Najib seeks to attend Parliament to support Bill

  • Nation
  • Friday, 05 Jul 2019

DATUK Seri Najib Razak says Barisan Nasional will support the Bill to lower the voting age to 18 and he will make an effort to attend Parliament to support the move.

The former prime minister said he would file an application in the High Court to excuse him from court proceedings on July 16, so he could be present and support Paka­tan Harapan’s bid.

The Bill to amend the voting age from 21 to 18 is set to be tabled for the third reading on July 16.

On Monday, the High Court denied Najib’s request to skip a day in court to attend Parliament after hearing an application from his lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and the counter-­argument from Attorney General Tommy Thomas who objected.

“It is the judge who decides, and the AG objected to it in the first instance. So I think if the AG doesn’t object (this time), then there should be no reason why I should be deprived of my constitutional right as an MP.

“Certainly, a constitutional amend­­­­ment requires a two-thirds majority and it requires every single MP to be present, whether they support or don’t support,” he added.

Najib said that the previous Barisan administration was liberal and allowed politicians with ongoing court cases to attend Parliament sittings, citing the example of the late Karpal Singh.

“The court adjusted dates to accommodate him when he was counsel, even when he was an accused,” he said.

Najib also said Barisan MPs were in support of the Bill as it was the norm in many other countries, but worried that it could lead to political instability due to the maturity level of today’s youths.

“It makes Malaysian politics hard to predict because people of that age are very impressionable and can be easily swayed.

“Second, schools should not be the battleground for political parties. Universities are fine, but not schools,” he said after meeting with Youth Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman over the issue.

On the meeting, he said it was “positive”, saying that they both agreed that Malaysian politics should rise above personal attacks and character assassination.

“We can disagree on policies and issues ... as opposed to attacking a person’s character,” he added.

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