Tuesday, 17 April 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM
‘Free rides not against the law’
KUALA LUMPUR: A campaign to bring out of state Malaysians home to vote, which has raised RM110,000 from the public, does not run foul of any election rules, claimed the two groups behind the initiative.
Launched by undirabu.com and pulangmengundi.com, the campaign is meant to help voters who lacked the financial means or were without transport to return home to vote.
Pulangmengundi.com co-founder Timothy Teoh said the initiative started because they found many people posting on social media claiming that they could not get back to their hometown because they did not have enough money.
“Pulangmengundi.com aims to help Malaysians help (other) Malaysians get home to vote, undirabu.com handles public donations and they disburse the funds,” he told a press conference yesterday.
Undirabu.com and pulangmengundi.com, in collaboration with the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) and 13 other organisations, have arranged for 16 bus routes that will leave Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Puchong to various states.
They will also provide travel subsidies, besides arranging for carpooling initiatives.
Teoh said more than 25,000 people have visited the pulangmengundi.com site since April 13.
Asked if their initiative was against the Election Offences Act, KLSCAH youth section chairman Lee Wai Hong said they had made prior checks to ensure their initiative did not break the law.
“I don’t think this is an offence; we are taking you from one state to another state. We are not taking voters to the polling station. We are neutral, we do not have any political background.
“Even though some messages have said that we are supported by a (political) party, we would like to make a declaration that we are not,” he said.
The initiative was spurred by Chong Keat Aun who openly offered Malaysians on Facebook two air tickets to return to Sabah and Sarawak to vote.
Chong, who represents Beautiful Gate Foundation for the disabled, said his initiative had resulted in sponsorship of 350 air tickets, initially.
“The campaign will now also sponsor those who are disabled to return to vote because we know the cost for them is higher.
“Usually, they will have to rent a taxi to travel. For example, if it is from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, it will cost RM800, but now their cost will be borne for them,” he said.
The funding period for the campaign will run until April 25.
Log on to undirabu.com for details about donation, bus and registration, and pulangmengundi.com for carpooling and travel subsidies information.
The disabled can contact 03-7873 6579 for more information.