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Website for those having problems travelling home to vote


PETALING JAYA: Several young Malaysians have set up a website to connect those in need of rides or travel subsidy in order to travel home to vote.

This team of five got together by chance - they are two separate groups of friends who have not met each other before. 

Timothy Teoh, a programmer, registered the domain of www.pulangmengundi.com, with about RM100 on Tuesday night (April 10).

This follows after Teoh read comments on social media that some people could not travel home to cast their votes.

“There were many #pulangundi and #carpoolGE14 messages and I thought, ‘If only there was a site to organise all these.’

“Two hours later, a stranger contacted me on WhatsApp. She told me that the same idea also crossed her mind,” the 34-year-old said.

Gan Sue Ling, 31, said her boyfriend Wong You Jing and her were inspired to contribute to the wave of #pulangundi by companies offering leave and travel allowance to employees.

When they discovered that the “pulangmengundi” domain had been registered, they reached out to the person behind it.

“Since we have the same goal, we decided to collaborate,” Gan, a consultant, said.

Teoh roped in his girlfriend Grace Look and friend Andrew Loh Zhu An, and every one got down to work right away as they knew they had to roll out the website fast.

The team toiled on the site after work, with the programmers staying up till 3am or 5am to perfect the site.

A company also offered to do the user interface design for free.

Their website finally went live on Friday (April 13) 1pm, but soon crashed due to high traffic.

The team quickly topped up money to increase the website’s bandwidth.

Gan stressed that they are not affiliated to any political parties. They also do not handle the collection or disbursing of money.

“Voters in need of financial subsidy have to supply proof. They have to buy the tickets first and upload to our website.

“We encourage our sponsors to contact those who want help, maybe through Facebook or video calls, to check on the authenticity of the requests,” she said.   

Data on the website will be deleted 14 days after May 9, Gan added.

 

As of 8pm Friday, the website has matched 17 rides, with RM410 pledged.

 

Do they plan to meet up in real life anytime soon?

 

“We are very busy now, but maybe after the general election, if this endeavour is successful.

 

“Our main aim is to help more Malaysians to go home and vote. This is how we play our part in the general election, aside from voting,” Gan said.
   

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