KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — DAP lawmaker Lim Kit Siang said he is glad to be able to witness the fulfilment of his 1971 suggestion that Malaysia lower its voting age.
Lim was among lawmakers who yesterday unanimously voted for the historic Bill to lower the voting age from 21 to 18.
“Lowering of voting age to 18 years a historic occasion for Malaysia and a wish come true for me 48 years after my first raising the issue in Parliament in 1971,” Lim said in a statement.
“It is time however for Malaysians to think of themselves not just as Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans, but even more importantly think of themselves as Malaysians who share the common dream to make Malaysia a top world-class nation which is respected by the world for our democracy, good governance, social justice and economic prowess.”
Lim also took umbrage at the Opposition’s description of DAP as a racist party out to depose the Malays and trample on their rights.
He said if DAP were racist, it would not have supported lowering the voting age as the vote would benefit Malays that are the country’s largest ethnic group.
“If the DAP is a racist Chinese political party which dominated the Pakatan Harapan government, as is preached by leaders of an irresponsible political alliance of klepto-theocracy, the DAP would have stopped the constitutional amendment in its tracks, as there would be a greater increase of Malay voters as compared to Chinese voters because of the demographic composition in the country.
“But the Pakatan Harapan government has demonstrated that it will act in the best interests of the country, although it might be detrimental to the interests of the Harapan coalition with talk that Pakatan Harapan is committing political suicide with the passage of the constitutional amendment yesterday,” added the MP for Iskandar Putri.
Malaysia joined the likes of Netherlands, United States, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Philippines, Australia, France, New Zealand, Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, Denmark, Spain, Peru, Belgium, India, Switzerland, Austria, Estonia, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, Jordan, Pakistan, Morocco, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom, Turkey, Poland, Canada and Germany who have all lowered the voting age to 18.