After uproar over spike in fares for GE15, Malaysia Airlines offers 20pc discount on local flights

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National carrier Malaysia Airlines has announced a 20 percent discount on all domestic flights to encourage voters to return home to cast their ballot in the general election next month.

Taking to its social media platforms, the airline said it is selling the tickets from now until November 19, which is also polling day for the 15th general election.

The travel period is from November 11 to 27, one week before and after voting day.

“If you identify as Anak Malaysia, this is your chance to fly home to vote for your future and for your children’s futures.

“Play your part as a citizen of Malaysia,” Malaysia Airlines said in a statement today.

A quick check online showed the Malaysia Airlines’ airfare from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu on polling weekend starting at RM663.

In comparison, local rival AirAsia has priced tickets for the same destination and travel period at around RM700.

Malaysians took to social media to vent their outrage at the sharp spike in airfares for the November 19 to 21 weekend right after the Election Commission announced the polling date.

Malay Mail’s checks showed direct economy flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur cost a whopping RM2,376 on AirAsia and RM744 on Malaysia Airlines during the election weekend just minutes after the announcement.

Tickets between Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru cost RM495.92 on AirAsia and RM647.22 on Malaysia Airlines while Kuala Lumpur to Kuching costs around RM500 on Malaysia Airlines and RM720 on AirAsia.

The Transport Ministry was forced to issue a statement saying it has advised the Malaysian Aviation Commission to set a ceiling price for airline tickets to ensure that voters can exercise their democratic right without having to bear additional costs.

Early polling for the 15th general election has been set for November 15 while nomination — which kicks off the official campaign period — is on November 5.

Voters have been warned to brace for a wet election with the Meteorological Department forecasting lots of rain during the transition to the year-end monsoon season. – MMO