KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — A group on social media helping outstation Malaysians who cannot afford to return home to vote has raised more than RM65,000 as of yesterday.
The group called #UndiRabu said it collected RM65,461 up to 9am yesterday, while requests for financial help amounted to RM47,750.
#UndiRabu received 328 aid requests and 171 donors between 9am to 3pm on Wednesday.
The figures released by two members of the group on Twitter, @AdrianNCF and @bumilangit, recorded a surplus of RM17,711 with the movement, adding it would open up more assistance requests as soon as possible.
#UndiRabu Fund Update 1:— Achafoo (@AdrianNCF) April 12, 2018
1.Started subsidy request & contributors-11 Apr 9am
2.Stop request-11 Apr 3pm
4.Donated-171https://t.co/ssiNq1SsC2 requests-RM47,750https://t.co/js2wNVx0wb contributions-RM65,461 (@ 12 Apr 9am)#PulangMengundi
#UndiRabu told Malay Mail that the group comprised several friends on Twitter, but declined to reveal their identities.
The #UndiRabu movement said most of the assistance requests came from young adults who were first-time voters, many of whom were students of public and private institutions of higher learning.
The group offers to subsidise travel expenses, offering RM200 for flights (for East Malaysia). For West Malaysia, the rate is RM100 (train), RM50 (bus) and RM50 for those driving.
Malaysians expressed enthusiasm on social media about going to the ballot box after the Election Commission announced that polling day would be held on May 9, a Wednesday. The caretaker government later said polling day in the 14th general election would be made a public holiday.
Malaysians on Twitter have been offering more creative solutions to ensure more head home to vote in a related hashtag, #PulangMengundi.
A boutique hotel in Ipoh offered rooms for only RM14 at its establishments in M Boutique Ipoh and M Roof Hotel & Residences to those from Ipoh using the promo code GE14.
Twitter user Syaza Rahizad announced 50 per cent off room rates of Sky Empire, a stylish, children-friendly homestay for families in an undisclosed area in Kuala Lumpur to those who needed lodging on May 9.
Hello voters! We (instagram: skye.empire) are sponsoring 50% off for all our rooms for voters yang #PulangMengundi this 9/5/2018 di area KL. To those who have children, who need a place to stay boleh contact us at 010-2798498#PRU14#GE14 pic.twitter.com/1LGri7qLjn— SR (@SyazaRahizad) April 11, 2018
Other enterprising Malaysians have taken to the hashtag to earn money to head home to vote.
Twitter user and freelance graphic designer Atiiq Azman offered his services to produce digital portraits to earn some money to head home to Kedah to vote, providing some examples of his work.
Salam..i would like to ask a favour if someone can help me give some money for my transportation back to my state, kedah for voting...— Atiiq Azman (@atiiq_azman) April 11, 2018
in return i can draw digital images for you guys like this if you can help me,
i'm working as graphic freelancer as a parttime..#pulangmengundi pic.twitter.com/2qy7WMPdnf
Jesse Joy too offered her embroidery art called ‘Ornamentals’, ranging from RM40 to RM70, to raise funds for her flight home to vote.
Hi kawan - kawan! I'm fund raising for my flight back for #PulangMengundi.— Jesse Joy (@seorangjesse) April 11, 2018
These are my #artwork, I call them Ornamentals. They're are mixed media embroidery art. They range from RM40 - RM70 each.
Slide in my DM if you're interested. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/2nOj4IghJZ
Others used their skills to earn some quick cash to help others.
Graphic designer Sarah, using the handle @_raraleong, offered three slots to produce vector illustration portraits at RM50 each to channel the profits to send a Twitter user home to Pasir Mas in Kelantan.
Ripple effect: Currently 3 slots available for vector illustration portrait. RM50 each. All profit will go to a good citizen who just wanted to #PulangMengundi at his hometown Pasir Mas, Kelantan. DM to hireee 💁🏻 ♀️ pic.twitter.com/263OhTydME— sarah (@_raraleong) April 11, 2018
Not everything has been centred around financial aid alone.
Twitter user Arif Eddy announced on his Twitter account that local apparel company Cipta was rewarding those who returned from other states to Johor to cast their vote with a free Raya outfit.
With Aidilfitri just over a month after elections, he said they understood the burden of the cost of travel, and it was to help minimise the cost of preparation for the festivities.
Arif said the promo applied to all races and gender as long as they were registered voters, no matter their political affiliation, and they could claim their free outfit at Cipta after they have voted.
In the spirit of #JomUndi #MalaysiaMemilih #PulangMengundi #CarpoolGE14 our company - CIPTA would like to reward those who travel from outside to cast their vote in Johor with FREE RAYA OUTFIT! We understand your travel burden so we will ease your raya preparation! Read on.. pic.twitter.com/9zvYJOmVFQ— Arif Eddy (@arifeddy12) April 11, 2018
More Twitter users have begun to tweet their appreciation to their sponsors for making their trip home to vote possible, including anonymous donors.
Thank you so much to these generous souls. I am going to be able to cast my first vote. I’m very grateful. #PulangMengundi is truly a great team effort.— Jashera Reddy (@JasheraReddy) April 12, 2018