‘Undi 18’ Bill clears first reading in Parliament

Voters queue up to cast their votes outside a polling station during the 14th general elections in SMK Sri Muar, Muar May 9, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Voters queue up to cast their votes outside a polling station during the 14th general elections in SMK Sri Muar, Muar May 9, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman today tabled an amendment to the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age from 21 to 18.

The Bill cleared the first reading and will proceed with the second and third reading this sitting, he said, adding that voting is set for July 16.

The government Bill proposes to amend Article 119 (2) (a) of the Federal Constitution that will enable more Malaysians to vote three years earlier than now, but will have additional financial implications.

However, the government has yet to determine the cost.

The Opposition bloc voiced a conditional support for the constitutional amendment yesterday, with MPs saying they will vote for the Bill but only if the government includes automatic voter registration in the deal.

Should the government fail to include automatic voter registration, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Barisan Nasional, PAS and Gagasan Pari Sarawak MPs will vote against the constitutional amendment.

Without the Opposition votes in the bag, the “Undi 18” Bill as it is also known will be defeated as any constitutional amendment requires two-third parliamentary support.

The ruling Pakatan Harapan does not have two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

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