PETALING JAYA: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia has urged the Election Commission (EC) to speed up the implementation of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 on the 18-year-old voting age.
Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the move was necessary to recognise the role and involvement of the youth in politics.
“The Bersatu supreme council emphasises that the party recognises the role and active participation of youths in politics and community activities, ’’ he said in a statement yesterday following the supreme council meeting on Saturday.
Many had called for the implementation of the Bill, popularly known as the Undi18 Bill which was passed on July 16,2019, to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, as well as to implement automatic voter registration (AVR).
The EC, however, announced recently that the lowering of the minimum voting age and AVR could only be realised by Sept 1,2022 at the earliest as the EC was facing constraints such as the movement control order.
Hamzah also said during the meeting, 12 representatives, led by party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, were appointed as members of the central-level Bersatu-PAS consultative committee to discuss and draw up strategies to face the 15th General Election.
“Bersatu had also made preparations to help political allies such as Gabungan Parti Sarawak to face the coming state election, ” he said.
Hamzah said Bersatu also decided to expedite the appointment of chiefs of associate member divisions to empower and further boost their involvement in party activities.
The party constitution allows for non-bumiputra to join Bersatu as an associate member. They are, however, not eligible to vote and contest in party elections.
In Alor Gajah, Bersatu supreme council member Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said the party was ready to defend all the parliamentary and state seats currently held by them in GE15.
He said if Umno decides to field candidates in those seats, Bersatu would have no choice but to take on the challenge.
“We accept Umno’s position which they have clearly made known. We reiterate our readiness to fight for every seat, just as they have stated they will field candidates in all parliamentary seats.
“The important thing now is that the Bersatu political bureau is planning our workflow in that direction, so that we are better prepared to face GE15 and the decision will be submitted to the supreme council for confirmation, ” he said after an event in Kampung Pantai Belimbing, Durian Tunggal, yesterday.Commenting on whether ties between Umno and Bersatu could be mended before GE15, Mohd Redzuan said it would depend on whether Umno could elect a new leadership line-up to restore the party’s original struggle.