Don’t politicise Undi 18, says Wan Junaidi

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said Undi 18 cannot be implemented before Dec 31 because the Election Commission (EC) is not ready for it. — Bernama file pic
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said Undi 18 cannot be implemented before Dec 31 because the Election Commission (EC) is not ready for it. — Bernama file pic

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KUCHING, Nov 6 — Politicians should stop politicising issues on Undi 18 as it could cause unnecessary confusion and further misinformation among the rakyat.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the reason Undi 18 cannot be done before Dec 31 this year is because the Election Commission (EC) is not ready for it.

“EC is not ready for it implementation wise, especially on the system. It is not because the government is afraid of allowing 18-year-olds to vote,” he said in a statement here today.

On Nov 3, Wan Junaidi told the Dewan Rakyat that the amendments to the Federal Constitution related to the lowering of the voting age to 18 years cannot be implemented immediately after the Bill was approved in 2019 as several matters must be resolved first.

Wan Junaidi explained when the Federal Constitution was amended in 2019 to lower the voting age to 18, it also comes concurrently with automatic registration of voters.

“As such, there are many aspects of the implementation and the system that the EC needs to resolve, namely on logistics matters, voters’ registration as well as updating the electoral roll,” he added.

Wan Junaidi said to be fair to the EC upon the amendments of the Bill in 2019, the Commission was given a frame given until 2023 – in time for the original plan to have the 15th General Election.

He said in fact based on the timeline set by the commission, the processes will be completed by September 2022 in order for the system to run smoothly.

“Many things happened since then – from the change in government to the Covid-19 outbreak, which had disrupted the implementation process.

“Nevertheless, the EC will abide with the Kuching High Court’s decision to implement the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 by Dec 31 at the latest,” he said.

Wan Junaidi said the implementation of Undi 18 and automatic voters’ registration would see more than a 40 per cent increase (6.1 million) in the number of voters to 21.2 million from 14.9 million voters registered in the 14th general election.

“As a result of this, the EC will be facing a massive task of cleaning up the list together with other relevant agencies namely Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara, Health Ministry and Prison Department to ensure that only those eligible to vote are in the list,” he added. — Bernama

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