THE decision to postpone the automatic registration for those aged 18 years until 1 September 2022, as announced by the Election Commission (EC), is very shocking and disappointing indeed.
2. Pemuda UMNO is of the opinion that the EC decision does not seem to respect Parliament as the country’s highest legislative body which has agreed when more than 2/3 members of the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 in July 2019.
3. In fact, the Amendment to Clause (1) and Clause (4) of Article 119 as well as paragraph (b) of Article 47 and Section 5 of the Eighth Schedule of the Federal Constitution is a historic political commitment that will give voting right to over 7.8 million new voters.
4. Indeed, the rapid advancement of cross-border communication and information technology has led to new realities of current politics and our young people are now beginning to recognize the strength of their influence plus the ability to speak up.
5. That is why the decision to postpone the registration by the EC and the government can be seen as an action that denies them the right under the Federal Constitution.
6. Therefore, Pemuda urges the government to keep its promise.
7. To realise this, the government should provide all necessary facilities including adequate financial resources, cross-agency coordination and increase in manpower.
8. It is highly inappropriate to hide behind the COVID-19 excuse every time the government fails or is unable to meet the demands of democracy and the will of the people, including the registration of the young voters.
Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki
PEMUDA Umno Chief