KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — De facto law minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said today the Attorney General’s Chambers has no plan to appeal against the High Court ruling directing Putrajaya to implement the lowered voting age of 18 years’ old this year.
The High Court in Kuching, Sarawak, last week directed the government and Election Commission (EC) to take steps to implement the constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18, in a ruling that gave victory to activists pushing for greater youth representation.
“Because of the court ruling, a ruling is a law that must be accepted and observed, so I have asked the Elections Commission to implement whatever it can in its powers based on the ruling made by the Judge,” Wan Junaidi told reporters in Putrajaya.
“But the question on whether or not we would appeal? To date there’s no plan to appeal against the ruling,” he added.
“That means the Kuching High Court ruling stays as a law that must be implemented.”
In his September 3 ruling, High Court judicial commissioner Alexander Siew How Wai said the move to delay Undi18 is illegal and irrational.
The EC, citing technicalities, said the law can only be enforced by September 2022.
At today’s press conference, Wan Junaidi explained some of the legal and technical issues that had prompted the EC’s decision to set next year as the deadline to enforce Undi18.
Among them were discrepancies in addresses that could make automatic voter registration difficult.
Siew granted two court orders. The first was to quash the EC and government’s decision to delay the implementation of Undi18 until after September 2022.
The second was a mandamus order that compels the EC and government to take immediate steps for the constitutional amendment which includes Undi18 to “come into operation as soon as possible and in any event by December 31, 2021”.