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Undi 18, automatic voter registration to be implemented by Dec 31, says law minister

Legislation to prevent party hopping and to limit the prime minister's tenure has been proposed, to be brought to Parliament before July 2022.

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Undi 18, the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18, and automatic voter registration will be implemented before Dec 31, while legislation to prevent party hopping and to limit the prime minister’s tenure has been proposed, to be brought to Parliament before July 2022.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this in clarifying the latest status of the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Transformation and Political Stability between the government and Pakatan Harapan (PH) signed on Sept 13.

He said the implementation of Undi 18 and automatic voter registration is based on a Cabinet decision and that of the Kuching High Court on Sept 3.

“For Undi 18, we have no choice, the bill must be tabled before the end of this Parliament sitting, because the judge has ruled that if we do not implement it, it means that the prime minister and the Malaysian government will be in contempt of court,” he said in reply to a question from Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson) on the MoU in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He added that the anti-party hopping legislation and limiting the prime minister’s tenure would require a detailed study and engagement sessions which could not be done in haste.

Wan Junaidi said a meeting would be held with PH leaders next month to get their views on the proposed anti-hopping law as well as to state the government’s stand on it.

On parliamentary reforms, he said the Parliamentary Services Bill 2022 and the Parliament (Privileges and Powers) (Amendment) Bill 2022 are expected to be tabled during Parliament’s first meeting in 2022 in March.

Regarding amendments to the Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat to enable select committees and special select committees to hold open and hybrid meetings, Wan Junaidi said a Cabinet memorandum has been prepared with feedback en route from the relevant parties.

These include the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the finance ministry, the Cabinet Division on the Constitution and Government Relations and the Office of the Chief Government Security Officer.

On amendments to the constitution related to matters under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), Wan Junaidi said the Constitutional Amendment Bill on this was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat on Nov 3 with the second reading scheduled for next month.

He said the government is also committed to ensuring the independence of the judiciary as well as the transformation of institutions and good governance.

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