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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Youth and Sports Ministry tables proposal to separate Undi18, automatic voter registration to cabinet

 Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican with Khairy Jamaluddin and Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal (right) at the Malaysia Vaccine Support Volunteers (MYVAC) duty assignment in Putrajaya, March 31, 2021. — Bernama pic

Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican with Khairy Jamaluddin and Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal (right) at the Malaysia Vaccine Support Volunteers (MYVAC) duty assignment in Putrajaya, March 31, 2021. — Bernama pic



PUTRAJAYA, March 31 — The Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) has tabled a proposal to the Cabinet today to separate the implementation of the 18-year-old voting age (Undi18) and automatic voter registration process.

Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said the ministry hoped that the Election Commission (EC) could implement the proposal as all Cabinet members today have expressed their support for Undi18.

“The amendment (to the Federal Constitution) comprises various matters, so I think we have to start with the low hanging fruit,” he said, adding that he would submit a letter to the EC and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan on the respective proposal.

Speaking to reporters after the handing-over of assignments to the Malaysia Vaccine Support Volunteers (MyVAC) volunteer teams here, today, Reezal Merican said Takiyuddin would also table the details of the issue next week.

EC chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh was reported to have said that the automatic voter registration and lowering of voting age to 18 could only be implemented after September 1, 2022, and the statement was questioned by many quarters who described the postponement as unreasonable.

On July 16, 2019, Dewan Rakyat had approved the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 that seeks to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, automatic voter registration and lowering the eligible age to contest in election to 18.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who was also present at the event said he supported KBS’ argument in today’s Cabinet meeting on the separation of the process as they were informed that the automatic voter registration system has yet to be completed.

“If we cannot implement automatic registration due to system issue, why must we delay Undi18. Undi18 can proceed. That was our counter-argument and we will decide in the Cabinet (meeting) next week,” he said.

Meanwhile, KBS received almost 8,000 applications to become MyVAC volunteers since it was launched on February 26, with Selangor recording the highest number of registrations with 1,244 people, followed by Sabah (1,009), Penang (734), Perak (617) and Kedah (612).

Reezal Merican said the number also exceeded the government’s initial target of 6,000 volunteers who would be placed in over 600 vaccination centres nationwide.

He added that the programme was driven by a whole-society approach in ensuring the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme runs smoothly. — Bernama

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