Muda, Undi 18 want exact timeline for 18-year-olds to vote

The PN govt is urged to make a specific commitment to implement Undi 18 in or before July 2021

by TMR / pic by TMR FILE

MALAYSIAN United Democratic Alliance (Muda) and the Young Voters Association (Undi 18) are demanding the government to provide a clearer timeline for the implementation of Undi 18.

Muda VP Lim Wei Jiet (picture) said the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government should commit to implementing Undi 18 in July as previously agreed in the Dewan Rakyat.

“The people should not accept any date after July 2021. This is because even if Undi 18 takes effect in the month, the voter registration process for 18-20 years old will take several months after that, and they may not have enough time to (enable them to) vote in the 15th General Election (GE15).

“Therefore, I urge the PN government to make a specific commitment to implement Undi 18 in or before July 2021,” Lim said in a statement yesterday. He said this in response to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan’s statement that the government is committed to implementing Undi 18 for GE15.

According to him, the matter was discussed and confirmed in the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

“Following this decision, the Election Commission (EC) will take immediate steps to resolve several matters related to certain legal provisions and also technical matters including updating the necessary software,” he said in a statement.

On March 25, EC announced that automatic voter registration and eligibility to vote on reaching 18 years of age can only be implemented after Sept 1, 2022, due to constraints and effects of the Movement Control Order brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Undi 18 youth group said it still insists on further clarification from Takiyuddin and the government to provide a clearer timeline of the bill’s implementation.

“We demand to know what are the existing technical challenges that are currently impeding the bill’s swift execution,” it said.

The group thanked the Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Meriv for relentlessly advocating the Undi 18 Bill in Cabinet meetings.

“We are thankful for his willingness to collaborate and consult with civil society organisations to ensure the voices of young people are heard in such important decision-making spaces,” the group added.

Undi 18 also urged all eligible Malaysian aged 21 years and above to register as voters as soon as possible as the country currently has 4.4 million unregistered voters who have yet to exercise their right to participate in Malaysia’s democratic spaces.