Today I am enjoying a day off thanks to the Permatang Pauh by-election. The day was mysteriously and suddenly declared a public holiday in the state of Penang, Malaysia. Allegedly, the reasoning behind this public holiday is “to ensure a full turnout of voters for the critical Permatang Pauh by-election.”
The controversial move has been criticized by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, “I don’t see why a public holiday is needed as the by-election is exclusively for the Permatang Pauh constituency. This (declaration) must have been a political decision.”
People are wondering if the move to have today a public holiday was a political game to sway the votes in favor of a specific party.
“Clearly, reducing the voter turnout will affect the election results as it may be seen as favoring one party over the other,” even Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng thinks so.
The entire controversy is driven by the de facto PKR leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is attempting to return to Parliament as the alternative Prime Minister.
Election Holidays (UPDATE)
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Anwar Ibrahim and The Permatang Pauh Public Holiday Drama
Published: Aug 26, 2008 • References: thestar.my