Defending delay of Undi18, Rais Yatim says Elections Act needs amending first despite Constitution change

Tan Sri Rais Yatim at the Mah Meri Cultural Village in Carey Island April 1, 2021. Rais said the GE committee had left behind something basic, namely the basis of rules and laws incidental to the constitutional amendments made. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Tan Sri Rais Yatim at the Mah Meri Cultural Village in Carey Island April 1, 2021. Rais said the GE committee had left behind something basic, namely the basis of rules and laws incidental to the constitutional amendments made. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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BANTING, April 1 — The Elections Act 1958 (Act 19) should be amended first so that the Undi 18 (lowering the voting age to 18) in the general election (GE) can be implemented, said Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Rais Yatim.

“When there is a proposal for people aged 18 to become an automatic voter, then the Act should also be amended, but it is not amended (and) the rules under the Election Offences Act are also not amended.

“Even though the constitution has been amended under Article 48, for example, it still cannot be carried out because the avenue is not provided. So, even though the constitution has been amended, there is no infrastructure through election laws,” he said.

He told reporters this after participating in a “gotong-royong” programme with Yayasan Budi volunteers and Orang Asli at Mah Meri Cultural Village in Pulau Carey here today.

Rais said the GE committee had left behind something basic, namely the basis of rules and laws incidental to the constitutional amendments made.

“The law is the main question, and that must be implemented first and if not, the will of the people cannot be implemented.

“The law is not implemented at the infrastructure level, that is what I take seriously, therefore those who are 18 years old cannot be forced to automatically become voters,” he said.

Rais said for him, the effectiveness, benefits, and risks of Undi 18 were about politics, however, the law should be implemented first. — Bernama

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