KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — There is no excuse anymore for voters to skip the 14th general election (GE14) since polling day, May 9, has been declared a public holiday by Putrajaya, Congress of Union of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) said today.
Its president Datuk Azih Muda said the announcement is a fair deal for all, claiming voters now have sufficient time to plan their return to their hometowns.
“So now, go out and carry out your responsibility as a voter. There is no reason not to,” Azih told Malay Mail when contacted.
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general J. Solomon welcomed the announcement, but suggested that the caretaker government make an official request to the Singaporean government to grant unrecorded leave to Malaysians working there.
He said there are almost 500,000 Malaysians working in Singapore, which he said is a significant number.
“The big number of Malaysians working there should also be allowed to come home and vote,” he said when contacted.
Despite that, MTUC still insisted that the ideal polling day would be a Saturday.
“As the nomination and polling day for the postal votes are done on Saturday for a small section of the population ,we don’t see any reason why the masses could not be given the same privilege,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s Office earlier said it was invoking the Holidays Act 1951 to make polling day an ad hoc national holiday.
It is unclear why the Election Commission chose to conduct polling on a Wednesday as its chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah, declined to take questions during yesterday’s announcement.
The midweek polling day is rare, but not unprecedented.
However, this would be the first-ever general election to take place on a Wednesday since 1959.