1. Malaysia should declare blanket public holidays on Nov 18, 19 and the following working day after the polls, to enable more Malaysians to return to their respective hometowns to vote for the general election.
2. The staggered announcements by various states like Selangor and Negeri Sembilan in declaring Nov 18 a public holiday is a good start.
3. It should also be noted that just because polling day falls on a Saturday, it is not a default off-day for all workers. Why is there no announcement being made until now to cater to the needs of this category of voters?
4. In order to ensure safety to travellers and there is no rush back from their hometowns after voting, 20 Nov (Sunday) should be a public holiday for the states of Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan, Johor while a public holiday should be declared for all other states on Nov 21 (Monday).
5. This will give all parties – including the newly-formed government – time to organise itself and provide a small breather to travellers and other Malaysians.
6. It is high time that some form of consistency is shown in preparation for the upcoming polls and not for certain parties to come up with knee-jerk announcements.
7. On a related note regarding calls by certain parties to enforce a mobile phone ban in polling booths, this proposal should not be entertained by the Election Commission.
8. There has been no necessity in past elections for such a ban, since officers on duty usually do a very good and diligent job of watching voters as they cast their votes.
9. Where are voters expected to leave their phones for safekeeping if they do not have cars to keep the items in?
10. By no means are personal mobile phones going to be “safe” when left in a locker somewhere with no proper tags or locks attached to them.
11. This move also reflects disrespect towards the Malaysian voter and is a breach of privacy.
Gerakan Vice President