Bill to amend Federal Constitution to lower voting age may be tweaked

  • Nation
  • Monday, 08 Jul 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is expected to tweak the Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age to 18.

This comes after calls by Opposition lawmakers that they would only support lowering the voting age, if it comes with automatic registration of voters who turn 18.

Sources close to the matter said that it was not necessary for the government to withdraw and amend the Constitution (Amendment) 2019 Bill.

"There is likely to be amendments, but there is no necessity to withdraw the Bill for the purpose.

"The Bill can still be amended when it is put at the Committee Stage during debates," the source said on Monday (July 8).

The Bill to amend Article 119 of the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age was tabled by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman last Thursday (July 4).

The Bill is expected to be read for the second time on July 16 before being put to vote.

However, it requires a two-thirds majority of 148 votes in the House to amend the Federal Constitution.

There are 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat and Pakatan Harapan only has 139 MPs, while the Opposition has a total of 77 lawmakers.

Opposition MPs from Barisan Nasional, PAS and Gabung Parti Sarawak said they would support lowering voting age to 18 if it comes with automatic registration of voters.

Currently, there are almost 15 million registered voters and four million unregistered voters in Malaysia.

Automatic registration would see the number of voters increased by about 30%.

Other countries have also lowered their voting age to 18, among them include the United States, the United Kingom, India, Iran, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

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nation , voting age , Dewan Rakyat , Parliament


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