Dap Youth Johor In Conflict With Federal Constitution Over Candidacy Age
Johor has come into conflict with the Federal Constitution after its ruler blocked a state law to lower the age of election candidacy to 18, said the state DAP Youth.
In a statement today, they pointed out that Article 75 of the Federal Constitution states that when a state law is inconsistent with federal law, the federal law shall prevail and the state law shall, to the extent of its inconsistency, be void.
“As such, we hope this matter can be looked into as it has caused conflict between Article 16 of the Johor State Constitution and amendments to the Federal Constitution,” they said.
Parliament had in 2019 voted unanimously to amend the Federal Constitution and lower the age of candidacy, as well as voting, to 18 years old. Both laws are fully in effect as of Dec last year.
However, the candidacy age for state assemblies is governed by state laws.
The Johor state assembly voted to amend the state constitution and lower the candidacy age to 18 in January this year.
However, Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar revealed yesterday that he had not assented to the amendments, saying that assemblypersons below the age of 21 were not suitable.
Unlike at the federal level, Johor does not have a legal provision allowing its legislature to pass laws that do not receive royal assent, effectively giving the sultan veto powers.
‘Chin Tong should speak up’
Johor DAP Youth, in its statement today, said that all parties had fully supported lowering the age to contest in elections.
“Complete political participation at the age of 18 can broaden the rights of youths and increase their attentiveness to the country and their communities in order to strengthen the system of parliamentary democracy while avoiding old political baggage,” they said.
Johor DAP Youth also put pressure on state party chief and opposition leader Liew Chin Tong to speak out on the matter.
They reminded Liew that he had opined that granting political rights to 18-year-olds was a game-changer and that many voters had come to place hope in his views.
“As such, Johor DAP Youth hopes Liew can bring the voice of youths to the state assembly, and play a role as an opposition stalwart, and fight rationally, with strong arguments to carve a new political landscape in Johor,” they said. - Mkini
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