Barisan Nasional's alleged bid to dampen Malaysia election fever may backfire

Groundswell of public anger over perceived moves to favour ruling coalition in May 9 polls

Malaysians are organising themselves online and coming up with ways and means to help their fellow citizens get back to their home constituencies to vote in the polls, which fall on a Wednesday.

KUALA LUMPUR • Immediately after Malaysia's Election Commission announced that Polling Day would be on May 9, a Wednesday, netizens made it known loud and clear that this was no way to treat outstation voters, including those who are overseas.

More than 120,000 people signed an online petition asking the King to declare May 9 a public holiday, which the government did eventually. Thousands organised themselves on Facebook and Twitter to carpool and even crowdfund more than RM80,000 (S$27,000) to be used to cover the cost of return tickets for those who have to go back to work on Thursday, May 10.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 15, 2018, with the headline 'BN's alleged bid to dampen election fever may backfire'. Print Edition | Subscribe