Sarawak Polls: 18-year-olds will not be able to vote, says Wan Junaidi

KUCHING: Undi18 may have been gazetted but 18-year-olds in Sarawak will not be able to vote in the coming state election on Dec 18, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said the coming state election on Dec 18 would only involve the electoral roll last updated on Nov 2.

The de facto law minister also said that although the Constitutional (Amendment) Act 2019 reducing the voting age from 21 to 18 was gazetted on Nov 25 and comes to effect on Dec 15, the implementation date is only from January next year.

"This decision is based on the legal process, including decisions set by the Kuching High Court – not to deny the rights and aspirations of youths aged 18 and above to vote.

"I want to stress here that there is no pressure from any group on this issue. In fact, Sarawak is ready to accept these young voters. So I hope this issue won't be politicised," Wan Junaidi told The Star on Thursday (Dec 2).

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Election Commission (EC) stated that the Federal gazette on the implementation of Undi18 and automatic voters registration had gotten the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's consent.

"The EC would like to inform that amendments on the election-related subsidiary legislation, namely the Elections (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) 2021 and the Elections (Conduct of Elections) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 were gazetted on Nov 30.

"It will take effect on Dec 15 after obtaining the consent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong based on Section 17 of the Elections Act 1958," said the EC in a statement dated Dec 2.

The EC also said both said amendments would be tabled in Parliament as soon as possible.

It was reported that the implementation of Undi18 and automatic voter registration had been gazetted and would take effect on Dec 15.

On Sept 7, Wan Junaidi ordered the EC to implement Undi18 by Dec 31, to comply with the Kuching High Court's decision.

On Sept 6, the Kuching High Court in Sarawak ordered the EC and the government to implement Undi18 by Dec 31.

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