng in Perak, while the others are from Kepong, Port Dickson and Tebrau,” said the 40-year-old, according to MalaysiaKini.
Ngo added that he was prepared to bear the losses for the two days that his staff are off.
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