EC had ample notice of Undi18 so it has no reason to delay implementation, says Anwar


PORT DICKSON: The Election Commission (EC) has been given enough time to implement the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 since Parliament endorsed the legislation more than one and a half years ago, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic).

The Opposition leader and PKR president said any further delay would be inexcusable.

"It would be a dereliction of duty on the part of the Election Commission if it is not able (to lower the age limit for voting).

"Parliament has endorsed it and it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that the EC performs its task," he told reporters here on Thursday (April 29).

Similarly, Malaysian United Democratic Alliance Party (Muda) vice-president Lim Wei Jiet said any date after July 2021 was not acceptable as it goes against what the government had stated initially.

"This (to implement Undi 18) would not have been possible without the efforts of Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican and a few other ministers who supported Undi18," he said.

However he said Takiyuddin's statement was not good enough as it lacked commitment and a specific time frame for its implementation.

Earlier in the day, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the Cabinet has unanimously agreed to implement the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 as soon as possible.

This, he said, was decided during a meeting on Wednesday (April 28).

The de facto law minister said that in line with the decision, the EC would have to settle a few legal and technical matters to allow voters aged 18 and above to vote in the next election.

On July 16,2019, Parliament unanimously passed the constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18 and also to make it the minimum age for a Malaysian citizen to run for public office.

In November, Takiyuddin said the two initiatives were expected to be implemented in July this year.

However, the EC announced this was delayed and said the lowering of the minimum voting age and automatic voter registration could only be done by Sept 1,2022.

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