Aliran is appalled at the baffling decision of the Electoral Commission to set the polling date on 9 May, which happens to fall in the middle of the work week.
We strongly condemn the Electoral Commission for such a perplexing decision and demand that it explains to the public. Voting is a right that is enshrined in the Federal Constitution. The Electoral Commission should have set a date on the weekend – Saturday is part of a weekend for all states in Malaysia – which would enable Malaysians to exercise their right without any unnecessary hassle such as applying for leave or incurring costs to employers.
We urge the caretaker government of Najib Razak to declare 9 May as a public holiday to make it easier for Malaysians to come out to vote. We also urge employers to give their employees adequate time off to fulfil their obligations as citizens of Malaysia as stated under Section 25(1) of the Election Offences Act.
Finally, we urge our fellow rakyat to come out in droves to vote despite the cost or inconvenience that it might cause. As citizens in a democratic country, it is our right to decide on the next government that will lead this country for the next five years and your vote counts.
Aliran executive committee
11 April 2018