More calls for EC to clarify status of Undi 18

by AZREEN HANI / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE Election Commission (EC) should clarify the status of Undi 18, without interference from any political leaders, says Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (picture).

The Semporna MP said the EC must get more feedback from various stakeholders, including from the Opposition, to ensure the success of Undi 18 implementation.

Mohd Shafie is urging the EC to state when Undi 18 will be implemented.

“Any delay in this process will definitely affect the mood of young people to be involved in the restoration of the democratic system in our country,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“I am confident in the maturity and judgement of young people in making their decisions at the ballot box. It is not a question of giving them freedom, it is a question of their rights that have been taken away and deserve to be returned,” he added.

Mohd Shafie said the Perikatan Nasional government has given an impression that youths are not important in the practice of democracy in the country.

“With the implementation of automatic voter registration, it can give a stimulus to young people to also contribute in making big decisions such as the formation of a government and electing the country’s leadership,” he added.

Last Friday, The Malaysian Reserve reported that political experts and leaders were calling for the government to implement Undi 18, in line with the Dewan Rakayt’s decision in 2019.

Universiti Utara Malaysia’s Ghazali Shafie Graduate School of Government dean Associate Prof Dr Rusdi Omar said young voters have the capacity to make up their minds and it will provide equal challenges and opportunities for the government and Opposition parties alike in a general election.

Yesterday, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican also called for the EC to explain the situation because the policy to lower the voting age to 18 is already at the implementation stage.

The law has been passed and gazetted and amendments to the Constitution have been made to implement voter registration of persons when they turn 18.

“The EC must come forward to explain the work map, the process and planning and how it is to be implemented. This is the stage of implementation and it is a long process. There must be further coordination and amendments to the state constitutions, all these must be explained by the EC,” he told Bernama and RTM in a special media conference at his residence.

He said the Undi 18 issue should be defended and must become a reality because 211 MPs had put aside their political ideology to support the cause which led to its approval at the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara levels.

Reezal Merican was commenting on media reports claiming that the country is still not ready to allow 18-year-olds to vote although the Dewan Rakyat has passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019.


Read our previous report here

EC must clarify on Undi 18 status: Reezal