PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan should not be complaining about polling for the general election being held on a weekday because the same was done when its chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was premier, says the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications (BNSC) unit.
In fact, polling took place on a weekday three times under his premiership, said BNSC deputy director Datuk Eric See-To (pic).
“Dr Mahathir's first general election as Prime Minister was held on Thursday, April 22, 1982. His last two general elections as Prime Minister in 1995 and 1999 were also held on weekdays – Monday and Tuesday, April 24-25, 1995 and Monday Nov 29, 1999,” he said in a statement Tuesday (April 10).
Earlier Tuesday, the Election Commission (EC) announced that polling would be on May 9, which falls on a Wednesday.
See-To added that he understood the decision made by the EC to declare polling day on a weekday.
“While I do not speak for the EC, I can understand that there is merit in selecting Wednesday as they may deem this to be fair to all states and not allow results and turn-out rates to be consistent throughout Malaysia and not be skewed in certain states,” he said.
He explained that states like Terengganu, Kedah and Kelantan have their weekends on a Saturday while Friday is considered a half-day.
Johor, a key battleground state, also has a weekend that falls on Friday to Saturday.
“If the election is set on a Sunday, it will not be fair to those states. Likewise, if an election was set on a Friday, it will not be fair to other states.
“Similarly if the election was set on a Saturday, it would be a half working day for some and a full rest day for others,” See-To said.
He noted that even the United States held its presidential elections on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2016.