COMMENT | Putrajaya has finally declared May 9 as a public holiday for all Malaysians after much criticism from members of the public.
Immediately after it was announced, my handphone kept buzzing non-stop for at least 15 minutes, with netizens forwarding the breaking news.
This brings to mind what caretaker deputy home minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed had said barely 24 hours earlier, that there is "no need to declare May 9 a public holiday to allow people to vote.”
Another Umno leader Anina Saadudin had even cited religious grounds to justify the Election Commission’s pick of May 9, but when I read her rationale, I could not help but ask why it could not be on May 5 (being a Saturday) instead.
That May 9 is now declared a public holiday shows that caretaker prime minister Najib Abdul Razak had not been very sensitive towards the people’s sentiments, and he certainly did not foresee that it would receive a backlash from the rakyat.
The last-minute decision to declare May 9 a public holiday clearly shows that the entire BN government had not given enough thought about the polling date; instead, they were merely reacting to situations...