In an email to Human Resources, Sim said: “When polling day was announced to be on Wednesday, I realised that this may prevent people from turning out to vote.”
Likening voting to a general meeting of shareholders, he felt that turning up to vote helps ensure an individual has a say in a country’s policy.
With the intention of “encouraging all Malaysians to vote”, Sim decided on the three-day leave as well as to provide flight tickets for staff.
He added: “I hope other employers can do the same.”
Marble Emporium last week announced that it will be closing its factory from 7-9 May 2018 to allow its staff, who are from Sabah and Sarawak, to go home for polling day.
In a statement on Facebook, it revealed that “as a responsible employer”, in addition to the paid leave, Marble Emporium will be purchasing the return air tickets for those who are returning to their hometown, as well as providing RM300 allowance.
A spokesperson confirmed to Human Resources that this will be applicable for existing employees.
Additionally, Sim Yen Peng, Marble Emporium’s proprietor told The Star in total, this comes up to about RM1,000 per worker and that with 11 of his workers from Sabah and Sarawak will be receiving these benefits.
Doing so because “voting is a responsibility”, Sim hoped his gesture would inspire other firms to do the same.
Sim revealed he was driven by his own experience of not having enough money to fly back home for Chinese New Year or to vote.
He opined: “If employers can spend on compulsory annual return tickets for their foreign workers, why can’t the same be done for our Sabahan and Sarawakian workers once every five years for the general election?”
Having started Marble Emporium eight years ago, Sim felt that companies should, at the very least, give workers living away from their polling centres RM100 and an extra day off to enable them to cast their ballots.
He added: “I have been encouraging my staff to register as voters for the past five years and pledged to help them go back to vote when it was time.”
Malaysia’s general election on 9 May: What employers need to know
Malaysia government declares 9 May a public holiday
IKEA Singapore extends paid leave to Malaysian staff for GE14
SPR encourages employers to give staff special leave for GE14
Photo / 123RF
Human Resources magazine and the HR Bulletin daily email newsletter:
Asia's only regional HR print and digital media brand.
Register for your FREE subscription now »