KOTA BARU: The government has given an assurance that it will implement the Undi18 this year, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (pic).
The Election Commission (EC) is still looking into several matters before Malaysian citizens aged 18 are allowed to vote in 15th General Election, he said.
“However, I can’t give an exact time frame but definitely within this year.
“If we can do it by July, we will do it, ” he told reporters after attending the Hari Raya Aidilfitri contributions presentation for mosque officials and penghulu for the Kota Baru parliamentary constituency yesterday.
Takiyuddin said the government supported and was committed to ensuring that the amended Article 119 of the Federal Constitution, which was to lower the age limit for voters from 21 to 18, could be implemented.
“It is indeed the intention of the government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, to give the right to our people who are 18 to vote and determine the leadership of our country, ” he said.
Touching on the question of why Undi18 needed time before it can be implemented, Takiyuddin explained that many things needed to be taken into account, especially the legal aspects.
“When there is a change in terms of policy – for example, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, there are certain laws that need to be amended and improved on, because under the election there are many laws such as the Election Offences Act and the Election Act and there are regulations on the running of the election and so on.
“However, the EC will take immediate steps to resolve issues related to the legislation.
“Secondly, technical issues also need to be reviewed by the government, especially by the EC, because when Undi18 is implemented, the number (of voters) will increase and it needs to upgrade its computer software and so on, ” he said.
Takiyuddin explained that most countries had adopted a minimum voting age of 18, and that the law in this country must also outline 18 as the age of maturity.
On July 16,2019, the historic Bill was passed to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, as well as to implement automatic voter registration (AVR).
But in late March, the EC announced that the lowering of the minimum voting age and AVR could only be done by Sept 1,2022. — Bernama