Yesterday, 10 April, the Election Commission (EC) announced that Malaysia's 14th General Election (GE14) will be held on Wednesday, 9 May
The announcement sparked an outrage on social media as most Malaysians were shocked by EC's decision to hold GE14 on a weekday, let alone on Wednesday.
However, Barisan Nasional (BN) strategist Eric See-To said there is a rational explanation behind the Wednesday polling day
The Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications deputy director said in a statement on Facebook yesterday, "While I do not speak for the Elections Commissions, I can see the merits in selecting Wednesday as it is fair to all states and would allow turnout rates for voters to be consistent throughout Malaysia.
He pointed out that Terengganu, Kedah, Johor, and Kelantan had always had their weekends on Friday and Saturday.
See-To said, "If the election was held on a Sunday, it will not be fair to those states. Likewise, if an election was set on a Friday, it will be unfair to other states.
"Similarly if the election was set on a Saturday, it would be a half working day for some and a full rest day for others."
See-To also said, "Anyway, Pakatan Harapan should be the last to complain about a weekday being the polling date."
"Their chairman and PM candidate Tun Mahathir's first general election as PM was held on Thursday, 22 April 1982.
"His last two general elections as PM in 1995 and 1999 were also held on weekdays - Monday, 25 April 1995 and Monday, 29 November 1999," he added.
He ended his statement with, "USA, supposedly the most democratic country in the world also held their elections presidential elections on a Tuesday, 8 November 2016."
1. "Wednesday is fair to all states and consistent turnout rates through Malaysia."
One netizen pointed out that Saturday, not Wednesday, is the best day for all voters in every state of Malaysia.
2. "Mahathir's last two general elections as PM in 1995 and 1999 were also held on weekdays - Monday, 25th April 1995 and Monday 29th November 1999."
3. "USA who is supposedly most democratic country in the world also held their presidential elections on a Tuesday, November 8, 2016."
According to History, Congress passed a federal law designating the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November as Election Day. Hence, the earliest possible date is 2 November or latest 8 November.
One netizen argued that, with the elections date set in advance, voters are able to make plans accordingly to ensure they are able to vote when the time comes.
Do you agree with See-To's explanation that polling on Wednesday is fair to all? Let us know in the comments below!
Meanwhile, netizens have also started several movements on Twitter to help other Malaysians fulfill their responsibility as a voter despite midweek polling day:
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