Call it national service or marketing savvy, but AirAsia X is offering cheap flights for Malaysians abroad to come home to vote.
While the election date is still uncertain, AirAsia X says that Malaysians living overseas who are registered voters can be sure of promo prices even if they book last minute.
“We will make an official announcement with all the details when elections are called,” Azran said when contacted.
Azran indicated that there will be a limit on the number of seats on offer although this and promotional fares are still being ironed out.
“There wasn’t a lot of research made before the decision. We made it because we felt that voting is an important civic duty for everybody,” he said.
The AirAsia X team is still working out a booking mechanism, he said, but it is likely to be done separate to the existing website.
In an interview with Radio Australia, organiser for the Jom Balik Undi campaign William De Cruz said that it is understood that booking is most likely to be conducted through a dedicated hotline and email.
Doesn’t include other AirAsia destinations
AirAsia X, part of the AirAsia group, flies to Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Taipei, Chengdu, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing, Osaka, Tokyo, Kathmandu, Jeddah and Seoul.
However, Azran told Malaysian diaspora portal Outstation.my that the promotion is unlikely to be extended to Jeddah as those flights are sold out for umrah packages.
He also said that it is unclear if the offer may be extended to other AirAsia destinations, as AirAsia X is run as a separate airline.
The World Bank estimates that a million Malaysians were living and working abroad in 2010.
It is unclear how many are registered voters, but the Election Commission said that 2,485 have applied to be postal voters under the new regulations.
This does not include the 2,651 Malaysian students and civil servants living overseas who are registered as postal voters.
Those who do not register as postal voters by midnight of the day of Parliament dissolution will need to return home in order to vote.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak needs to call for snap polls before April 28, at which point Parliament dissolves automatically. Polls have to take place within 60 days of dissolution.