Polls: MTUC proposes special holiday on polling day
KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) proposed that the polling day for the six state elections on Aug 12 be made a special holiday to give workers the opportunity to vote.
MTUC secretary-general Kamarul Baharin Mansor in a statement said the government is advised to look into the request to facilitate workers to return to their hometowns to vote.
He said MTUC received complaints from workers that there were employers issuing circulars allowing workers to go out to vote within two hours and action would be taken if the allowed time was exceeded, causing concern and affecting the attendance of workers to vote.
"To ensure the success of the democratic process, employers should give unconditional permission. The government needs to intervene by giving special leave to employees to enable them to elect their representatives without fear of disciplinary action. MTUC is worried that the turnout will be affected and reduced if there are obstacles for workers to vote," he said, adding that workers' involvement in voting will shape the country's future.
He said MTUC also hoped that workers would exercise their responsibilities as voters and not rush to avoid accidents when going to and from work to the polling place.
The Election Commission (EC) set the state election polling day in Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan on August 12, candidate nominations on July 29, while early voting on August 8.
The state polls involve 36 state seats in Kedah; Kelantan (45); Terengganu (32); Penang (40); Selangor (56); and Negeri Sembilan (36). - BERNAMA