By Chew Lip Song
THE ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has been told to ramp up the pressure on their federal coalition partners to reverse the delay in allowing voters between 18 and 20 years of age to vote.
Michael Kong, who is a special assistant to Sarawak DAP chairman said he was disappointed by the Election Commission’s decision to postpone the implementation of the electoral reform from July this year to Sept 2022.
“Sadly, though not surprisingly GPS has been silent on this issue. From their track record, we can see why this issue does not concern them.
“For decades, we see only the old guards running this state and at the same time, the voices of the youth subdued. This is one of the reasons why many young Sarawakians choose to remain overseas after they complete their tertiary education.
“I urge GPS to stand up for the future of Sarawak and pressure their compatriots to take Undi18 seriously without any further delay,” he said in a statement.
Kong added that the decision to lower the voting age to 18 was supported by both the government and the opposition when the bill was tabled in Parliament.
He also criticised Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang for belittling youth for being not mature enough to vote.
Contrary to Hadi’s views, Kong said today’s youth’s are very smart and exceptionally quick in adapting to their surroundings.
“With all the knowledge and technology available, the youth are well positioned to make a well-informed decision when required to.
“Many youths have also participated in politics by managing campaigns, advocating for rights, and even becoming grassroots activists. So even though they were not allowed to vote, the youth were able to contribute to a political campaign just as much as adults are,” Kong added.