KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — Malaysia is expected to add another 5.8 million voters with the full implementation of Undi18 or a constitutional amendment that lowered the minimum voting age from 21 to 18 years old, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said today.
Wan Junaidi, who is minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), said the Election Commission (EC) is expecting this figure of 5.8 million new voters aged 18 and above when Undi18 is fully implemented.
He said that this would translate to an increase of around 40 per cent in the number of registered voters in the country, which now stands at 15.8 million voters, to the new total of 21.1 million voters.
“In fact, the number of eligible voters is expected to increase every month,” he said in a statement today.
Wan Junaidi said that all Parliament and state constituencies in Malaysia would see a rise in the number of eligible voters when Undi18 and the automatic voter registration is carried out, noting that more than 190 of the 222 parliamentary areas nationwide would each see an increase in new voters at numbers of between 10,000 and 50,000.
Earlier today, Wan Junaidi had carried out an engagement session with MPs in Parliament, with this engagement session jointly organised with the EC to explain the effects of the implementation of the two legal amendments that enabled Undi18 and automatic voters’ registration.
“The full implementation of these two laws would see more Malaysians given the right to vote, fulfilling their obligation as a citizen of a democratic country. It is good to also expose this duty to the younger citizens so that they will be more interested in what is going on with the country, especially in the political scene,” he was quoted in the statement as having said during the engagement session.
Previously on December 2, the EC had announced that the two constitutional amendments for Undi18 and automatic voters registration — Section 3(a) and Section 3(b) of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 — had been gazetted on December 1 and would take effect on December 15 after receiving the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consent.
During the same engagement session today, the EC had explained the expected challenges and changes that would come following the implementation of these two legal changes, Wan Junaidi said.
He added that the EC had also explained the many challenges it is facing in implementing these, including the massive task of cleaning up the electoral list or the list of registered voters — together with relevant agencies such as the National Registration Department, Health Ministry and the Prisons Department — to ensure that only those who are eligible to vote are in the list.