MCA: Govt should review existing laws that impose age restrictions

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 17 Jul 2019

PETALING JAYA: The government should review existing laws that impose age restrictions, says MCA Youth chief Nicole Wong Siaw Ting.

This comes after the Dewan Rakyat passed the Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age to 18 on Tuesday (July 16).

Wong said it was important to delve into the various age restrictions in existing legislation.

"After lowering the voting age, the government must consider incorporating civics and political education into our national education system.

"After all, the History and Moral Education subjects only touched on these elements at a very surface level," she said in a statement.

Wong said the movement has voiced its concerns and suggestions to Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman during a meeting on Tuesday (July 16).

Wong also called on the government to repeal the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971.

"It (the Act) erodes the autonomy of universities, interferes with academic freedom and infringes on the human rights of university students by forbidding them from participating in all political activities," she added.

Wong said the government should be willing to embrace a future where political organisations are allowed to enter varsity grounds in a well-organised manner to facilitate direct, open and fair dialogue with students.

Wong noted that MCA was willing to work with the government for the sake of youths towards lowering the voting age, automatic voter registration of voters, and eligibility as candidates.

"The politics of opposing for the sake of opposing is severely outdated and regressive.

"18-year-olds have sufficient intellect to decide on their ballots. Hence, we believe they possess the capacity to be a candidate and subsequently a well-standing representative of the country," she added.

In addition to lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, the amendments also sought to lower the eligible age of electoral candidates to 18 and to enable the automatic registration of voters by the Election Commission.


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