Yesterday (7 September), the de facto law minister, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar had said that the Malaysian government has told the Election Commission (EC) to be prepared to implement Undi18 amendments by the end of this year.
Wan Junaidi said this in a press conference, adding that Putrajaya would comply with the order made by the Kuching High Court, adding that the government has not decided whether to file an appeal.
“It has not been decided yet whether we want to appeal. I will discuss this with the attorney-general and the Cabinet.
“But the EC has been instructed to prepare to implement this (by Dec 31).” he said, as reported by FMT.
Last Friday (3 September), the High Court in Kuching had ordered the Federal Government to implement the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 by 31 December at the latest, following a legal challenge filed by 5 Sarawakian youths against previous government’s decision to not implement the Undi18 amendments by July.
In addition, Judicial commissioner Alexander Siew also said the federal government’s decision to delay the implementation to September next year was unexplained, irrational and unreasonable.
As such, Siew granted an order to quash the respondents’ decision to delay the implementation of Undi18 beyond July.
“We have to follow it as it’s a court order. When the court decides, we have to accept it and carry it out.” Wan Junaidi said.
He also said that there were a total of 5.6 million unregistered voters in Malaysia, of which, 1.19 million of them were aged between 18 and 20, while 4.41 million were aged 21 and above.
Previously, the Undi18 bill was being passed by the Dewan Negara in July 2019 and was gazetted 2 months later.
However, the EC said the implementation of the 18 year-old voting age and automatic voter registration would be delayed to next September due to Covid-19 and the movement control orders.
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