PUTRAJAYA: Automatic registration to enable eligible Malaysians to vote from the age of 18 is expected to be implemented by mid-2021, now that the tender for the computer system for the process has been awarded.
Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun said once the system was up and running, automatic voter registration could be done.
He, however, did not have the details of the tender, as the process and award was carried out by the Finance Ministry.
“We have set the target for middle of next year for this to be up and running, but we will also see if the implementation can be pushed to an earlier date, ” he said after a discussion with members of the parliamentary special select committee on elections and the special select committee on major public appointments at the EC headquarters on Wednesday (Jan 22).
Last year, the Dewan Rakyat approved amendments to the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, and to allow for automatic voter registration.
Azhar said while waiting for the system, the EC had taken steps to determine the locality of new voters.
He said the EC managed to identify the locality of two million new voters based on the address on their identity card.
“We have also started our voter education programme for Form Four students, and the programme is well received.
"We will extend this to all the 2,400 secondary schools nationwide, ” he said.
Azhar added that a module had been prepared to educate students on the process of voting, adding that the module would be made public.
“We want to do so to avoid being accused of trying to indoctrinate young minds. The purpose of going to schools is to educate the young, who will become voters on what the process is all about, ” he said.