In order to help Malaysian employees to vote in the coming polls, the Singapore office of Swedish furniture corporate IKEA will give a one-off, extra paid day of leave for the Malaysian-born staff to return home. About 80 Malaysians are employed by IKEA Singapore, out of hundreds of thousands of Malaysian workers in Singapore.
Malaysia’s 14th general election will be held on Wednesday (May 9) and has been declared a public holiday for the country.
Speaking in an official announcement on Thursday (Apr 12), IKEA Southeast Asia’s benefits and employment manager Aldys Kong said that the company is committed to take the social responsibilities seriously by enabling the employees to take individual responsibility.
“This benefit will make it a little easier for them to exercise the right to vote in Malaysia’s election. Anyone needing more than one day will be able to apply for annual leave,” she said.
Other Singaporean firms also share the same sentiments. Bus operator Go-Ahead Singapore, for example, said it would support its Malaysian staff with conditional arrangement upon the complete fulfilment of the operational requirements.
A spokesperson from the company said, “Our shift schedules are planned such that most colleagues will have ample time to return home and cast their votes before or after a shift. Where necessary, we will facilitate feasible arrangements.”
Meanwhile, the National Healthcare Group, which includes the Tan Tock Seng and Khoo Teck Puat hospitals as well as six polyclinics in a statement advised its workers from Malaysia to apply for annual leave early “to facilitate institutions’ planning”.
“Similar to all leave applications, approval of annual leave is subject to operational constraints. NHG will facilitate and support such leave applications where operationally possible,” it said.
However, other Singaporean companies with Malaysian employees declined to comment on this matter, citing company policy, Channel News Asia reports.