Malaysia's general election on 9 May: What employers need to know

Malaysia's general election on 9 May: What employers need to know

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The Election Commission of Malaysia (Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia - SPR) has confirmed that the nation's 14th general election (GE14) will be held on 9 May 2018 (Wednesday).

The Writ of Election is expected to me issued on 11 April 2018, Wednesday, while Nomination Day is scheduled for 28 April 2018, Saturday. Early polling may begin on 5 May 2018 (Saturday).

Regarding the election-day announcement, employers need to make note of the following rules, according to the Election Offences Act 1954:

  1. Every employer shall, on polling day, allow to every elector in his employ a reasonable period for voting, and no employer shall make any deduction from the pay or other remuneration of any such elector or impose upon or exact from him any penalty by reason of his absence during such period.
  2. This section shall extend to employees of the successor company as defined in section 2 of the Railways (Successor Company) Act 1991 [Act 464] and the Sabah Railway except such as are actually engaged in the running of trains and to whom such time cannot be allowed without interfering with the manning of the trains; and the General Manager, shall, in each case, be deemed to be the employer of such employees.
  3. Any employer who, directly or indirectly, refuses, or by intimidation, undue influence, or in any other manner, interferes with the granting to any elector in his employ, of a reasonable period for voting, as in this section provided, shall on summary conviction be liable to a fine of five thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for one year.
  4. This section shall not extend to such categories of employees as the Election Commission may from time to time by notification in the Gazette designate.
  5. This section shall be binding on the Government of Malaysia and the Government of each State.
  6. In this section, “employer” has the same meaning as in the Employment Act 1955 [Act 265].

[Full set of guidelines]

Some employers have already announced an office shutdown on Election Day in order to let employees participate in the polling:

As of 10 April, all schools in the country have been declared to be given a special event holiday on 9 May, according to Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, cited in Bernama.

"The holiday is for all schools only. It will be a working day for the state education departments and district education offices," he clarified, adding that 6,941 schools would be used as polling centres on that day.

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