JOHOR BAHRU, Nov 17 — Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) is providing 43 buses to send 1,600 students home to vote in the 15th general election (GE15) on Saturday.
UTM deputy vice-chancellor (student affairs) Prof Dr Shamsul Sahibuddin said the first batch of 1,200 students left in 35 buses at 9.30pm last night while another 400 students in eight buses would leave at 8am today.
He said each student was charged between RM20 and RM50 depending on their destinations.
“Some of the 43 buses belong to UTM and the rest are rented from companies outside.
“This service is organised in collaboration with the Students Representative Council, which gathered the names of students involved, and we are not making any profit from this initiative,” he told a news conference here.
Meanwhile, Biomedical Engineering degree student Atiqah Alias, 21, gave her thumbs up to the service as it saved students the trouble of buying bus or air tickets at the last minute.
“A bus ticket to Penang normally costs about RM75 and an air ticket about RM150 if bought at the last minute. It is not affordable to a student like me. I’m paying only RM35 to use the UTM bus,” said the second of three siblings.
Atiqah, who is from Tasik Gelugor, Penang, said she was excited to be voting for the first time and hoped the new government would ensure the future of graduates.
Design and Technology degree student Sim Yee Xuan, 18, from Alor Setar, Kedah, also praised the university for the initiative.
“Online checks showed that tickets were selling like hotcakes and expensive because many people are going back to vote. A bus trip to Alor Setar normally costs RM70, but I am paying only RM45 for this,” said the younger of two siblings.