PETALING JAYA: The Cabinet has unanimously agreed to implement the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 as soon as possible during a meeting on Wednesday (April 28), says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (pic).
The de facto law minister said that in line with the decision, the Election Commission (EC) would have to settle a few legal and technical matters to allow voters aged 18 years old and above to vote in the next election.
"The government is committed to implement the eligibility of those aged 18 (to 21) to vote as stated in the amendment to Article 119 of the Federal Constitution as unanimously agreed in 2019.
"This was discussed and approved during the Cabinet meeting on April 28 and will be pushed so that it can be implemented as soon as possible.
"The EC will take immediate action to meet legal provisions and overcome technical issues, including updating the software system.
"This decision shows that the government is committed to give the opportunity to youths aged 18 and above to vote in the 15th General Election or any other by-elections and state elections," said Takiyuddin.
On July 16, 2019, Parliament unanimously passed the constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18 and to make 18 the minimum age for a Malaysian citizen to run for public office.
Last November, Takiyuddin had said the two initiatives were expected to be implemented in July this year.
However, not more than five months after this, the EC announced this was delayed and said that the lowering of the minimum voting age and automatic voter registration (AVR) could only be done by Sept 1, 2022.
This caused some to question the government's commitment to allowing youth to vote.