KUCHING, April 11: The owner of a marble factory that is offering their staff free air tickets, allowances and three days’ paid holiday to return to their hometown to vote is urging more business owners to follow suit.
The memo by Marble Emporium Sdn Bhd (https://m.facebook.com/marbleemporium/photos/a.655596801117907.1073741826.181917025152556/1876636722347236/?type=3&source=57), based in the Peninsula, which says that “as a responsible employer, we are providing free air tickets, three days off and allowance for our employees to return home to vote” has gone viral with nearly 17,000 shares on social media so far.
Many people thanked the company for doing so and many others said they would patronize this factory for all their future needs. Many also asked the boss if there is any job vacancy in his factory.
When contacted, the 43-year-old owner known as Sim, said he was totally unaware of how much a sensation his memo had created on social media, saying that he did receive many messages via WhatsApp.
“Many people contacted me, my business partners and associates. I told them to do the same, give (time) off and give allowance for their staff to go home to vote.”
He stressed that he was merely doing his part, as most of his staff are from Sabah and Sarawak, and most employees could not make it home to vote at all unless they have enough savings for this.
“With their existing salary, it is not possible to purchase air tickets to return home to vote and cover all the expenses. For those who have no savings for this, it is ridiculous; there is no way they can go back to vote,” he told DayakDaily.
Sim, who hails from Miri and started his business in Shah Alam 10 years ago, together with his two staff from Sarawak and 10 staff from Sabah, are all going home to vote this time.
When asked whether the three days off would affect his business operations, he said: “This is more important, as a Sarawakian, and as a Malaysian.”
He said many companies provide their foreign workers and also foreign maids with free air tickets to return home once a year.
“We are Malaysians, why can’t we provide our employees free tickets to return home too?” added Sim, whose staff are all Malaysians and the majority are from the Bornean states.
He said this was the first time he was offering tickets and allowances, as his staff were not registered as voters during past elections.
“I told them to register as voters. Now that they are registered voters, I provide air tickets for them to return home to vote,” he said.
Many Sarawakians working in West Malaysia are already planning their trips home to vote in the 14th General Election on May 9 after the Election Commission announced the date.
The hashtags #PulangMengundi and #CarPoolGE14 have gained traction on social media with many offering to help pay for air tickets for East Malaysians to return home to vote and many also using these hashtags to ask for help. — DayakDaily