KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — The government has stressed that it is committed to making it possible for those aged 18 to vote soon, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.
He said this commitment was discussed and confirmed at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.
Takiyuddin said this showed that the government was committed to allowing youths aged 18 to become voters in the 15th general election (GE15) and any by-elections or state elections.
“The government is very committed to implementing the provision allowing those aged 18 to vote, as provided for in amendments to Article 119 of the Federal Constitution which were unanimously approved by Parliament in a bipartisan manner in 2019.
“Following this decision, the Election Commission (EC) will take immediate steps to resolve several matters related to certain legal provisions and also technical matters including updating the necessary software,” he said in a statement today.
Takiyuddin said the government is confident that EC is always ready to manage the election process in terms of logistics, human resources and adapting to the standard operating procedure required under the new normal following the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
On March 25 this year, EC announced that automatic voter registration and eligibility to vote on reaching 18 years of age can only be implemented after Sept 1 next year, due to constraints faced by it as a result of the enforcement of the Movement Control Order to curb COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said voting at the age of 18 is a fundamental right in a democracy and that the government is committed to honouring it.
“It was a monumental bipartisan decision (of the legislature). As such, as the Youth and Sports Minister who also supported the constitutional amendments as part of the opposition bloc then, I definitely would like to see it implemented according to the timeline set,” he said in his Facebook posting today.
Meanwhile, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said EC has been given sufficient time to implement Undi 18, as Parliament approved the legislation more than one and a half years ago.
Speaking to reporters after attending Program Aplikasi Tuisyen Percuma in Port Dickson today, the opposition leader said it was the responsibility of the government to ensure that EC performs its task.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency