The Prime Minister’s Office has announced May 9, which falls on a Wednesday, as an additional public holiday. This came following the Election Commission’s (EC) announcement that polling day is on May 9. Nominations for the 222 parliamentary and 587 state seats have been set for April 28. Early voting for military and police personnel as well as voters living abroad has been fixed for May 5.
This gives political parties a campaign period of 11 days, four days more than the 13th General Election.
Earlier there 150 000 Malaysians sign up petition to Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia in Less than 24 hours for voting day public holiday declaration .
We the undersigned humbly ask Your Royal Highness to exercise wisdom as the Head of State of our nation to help in the declaration of, at the very least, Wednesday, the 9th of May 2018, as a public holiday. We believe that this action will allow as many Malaysians who would wish to vote the freedom necessary to do so without fear of repercussions. Moreover, the broad-based effect of a public holiday would level the field for businesses who might fear losing ground to their competitors, as all of them will be affected equally.
As Your Royal Highness will be rightly aware, the Elections Commissions has declared that the date on which the polling for the 14th General Election of Malaysia is the 9th of May 2018. This date, unfortunately, falls on a Wednesday, which has invoked some concern on the effects it would have on the populace of our nation, some of whom might find themselves in a dilemma to take time off work to cast their votes.
This is especially true for those in the private sector and whose polling stations are located very much further away from their workplace and current residence, constituting a need for leaves to be applied that may stretch for more than 1 day.
What’s more, young voters who are new recruits might be hesitant to apply for leaves this early in their career, especially considering the limited number of leaves that can be granted by a business to preserve its fiscal performance. In a time where rising costs of living and job insecurities are rife, we fear voters would be discouraged from going out to vote entirely due to this, or would be unable to due to responsibilities to their employers.
We are aware of the provisions already set out in Election Offenses Act of 1954, specifically in section 25 that specifies employers are to allow their employees a reasonable period for voting. However, we are unconvinced there is enough of an incentive for employers to strictly follow the letter of the law, what with there needing to be a formal complaint by employees for any action to be taken. Moreover, the effect of such a disruption on workplace relationships especially between executives and management might be detrimental.
We are also aware that the EC has the responsibility to determine suitable dates for the election process to be undertaken as easily and successfully as possible. This petition is not to undermine their jurisdiction, rather it respects this responsibility and merely asks that you act to ensure all Malaysians have as easy a time as possible to exercise their right to vote while also not unfairly affecting businesses with a certain composition of workers.
We appeal to Your Royal Highness in this time where Parliament has been dissolved and the government in office plays a reduced role as caretakers of executive power. In addition to this, the fact that the latter are also a part of one of the coalitions competing for seats in the election introduces a conflict of interest which might prevent them from carrying out what is essentially a moral duty. In this regard, it is our humble opinion that the responsibility should fall on Your Royal Highness’s shoulders to ease this burden of ours by expressing your opinion on this matter as a symbolic show of solidarity. We do not ask for any form of interference, merely an advocating stance.
In any case, together with Your Royal Highness we have also included Dato’ Sri Najib Bin Tun Razak, the current Prime Minister of Malaysia and Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Bin Hamidi, the current Minister of Home Affairs, as the power to declare public holidays is vested in the Minister in charge. Moreover, we have included Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, The Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal in the Conference of The Rulers so that he may bring this issue up with the individual Rulers. In contacting Your Royal Highness, we have decided to include the details of YB Dato’ Nik Mohd Shafriman bin Nik Hassan, the Setiausaha Sulit Kanan Kepada SPB YDA.
Petition begun by,
Arveent Srirangan A/L Kathirtchelvan,
Chief Coordinator of Liberasi and First-Time Voter.
ONLINE PETITION LINK – CLICK HERE