KUCHING: Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) secretary David Hii said the Election Commission’s (EC) explanation on its delay in the implementation of the automatic voter registration (AVR) and the lowering of the voting age to 18, was due the nationwide movement control order (MCO), is unacceptable.
“We would like to remind the EC that the historic Bill was passed and gazetted in 2019.
“It has been almost two years since it was passed; clearly the EC had ample time to implement the changes,” he said in response to an announcement by EC chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh who said Undi18 can only be implemented by Sept 1, 2022.
He said the EC last year stated that their preparations were expected to be completed by July this year.
“SPA is disappointed with the announcement and they owe an explanation to the public, particularly those within the 18 to 20 age range,” he said.
He said the delay is depriving those aged between 18 and 20 their rights to vote in an election which could be held anytime soon due to the country’s political instability.
“Every eligible person is entitled to vote, for it is their constitutional and democratic right to do so. Thus, the EC being an executive body should expedite the implementation without any further ado,” he stressed.
Hii also hoped that there is no political interference in this matter.
“Parliament has passed the law and the EC’s role is merely to administer and execute. The right to vote is a fundamental human right and they have a right to take part in the democratic process of electing a government of their choice when the time comes,” he said.