A lot of business establishments in Sarawak, they remain operational on Saturdays and it is not an off day for their employees. Members or business entities who are members of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Sarawak (which has 23 branches throughout Sarawak) also do not have Saturday as off days.
Section 25(1) of the Election Offences Act 1954 states that every employer shall on polling day allow any voter in his employ a reasonable period for voting and no employer shall make any deduction from the pay or wages of such voter. It also makes it an offence punishable with a fine of RM5,000 or imprisonment for a year.
We are also very aware that there are many folks especially from the more rural districts who seek a living in the bigger cities of Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. They will require time off from work to go home to vote if their polling address is still located in the kampungs. Currently there are no provisions for any kind of remote voting by SPR for people like them,
Hence we also wish to call on all employers to allow their workers and employees to go out to vote if it is a working day for the business or organization OR to have the day off to travel back to vote. This is how Sarawakian employers and business establishments can do your part to encourage the exercise of the voting rights of all your employees who are registered voters.
Lastly, ROSE calls on the State Secretary of Sarawak to declare this Saturday 18th December 2021 a special public holiday. This will further promote and facilitate the exercise of voting rights of all Sarawakians.
Dated 13th December 2021
Statement released by Persatuan Pemangkin Daya Masyarakat (ROSE)