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KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — Semporna MP Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal is urging the Election Commission (EC) to state when Undi18 will be implemented.
In a statement, the former Sabah chief minister added that any move by the current Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to stall the implementation of Undi18 not only deprives the youth of their constitutional right to vote and choose their government.
“The impression given by the PN government’s actions gives the impression that youths are not important in the practice of democracy in the country.
“The EC should clearly state when it wants to implement Undi18, without any influence by any political leader. Any delay would only affect the mood of the youth to be involved in the democratic process. I believe in their maturity and decision making capabilities,” he said.
Shafie added that in order to ensure the success of Undi18, the EC must hold more stakeholder engagements with all, including those from Opposition parties.
“It is not a question of giving freedom to them, this is a question of rights that should be restored,” he said.
Earlier today, Youth and Sports (KBS) Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican urged the EC to clarify the latest developments regarding Undi18 to enable the public to get correct and clear information on the issue.
He added that the EC should explain the situation because the policy to lower the voting age to 18 is already at the implementation stage.
Reezal was commenting on media reports claiming that the country is still not ready to allow 18-year-olds to vote although the Dewan Rakyat has passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019.
In 2019, Putrajaya’s bid to amend the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age to 18 was met with resounding success with unanimous backing from the Opposition bloc and government backbenchers.
The Bill, which also includes automatic voter registration and allowing 18-year-olds to contest in elections, created history for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration when it was in power as it was the first successful constitutional amendment that received support from both sides of the political divide.