JOHOR BARU, Jan 5 — The Johor government said it will hold a special one-day state assembly meeting tomorrow to amend the state constitution to be in line with Undi18, by lowering the voting age and implementing automatic voter registration.
It is learnt that the state assembly is expected to discuss the bill related to Undi18 to streamline the Johor state constitution with the Federal Constitution, and to enable Malaysians aged 18 and above to be election candidates as well.
Johor state assembly speaker Suhaizan Kaiat, who confirmed his attendance for tomorrow’s sitting, said Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad will represent the state government to amend the “Undang-Undang Tubuh Kerajaan Negeri Johor 1895”.
“Basically there will be no issue for Johor to lower the voting age and to also implement automatic voter registration.
“However, what needs to be discussed is the amendment and changes to Clause 16 of the second part of the Johor state constitution to allow for those aged 18 and above to be election candidates,” he told Malay Mail when contacted today.
At present, only Johor and Melaka have yet to amend their state constitutions to be in line with the Undi18 provision to lower the voting age and implement automatic voter registration.
In a federal government gazette on December 1, the implementation of Undi 18 and automatic voter registration was gazetted and will take effect on December 15.
An informed state government source said the amendments are in line with the approval for the Federal Constitution amendment, and are expected to be passed by both the government and Opposition assemblymen without any issues.
“The amendments will be done at the sitting and I believe all assemblymen fully support the inspiration and development of youth in the state for the future of Johor,” said the source.
On discussing an early state election, Suhaizan said there is a possibility that Hasni can discuss the matter despite tomorrow’s special sitting touching only on the Undi 18 amendments.
“Under the state assembly, the mentri besar does not need consent to bring up the matter of having an early state election,” he said.
The same source also pointed that Hasni, who is also the Johor Umno chief, may bring up the issue of Johor having an early state election during the Undi 18 sitting.
“It is possible that the MB can touch on the matter as a matter of getting feedback from the assemblymen present.
“However, I am told that the mentri besar is more concerned about the ongoing flood relief efforts in Johor as a priority over planning for an early state election,” said the source, adding that talk has been rife among Johor politicians on an early state election since the end of last year.
Checks by Malay Mail revealed that most assemblymen from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN)-Perikatan Nasional (PN) together with the Opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) are keeping mum if attempts to hold an early state election will also be discussed.
On December 25 last year, Hasni was reported stating that the Johor government will examine the current situation involving membership in the State Legislative Assembly, before considering if there is a necessity for a state poll or otherwise in the southern state.
His reaction was following the death of PN’s Kempas assemblyman Datuk Osman Sapian on December 22.
His death has reduced the ruling BN-PN majority in the 56-seat state assembly to a sole seat.
The current state government has 28 seats compared to 27 seats held by the Opposition PH.