Malaysia’s caretaker Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Monday said Nov 18 and 19 will be public holidays to allow Malaysians to travel home to vote for the general election.
He also said there would be no toll charges for using highways across the country over the two days, for travelers in private vehicles.
“I know many have been waiting for the announcement and I hereby announce a public holiday for Nov 18 and 19,” he said at the ground breaking ceremony of a worker union in Putrajaya.
Malaysians will vote for the 15th general election on Nov 19, a Saturday.
With Friday also declared a public holiday and with no tolls charged for highway travel, more Malaysians should be enticed to travel back to their hometowns to vote. Voting isn’t compulsory in Malaysia.
Datuk Seri Ismail said that Nov 19 was declared a public holiday as some private sector companies were in operation on Saturday and some employees would not be able to cast their votes.
“We want to make sure Malaysians can exercise their rights as clearly stipulated in the Federal Constitution.
“No one can prevent a citizen from exercising their right to vote,” he said.
On removing tolls for the two days, he said this would apply on highways provided by 30 concessionaires around the country.
The free toll starts from 12.01 am on Nov 18 until 11.59 pm on Nov 19.
The three state governments controlled by opposition Pakatan Harapan allaince, Negeri Sembilan, Penang and Selangor, had earlier declared Nov 18 as a public holiday.