Most youth agree to lower voting age

Youth participating in UNDI18 protest. Photo: Courtesy of Free Malaysia Today
BY NAZRINZULAIQA HASBI

KUCHING: Many people support the implementation of Undi18 which allows youth between 18 and 21 to vote. Some, however, feel that these youth are not mature enough to vote.

Bandar Kuching MP, Dr Kelvin Yii, has applauded a decision by the Kuching High Court on Friday which ruled in favour of the applicants of Undi18 lawsuit, allowing Sarawakians, aged 18 to 21 years, to exercise their constitutional right.

Judicial Commissioner Alexander Siew issued the order of mandamus in allowing a judicial review application filed by five Sarawakian youth to challenge the decision of the previous government under the leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to delay implementation of Undi18.

With the ruling, the federal government through the Election Commission (EC) has been ordered to expedite the implementation of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 latest by December 31 this year.

Dr Yii said the verdict proved that the previous Perikatan Nasional (PN) government’s decision to postpone the implementation of the Undi18 constitutional amendments was illegal, without substance, and a form of voter suppression, particularly against the youth.

He also urged the new prime minister and Attorney General (AG) not to appeal the decision to respect the wishes of the youth and instead focus all energy and resources to implement it as soon as possible.

Following are the views of some youth on the Kuching High Court decision.


Nisa Farzana Helmi

NISA FARZANA HELMI

(Student)

I agree. This is because most teenagers in that age range are mature. They are capable of considering what is best for the country. Youth nowadays are politically aware and should have a chance to vote for competent political leaders in the future.


Mohammad Faizul Said

MOHAMMAD FAIZUL SAID

(Student)

In my opinion, youth in that age range are still immature. They tend to be easily influenced by political propaganda. The right to vote itself is a big responsibility and we should make sure that the youth are ready for it.


Zeenatun Nisa Humaira Ahmad

ZEENATUN NISA HUMAIRA AHMAD

(Student)

I agree to the High Court decision because I believe 18-year-olds already have mature thoughts. Youth have their own political overviews and should have the right to vote for the right leaders to govern the country towards a better future.


Yusman Haqimi Rahman

YUSMAN HAQIMI RAHMAN

(Temporary contractor worker)

Because they are already mature, teenagers in that age range can help to pick leaders who are compassionate, responsible, and people-oriented. I highly agree if the voting process is conducted among teenagers aged 18 to 20. Their voices must be heard as well.


Mohd Hanif Izzuddin Shahrudin

MOHD HANIF IZZUDDIN SHAHRUDIN

(Student)

I agree that Sarawakians aged 18 to 21 should be allowed to exercise their constitutional right. This is because youths today are mature and understand their importance as members of the society in determining the country’s future.


Nur Ain Yahya

NUR AIN YAHYA 

(Student)

Youth aged 18 to 21 should be involved in determining the country’s future. The active participation of young people can act as a catalyst for important changes in the political and economic systems. Young people can promote youth participation and involvement in politics because they have the ability and desire to shape the future of the country.