KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 – It’s unreasonable, says UMNO Information Chief Shahril Hamdan on Dewan Negara Speaker Tan Sri Rais Yatim opinion that it will be impractical to lower the voting age to 18 years old due to time and resource constraints.
“How are we going to face the public with things like this. Credibility will be damaged if the government shifts the goal post simply for fear of the opposition party getting closer to the youth.
“If you are worried that they will not support you, convince them to change. Do not move the goal post for fear of the opponent will score. Win or lose with dignity,” said the Pemuda deputy chief on Twitter.
On the other hand, Shahril said even if that’s the case, the respective parties should try to win the support of young voters instead of finding excuse to avoid them. Furthermore, it has been agreed in Parliament.
In a talk show over a government television channel last night, Rais also said lowering the age limit to 18 would take time as we need to identify the eligible ones and their constituencies.
For the record, on July 16, 2019, the Dewan Rakyat passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 to lower the voting age limit to 18 years when more than two-thirds representatives supported it. Similarly on July 25, it was passed at the Senate by a two-thirds majority.
Meanwhile, on Nov 3 last year, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the 18-year-old voter qualification and automatic registration is expected to be implemented by July this year.
With the approval, the next election will see 18-year old voters allowed to vote and become candidates compared with the previous 21-year-old, and voter registration will be carried out automatically.