It’s official! The automatic registration of voters, aged 18 and above, has been gazetted and will be effective starting 15 December.
According to Astro Awani, the Attorney-General’s Chambers published the matter in the Federal Government Gazette on 1 December, which also stated the name of Cabinet Secretary, Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.
“In exercising the powers conferred by subsection 1(2) of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 [Act A1603], the Yang di-Pertuan Agong set 15 December 2021 as the date that Section 3 of the Act comes into effect.” the gazette stated.
However, the 18 year-olds in Sarawak will not be able to exercise their voting rights in the upcoming state election on 18 December, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
In a report by The Star, he said the coming state election on 18 December would only involve the electoral roll last updated on 2 November.
He then explained that although the Constitutional (Amendment) Act 2019 reducing the voting age from 21 to 18 was gazetted on 25 November and comes to effect on 15 December, the implementation date is only from January 2022.
“This decision is based on the legal process, including decisions set by the Kuching High Court, not to deny the rights and aspirations of youths aged 18 and above to vote.”
“I want to stress here that there is no pressure from any group on this issue. In fact, Sarawak is ready to accept these young voters. So I hope this issue won’t be politicised.” Wan Junaidi said.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission (EC) has in a statement said the Federal gazette on the implementation of Undi18 and automatic voters registration has been given consent by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“The EC would like to inform that amendments on the election-related subsidiary legislation, namely the Elections (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) 2021 and the Elections (Conduct of Elections) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 were gazetted on 30 November.”
“It will take effect on 15 December after obtaining the consent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong based on Section 17 of the Elections Act 1958.” EC said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the EC also said both amendments will be tabled in the Parliament as soon as possible.
The proposed amendments were approved at the second meeting of the second session of the 14th Parliament, in July 2019, but were not implemented immediately.
On 6 September, the Kuching High Court in Sarawak ordered the EC and the government to implement UNDI18 by 31 December.