The youth and sports ministry yesterday tabled a proposal to the Cabinet to separate the implementation of Undi 18 and automatic voter registration.
Minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican said the ministry hoped the Election Commission (EC) could implement the proposal as all Cabinet members had yesterday expressed their support for Undi 18.
“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) Takiyuddin Hassan on the proposal.
He also said Takiyuddin would table the details of the issue next week.
EC chairman Abdul Ghani Salleh had said that automatic voter registration and the lowering of voting age to 18 could only be implemented after Sept 1, 2022. His statement was questioned by many who described the postponement as unreasonable.
On July 16, 2019, the Dewan Rakyat 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 elections to 18.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin meanwhile said he supported the youth and sports ministry’s argument in the 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 issues, why must we delay Undi 18? Undi 18 can proceed. That was our counter-argument and we will decide in the Cabinet (meeting) next week,” he said.