PETALING JAYA: They have been given five days of leave to go home and vote for the first time in their lives, and students in tertiary institutions who are part of the Undi18 cohort are up to the challenge.

Many are already packing up for home, and airlines, trains and buses are expecting an increase in bookings.

Students in all higher learning institutions have been given leave from Nov 17 to Nov 21 to enable them to return home to vote.

University student Zoe Tan, 22, will be flying back to Miri in Sarawak to cast her vote for the first time.

She bought her flight tickets as soon as the election dates were announced. She managed to get a round-trip ticket for RM500, just before the prices started to rise.

Some of her friends decided not to go back to vote because the ticket prices had become too expensive.

“If they really want to motivate the younger generation to vote, the fares should be lowered.

“This is my first time voting, and I believe I should.

“It is very crucial to show that Malaysian youths are not as politically ignorant as many think,” Tan said.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) has special train services from Nov 18 to 20, with 716 tickets on offer for the East Coast route from KL Sentral to Tumpat in Kelantan and vice versa.

Following the high demand for ETS train services in conjunction with GE15, KTMB is also providing eight additional electric train services (ETS), with a total of 2,520 tickets, which will also be on offer for the KL-Padang Besar and Butterworth-KL routes.

Batik Air (formerly Malindo Air) said demand for flights has not picked up but it expects to see an increase in last-minute purchases.

The airline will be adding extra flights to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu on Nov 19, 20 and 21.