Reports by ASHLEY TANG, RASHVINJEET S. BEDI, TARRENCE TAN, GERARD GIMINO and JIA QI CHOK
KUALA LUMPUR: The lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 along with automatic voters registration will be implemented by Dec 31, says de facto law minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said this was decided at a Cabinet meeting on Sept 10.
“The Cabinet has decided not to appeal against the High Court decision,” he said during Question Time in Parliament yesterday.
He was responding to Gobind Singh Deo (PH-Puchong) who asked about the status of Undi18 and steps which the government would be taking to implement it.
In July 2019, Parliament had passed a constitutional amendment to lower the minimum voting age to 18 and allow for automatic voter registration.
In response, in March this year, the Election Commission said the proposed amendments could only be implemented by September next year.
A group of Sarawakian youths representing the Undi Sarawak movement filed an appeal on May 3.
On Sept 3, the Kuching High Court ordered Putrajaya to implement Undi18 by Dec 31 at the latest.
“For your information, the Kuching High Court decision stated that Undi18 must be implemented together and it cannot be separated,” he said in response to Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent-Muar), who asked if there would be issues on the implementation of automatic voters registration.
Elaborating further, Wan Junaidi added that if the implementation of Undi18 and automatic voters registration were to take place at different times, then it would require a constitutional amendment.
“So the government decided that there is no need to amend, and we will abide by the High Court.
“The decision was made by the government. I have discussed the implementation with the EC and we will try our best,” he said.
He also hinted that there might be engagements with the relevant stakeholders in future over the implementation of Undi18 and automatic voters registration.
“God willing, we will implement what was decided by the High Court,” Wan Junaidi added.