Vote early as rain is forecast on May 9

The weather tends to swing in the blink of an eye, so consider bringing an umbrella and/or a sun hat

By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By TMR File

Election fever has gripped Malaysia for the past few weeks — unsurprisingly so — as this 14th General Election will decide whether the ruling coalition will extend its 61-year reign, or a new government will rise for the first time since independence.

In anticipation for the fiercest battle between two political coalitions, voters should be prepared against any circumstances that may hamper their voting journey. One of it would be the weather.

Yesterday, the Malaysian Meteorological Department released its forecast for the weather on polling day tomorrow.

Most states, including Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Johor, are expected to see fair skies in the morning and thunderstorms in the evening. Labuan should see rain in the morning and sunshine in the evening, while showers and thunderstorms are predicted throughout the day for Penang.

In Sabah, sunny weather is anticipated in the morning, with isolated rain and thunderstorms in certain areas in the evening, while Sarawak will largely see showers and storms in the morning and evening.

With that in mind, consider bringing an umbrella and/or a sun hat, without party logos, names or colours, just in case.

Planning your schedule around the weather would also go a long way, given that Malaysian weather has a tendency to swing from excessive heat to tree-uprooting thunderstorms in the blink of an eye.

Another factor that should be considered, especially for firsttime voters, will be the attire.

According to a statement from the Election Commission, clothes, umbrellas and any other items bearing party logos, names of candidates or symbols are prohibited. There is also no particular dress code for voters, though voters are advised to dress appropriately — shorts, slippers, singlets and miniskirts are not encouraged.

Instead, do wear decent, comfortable shoes and clothing, as the waiting time may be long, depending on voter turnout and timing at each polling station.

Neutral shades are also your safest bet in order to avoid any association with political parties.

If you are driving, do take note of places to park, and park considerably while you are at it. For other options, public transport is always an alternative.

There is also e-hailing platform Grab, which is offering discounted rides to or from polling stations tomorrow.

Grab users can redeem RM5 off for one ride using 250 points in the GrabRewards catalogue — valid for all polling stations in the 27 cities nationwide that Grab operates in. If all else fails, walking is not likely to harm anyone — after all, what’s a little stroll in order to exercise your right to vote?