By John Isaac
DAPSY today said they were appalled by the government’s latest move to continue side-lining the voices of the youth.
Dapsy Stampin said this backtrack came despite the assurance from the de facto Law Minister last year that the implementation of the new amendments would roll out by July this year.
“By delaying the implementation of the new legislative amendments, the government is in effect saying that the youth do not have a stake in society.
“I am concerned by the implications of such a proposition as the youth have so much potential to contribute to our nation-building and steering the direction of this country,” said Paul Sigar, the Dapsy Stampin publicity secretary.
He said diverse opinions and ideals from the youth should be appreciated and welcomed, not shut down and excluded.
Yesterday, the Election Commission said the implementation of Undi18, including automatic voter registration was postponed to Sept 1, next year.
“The participation in our country’s politics is not an exclusive matter reserved for the elite few and certainly not meant to be a self-serving career for veteran politicians only.
“Politics should be accessible to everyone across all age groups mature enough to appreciate the nature of their civic duty,” said Paul.
He said this was consistent with the practice of many countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and even Bangladesh.
In fact, 18 years old is the most common minimum voting age.
“I therefore find it hard to accept that the government cannot even deliver on such basic rights.
“I urge the government to respect and restore the democratic voices of the younger generation and take practical steps to ensure the youth’s participation in GE15,” he stressed.
He said the government should also bear in mind that the legislation received unanimous support in both Houses.
If the Prime Minister cannot deliver what he himself supported while he was with the Pakatan Harapan government, then I suggest he tender his resignation and let someone else with the political will do it, he added.