12 April 2018
The Malaysian government has declared that Polling Day on May 9, a Wednesday, will be a holiday, as it reacted to public anger over the plan to ask citizens to return to their home towns to vote in the middle of a working week.
The announcement mollified some people. But others said it would still be tough to travel home, queue for hours to vote, and then return to their workplaces within 24 hours.
The weekday polling date was announced on Tuesday by the Election Commission (EC). It will be the first weekday vote in a general election (GE) since the 1999 polls – 19 years ago. The 1995 and 1999 GEs were both held on a Monday, allowing many to make their way home.
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies senior fellow Yang Razali Kassim said: “PM Najib’s declaration of a public holiday on voting day is the right thing to do. But it may be a bit too late to correct the damage from the EC’s strategic error of not declaring the holiday in the first place.”
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 12/04/2018