JOHOR BARU: Malaysians are springing to action as volunteer activists and are offering carpool rides to total strangers so they can return home and exercise their right to vote.
On Twitter, hundreds of Malaysians have offered to carpool voters returning to their hometowns with the Twitter handle #CarPoolGE14.
Twitter user @Plastic_Moonzea on April 10 asked if anyone was carpooling from Singapore to the Taiping/Penang area because she couldn't afford to take three days leave and offered to take turns to drive the car.
Her tweet soon bore fruit as she then posted "Hi guys! Thank you so much for the retweets! I found my carpool partners! Appreciate your help so so much! #PulangMengundi. Let's do this."
Another Twitter user from Singapore also asked if anyone could give him and his friends a ride back to Kuala Lumpur.
"My friends in Singapore might need your help because the flight tickets are too expensive," said @MohdNorFirdaus whose posting was retweeted more than 40 times. Some had contacted him on how to carpool all of them.
Meanwhile @Ashwene_THINA was touched by the gesture of netizens as she said: "Malaysians are definitely one of a kind, because I just saw tweets about how everyone are helping each another with #CarPoolGE14 & then I saw another tweet where this girl can't even vote yet but who was willing to spend some money on bus tickets for those in need."
@basheerazmin also said it was heartwarming to see Malaysians working hand in hand to help each other fulfil their right to vote despite the election being held on a weekday.
On Facebook, there are several groups called "Jom Balik Undi" (Come, Let's Return to Vote). One group has over 43,000 members offering help with carpooling on polling day.
"The purpose of this page is just to carpool and to assist people in carrying out their duty as a voter... We do not represent any political party... any posts in support of any party will be deleted," said a message by the admin of the Facebook group.
The postings, in Chinese, English and Malay, either requested or offered carpooling, or guided people to someone who could help them.
Some members in this page also set specific times and places for passengers to meet before heading to their destination.
Others also requested would-be passengers to help share the costs of highway tolls and petrol, while some were doing it simply to enjoy the company of others as they headed back to their hometowns.
However, some also saw the funny side of the initiative as Twitter user @FarisAlias07 said "Anyone want to ride on the back of my bicycle to the polling station on May 9?"
@EkeenAmran also joked that the carpooling initiative could be a blessing in disguise for single men and women who could find their future life partner in the process.