Federal Government says it will comply with court order to lower voting age

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Government will comply with the Kuching High Court's Sept 3 order to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 by the end of the year.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said he had spoken to the Election Commission (EC) on the matter.

He said for now, there was no decision on whether or not the government would appeal against the court order.

"While we look into this (appeal), the EC has been asked to proceed with measures to comply with the court order," he said after visiting the EC's headquarters here on Tuesday (Sept 7).

Judicial Commissioner Alexander Siew made the order when allowing a judicial review by five Sarawakian youths seeking to compel the implementation of the lower voting age.

The youths representing the Undi Sarawak movement had named the Prime Minister, Malaysian government and EC as respondents in their May 3 application.

In his ruling, Siew held that the respondents had not acted with all convenient speed to implement the lowering of the voting age.

He said the delay in the implementation from the initial schedule of July this year to September next year was unexplained, irrational and unreasonable.

As such, Siew granted an order to quash the respondents' decision to delay the implementation of Undi18 beyond July.

He also granted an order of mandamus compelling the government and EC to take all necessary steps for Undi18 to come into operation as soon as possible, and in any event, by Dec 31 this year.

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