By Chew Lip Song
THE Cabinet has agreed to allow those 18 years and above to vote in the next general election, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said today.
The Cabinet, in its weekly meeting yesterday, had agreed that efforts would be made to achieve this “in the near term”.
“The government is committed to lowering the voting age to 18, in accordance with Article 119 of the Federal Constitution, which was passed unanimously through bipartisanship in 2019,” Takiyuddin, whose portfolio includes law said in a statement.
He added that the Elections Commission would immediately act on this, including looking into matters relating to certain laws and technical issues, such as upgrading its systems.
“The government is committed to giving the young aged above 18 to vote in the 15th general election, or in by-elections or state elections,” he said, adding that the EC was also also ready to conduct polls in accordance with Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures.
Last month, the EC announced that it had postponed to September 2022, plans to allow those above 18 to vote, as well as the automatic voter registration exercise.
This would rob 1.2 million Malaysians aged between 18 and 20 of the opportunity to vote. The current minimal voting age in Malaysia is 21.
This has sparked anger, not just among opposition leaders, but also those from Perikatan Nasional, such as Ministers Khairy Jamaluddin and Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican and several Gabungan Parti Sarawak leaders.