KOTA BHARU: The government has given an assurance to implement the Undi18 this year, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan.
He said that currently, the Election Commission (EC) was still looking into several matters before finalising, and expected it to be implemented this July, thus enabling Malaysians aged 18 to vote in the 15th general election.
“However, I can’t give an exact timeframe but definitely within this year. If we can do it this July, we will do it,” he told reporters after attending the Aidilfitri contributions presentation for Friday mosque officials, and also penghulu for the Kota Bharu Parliamentary constituency, today.
Takiyuddin said that the government supported, and was very committed to ensuring, that the amended Article 119 of the Federal Constitution, which was to lower the age limit for voters from 21 to 18, could be implemented.
“It is indeed the intention of the government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, for the government to give the right to our people who are 18 years old to vote and determine the leadership of our country,” he said.
Touching on the question of why Undi18 needs to take time before it is implemented, he said that many things need to be taken into account, especially the legal aspects.
“When there is a change in terms of policy, for example, from the age of 21 to 18, there are certain laws that need to be amended and improved, because under the election there are many laws such as the Election Offences Act and the Election Act and there are regulations on the running of the election and so on.
“However, the EC will take immediate steps to resolve issues related to the legislation. Secondly, technical issues also need action taken by the government, especially by the EC, because when Undi18 is implemented then the number (of voters) will increase, and it needs to upgrade its computer software and so on,” he said.
Takiyuddin explained that most countries have adopted a minimum of 18 years as voting age and the law in this country also outlines the age as the age of maturity. – Bernama