PAS on Bill to lower voting age: Opposition will vote in favour only if govt accedes to all three demands

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 09 Jul 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will brief Opposition lawmakers on the proposed amendment to reduce the voting age from 21 to 18, says PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.

"We will wait and see tomorrow (July 10); there will be a briefing by the PM to all MPs," he said to reporters when met at the Parliament lobby on Tuesday (July 9).

Takiyuddin said the Opposition would only support Pakatan Harapan's bid to amend the voting age, only if it accedes to three of its demands - lower the voting age to 18, allow automatic voter registration and allowing 18-year-olds to run in elections as candidates.

"If the government agrees to our proposal, then we can vote in (favour)," he said.

Takiyuddin also stressed that the government must agree to its three demands, otherwise it won't have the support of the Opposition to amend the voting age to 18 on July 16.

If the government does not accede to all three of its demands, Takiyuddin said the Opposition would then table a Private Member's Bill.

"We will wait until it is tabled on July 16. This Bill can be amended before it is tabled for the second reading. They don't have to withdraw, just tender the amendment to the Bill. That's all."

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.

It will require two-thirds majority of 148 votes in the House to amend the Federal Constitution.

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

On Monday (July 8), Dr Mahathir said the Pakatan presidential council had agreed to allow automatic voter registration and 18-year-olds to contest as candidates in general elections.

Syed Saddiq, who was present with Dr Mahathir on Monday, said there will be three constitutional amendments within the current Parliamentary session to implement the changes.

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