KUALA LUMPUR: A group of 18 youths has been allowed by the High Court to proceed with its legal action to challenge the government’s delay in implementing a lower voting age in Malaysia.
Justice Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid said the applicants had successfully obtained leave to start a judicial review of the government’s decision.
He said the constitutional amendments for lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 have been passed in Parliament and have received the royal assent.
“The only outstanding issue is the timing in which the same comes into effect. This court should allow the matter to proceed to the substantive stage and allow the respondents to provide an explanation by affidavit and thereafter only decide on whether a case has been made and what reliefs are appropriate, ” Justice Ahmad Kamal said in his decision that was delivered through Zoom yesterday.
He then allowed the application by the youths and did not make an order as to costs.
The court also fixed July 1 for case management via e-review.
The date for hearing for judicial review is yet to be fixed.
On April 2, the youths filed their legal action seeking several court orders arising from the respondents’ delay in the implementation of Undi18, a move to lower the voting age to 18 and to enable automatic voter registration.
They named Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the government and the Election Commission as respondents.
In the application, the group sought a declaration that the government’s action to delay the enforcement of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 was irrational, illegal, disproportionate and a form of voter suppression.
They want a declaration that those aged 18 to 20 have a legitimate expectation that they will have the right to vote on or before July 2021.
The youths, aged between 18 and 20, are also seeking a declaration that the decision of the respondents to delay the enforcement of Section 3(a) was a form of voter suppression of those aged 18 to 20 in July 2021.