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Weekday poll not without precedent, says Salleh

Salleh said in the 1995 and 1999 general elections, polling day was also held on a working day. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Salleh said in the 1995 and 1999 general elections, polling day was also held on a working day. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak today stressed that the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to set the polling date for the 14th general election (GE14) on a working day is not unprecedented.

He said in the 1995 and 1999 general elections, the polling day was also held on a working day.

Salleh said this in response to certain quarters who questioned the Election Commission’s (EC) decision in setting the polling date for the GE14 on Wednesday, May 9, while the nomination on April 28 and early voting on May 5.

“They questioned the EC’s decision in choosing a weekday for polling because it might cause a problem for the voters to leave work and travel home to cast their votes.

“They claimed that the date was purposely chosen by the EC to cut voter turnout, hence giving advantage to Umno,” Salleh said in his latest blog post.

The minister said going to the polls on a working day was not a major issue as flexible working arrangements could be made for civil servants and those in the private sectors.

“Let’s not be too quick to criticise or make baseless allegation that the BN government wants to cut voter turnout.

“We are a transparent government and of course we aim at having over 85 per cent voter turnout as in GE13. This is our spirit.

“So, may the GE14 process runs smoothly and may those qualified to vote can cast their votes will do so for the future of our country,” he added. — Bernama

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