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22 May 2024

Thursday, April 29, 2021

After cabinet meeting, EC taking steps to implement Undi18 soon - minister


The Election Commission (EC) is taking immediate steps to implement Undi18 following a cabinet decision yesterday to lower the voting age soon, said de facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan.

"Following the (cabinet) decision, the EC will take immediate steps to resolve several matters involving legal provisions and technical matters including updating the necessary system software," he said in a statement this morning.

Last month, the EC postponed the implementation of lowering the voting age, together with automatic voter registration (AVR), to after September 2022.

It said the movement control order had affected its planning and preparations, and that it would have a preliminary report ready by September this year.

The move effectively meant that 1.2 million youths aged 18 to 20 could not vote in the 15th general election (GE15) - which is expected to be held after the state of emergency is lifted in August this year.

This led to a backlash against the EC and the Perikatan Nasional government, as the previous timeline was that Undi18 would be implemented this July.

Critics - including Umno ministers - argued that lowering the voting age could be done separately from implementing the AVR.

Takiyuddin in his statement today, stressed that the government was committed to giving those aged 18 and above the right to vote in GE15 and in any state or by-election.

Constitutional amendments to lower the voting age were passed by the Dewan Rakyat unanimously in 2019. - Mkini

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