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Employers Could Be Fined If Workers Are Not Given Enough Time To Vote For GE14

Action can be taken if they prevent their employees from exercising their rights to vote.

Cover image via Sairien Nafis/NST

The Election Commission has announced the polling date for 14th general election (GE14), which is on 9 May

Image via NST

Following the EC's announcement, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid has declared that 9 May is a special holiday for all schools nationwide, in conjunction with polling day.

9 May falls on a Wednesday and in the event that polling day is not declared as a public holiday, then it is most likely that it is still a working day for many voters.

Although the polling day may not be a rest day for employees, employers must allow workers to take time off and vote as per the law

In accordance to Section 25 of the Election Offences Act 1954, an employer must give sufficient time for employees to perform their duties as voters on polling day.

Employers cannot penalise an employee through any deduction from the pay or other remuneration during the period that the employee has gone to vote.

The subsection 25(1) of the Election Offences Act 1954 states that: "Every employer shall, on polling day, allow to every elector in his employ a reasonable period for voting, and no employer shall make any deduction from the pay or other remuneration of any such elector or impose upon or exact from him any penalty by reason of his absence during such period."

Employers who do not comply could be subjected to a fine or imprisonment

Section 25(3) of the Election Offences Act 1954 provides that employers can be liable to a fine of RM5,000 or a maximum of one year's imprisonment, if convicted of "directly or indirectly, refuses, or by intimidation, undue influence, or in any other manner, interferes with the granting to any elector in his employ, of a reasonable period for voting".

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