IKEA SG Gives M'sian Employees Day Off For GE14, But Some S'poreans Are Not Happy About It

About 80 Malaysians work at its branches in Singapore.

Cover image via Ameba / HardwareZone SG

Malaysians working in IKEA Singapore will be granted an extra paid day of leave to return home for the upcoming polls

Image via TNP

The Singapore branch of the Swedish furniture giant said on last Thursday, 12 April, that it will be giving Malaysian employees a one-off paid leave on Wednesday, 9 May (which has been declared a public holiday here) to return home for the upcoming GE14.

The Election Commission (EC) had announced earlier that those residing in southern Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Kalimantan province, Indonesia, cannot apply for postal voting and must return to Malaysia to cast their votes on polling day.

IKEA Singapore said the day off will allow Malaysians to fulfill their "right to vote in Malaysia's election" before adding that those requiring extra leave days can apply for annual leave

Image via AsiaOne

"We take our social responsibilities seriously and we want to enable our co-workers to take individual responsibility too.

"This benefit will make it a little easier for them to exercise the right to vote in Malaysia’s election. Anyone needing more than one day will be able to apply for annual leave,” said Aldys Kong, IKEA Southeast Asia’s benefits and employment manager.

There are currently around 80 Malaysians working at IKEA branches in the city-state, Channel NewsAsia reported

However, the company's gesture is not sitting well with some Singaporeans. A thread on a Singapore-based forum shows netizens criticising and debating over IKEA's decision.

Image via HardwareZone SG

The thread was started on 12 April, the same day IKEA Singapore made the announcement. It still remains active at the time of writing, with over 85 pages and counting. 

The forum contributor who started the thread claimed to have written to the country's Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Image via HardwareZone SG
Image via HardwareZone SG

"From my understanding, Singaporeans workers do not enjoy that extra day of paid leave that the Malaysian workers do. This is simple discriminatory against our own citizens! All Singaporean citizens should enjoy at least the same benefits and privileges as workers from other nationality," part of the e-mail reads. 

A number of forum users echoed the contents of the e-mail, demanding IKEA Singapore to offer same leave day for Singaporeans

Others said it is unfair for Singaporean employees who might need to cover for their absent Malaysian colleagues

On the flipside, one forum contributor said it is common for companies to "make provisions" for employees to fulfil their civic duties

Image via HardwareZone SG

You can read the full thread here

Do you agree (or disagree) with IKEA Singapore's decision to grant a day off for its Malaysian employees on 9 May? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Meanwhile, Malaysian companies are making sure their employees have ample time to balik kampung and cast their votes in GE14:

Catch up on more #GE14-related news on SAYS: