It looks like the polling day for GE14, which falls on May 9, a Wednesday, does not only affect Malaysians because Singaporeans are getting worried as well! A large number of Singaporean businesses have many Malaysian employees and most of them are applying for leaves to come back to the country to cast a vote.
A number of Singaporean netizens are worried that the huge amount of Malaysians making their way back home will affect the day-to-day operations of some of the industries in Singapore, especially public transport services. It’s only once every five years! Oriental Daily reported that as most of the bus drivers in Singapore are Malaysians, many of them fear that the bus services will be disrupted.
Tan I-Lin, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for SBS Transit Ltd, has responded to this and said that their Malaysian employees may apply for leaves but it will be approved on a case-to-case basis. This is because the company runs a public service and they have to take this into consideration. But they need to pulang mengundi!
However, the president of Singapore’s Human Resource Institute said that Singaporean employees should be considerate and understand why their Malaysian employees need to go back to vote. They should find solutions to this issue such as by scheduling other staff to handle the tasks when other employees are on leave.
IKEA Singapore understands the situation that their approximately 80 Malaysian employees are facing and has graciously granted them an extra day of special paid leave. How nice of them! Nevertheless, other companies said that even with the mass exodus of Malaysian employees heading back to vote, it would not affect them much as they can easily schedule other workers to temporarily take over their tasks.
Some of the companies such as Global Wellness, a beauty group, said that they have also taken the extra measure in telling customers that their regular beautician may not be in and asked clients to reschedule their appointments. They see no problem in allowing their Malaysian employees to go on leave as they still have Singaporean and Chinese staff as back-up.
In fact, some restaurants have said that having GE14 on a weekday makes it easier for them to arrange for their staff to go back home as their peak periods are during the weekends. A few travel agencies are also offering free transportation from Singapore to Malaysia during this period as bus and plane tickets were sold out quickly.
This GE14, many Malaysians are coming together to help other fellow citizens head back to vote by offering free transportation or carpooling services. Previously, the hashtag #PulangMengundi and #JomBalikUndi were trending and there are even websites and mobile apps such as Undi 509 that are enabling other people to find suitable transportation back home. Amazing stuff!
Do your duty and go back home to vote, my fellow Malaysians!
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