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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — The Young Voters’ Association, also known as the Undi18 campaign, has demanded Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reiterate his commitment in ensuring the Constitution amendment to lower voting age goes through.
In a statement, it also disagreed with Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Rais Yatim’s claim that the decision to lower the voting age to 18-years-old starting this July was one made hastily.
“Malaysian youths have the right to decide their own futures, as well as choosing the government to lead the country.
“This includes 7.8 million potential voters who ought to have been included in the Voter’s Registry via the amended Bill,” it said.
They reminded Rais that the decision to amend Article 119(1) on the voting age limit was a bi-partisan decision which was unanimously agreed upon by all MPs on July 16, 2019.
“The amendment was brought to the Dewan Negara on July 25 of that year, and was unhesitatingly approved by the then-President and senators in attendance.
“His rationale makes it appear as though it was solely the then-Pakatan Harapan government which made the decision to lower the voting age,” Undi18 said.
Yesterday, it was reported that Rais had said during an interview that those aged 18 are not yet ready to fully commit to their democratic rights in life, claiming teenagers are still under the authority of their parents.
He added that giving them the major responsibility of deciding the country’s future via the ballot box is unseemly, implying the decision to lower the voting age was a hasty one by the Pakatan Harapan administration.
“Not only do we disagree with Tan Sri Rais, his remarks appear to disrespect the Parliamentary institution, including the MPs and Senators who voted on the amendment.
“Undi18 is also pushing for the Prime Minister to reiterate his commitment in implementing the Bill come this July, per Law Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan’s written reply to the Dewan Rakyat in November 2 last year where he stated preparations by the Election Commission is expected to complete within 18 to 24 months after the Bill was approved,” it said.