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MEF: Employers must observe public holiday for polls

Shamsuddin said the public holiday would ease the minds of employers. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Shamsuddin said the public holiday would ease the minds of employers. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA, April 11 — Employers must either observe the declared public holiday or make allowances for employees seeking to cast their vote on May 9, according to the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

Its executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan also told Malay Mail that the declaration of a public holiday to facilitate employees casting their vote had eased some of the complications of voting on a working day.

“MEF is of the view that since the intention is to declare this as a public holiday to facilitate employees to cast their vote, employers must observe this as a public holiday.

“If the employer is not able to observe this for some operational requirement there are alternatives such as allowing time off for the employee to cast their vote,” he added.

“Of course, some employers may be unable to provide a day off on May 9 itself but they will likely have to pay the public holiday rate or replace it on another day.”

Shamsuddin said the public holiday would ease the minds of employers, who were considering various options to allow their staff time off to cast their vote.

“This announcement has taken off some anxiety that stemmed from the announcement of polling day falling on a work day,” he said

The federal government had yesterday declared a special public holiday on May 9 to enable Malaysians to participate in the 14th general election.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said it was invoking the Holidays Act 1951 to make polling day an ad hoc national holiday.

“Pursuant to the Election Commission’s announcement that the 14th general election will be on May 9, 2018, the government has set the day to be an additional public holiday for the entire country.

“This is to let Malaysians fulfil their duties as voters,” the PMO said in a statement.

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