Gov T May Table Bill To Lower Candidacy Age At Next Parliament Session




De facto law minister Liew Vui Keong today said the government would consider tabling another bill to lower the qualification age for election candidates at the next Dewan Rakyat session
He said the government needed time to study the matter especially as it could involve another amendment to the Federal Constitution
This was the reason, he said, the government would not be introducing another bill in the current sitting
This despite an ultimatum by opposition lawmakers that they would not vote in favour of the government's bill to amend Article 119 of Federal Constitution to lower the minimum voting age to 18
The opposition MPs said they would only vote in favour of it if the government also included automatic voter registration and reduce the candidacy age to 18
The bill to lower the voting age was tabled at the Dewan Rakyat today for first reading
“No (tabling of another bill). It can come in the next parliamentary session. All constitutional amendments have to be done according to EC regulations [...] we need to do that (review the regulations) and to allow the process to be effective,” Liew told reporters at Parliament building's lobby today
In the meantime, the minister called on the opposition to first support the intended Article 199 constitutional amendment to allow for the lowering of the voting age, in the meantime
Earlier today, opposition Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa (above) called on the government to amend Article 47 of the constitution to change the age one can contest as an elected representative
Currently, elected representatives need to be no less than 21 while senators must be aged 30 and above. “You have to read Article 47 [...] so if you have the right to vote, you should have the right to be voted for,” Annuar said during a joint press conference with PBB veteran Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar
“We (Umno and PBB) are of the opinion (and) we have discussed this with PAS yesterday, we had discussed with Sarawak and all the three blocs have reached a consensus
"We want all three (constitutional amendments) to be done simultaneously. Lower the (voting age) age to 18, include voter automatic registration and make 18 the new qualifying age to become a candidate,” Annuar added
He stressed the opposition block would reject the motion, dubbed 'Undi 18", if only part of their demands was carried out
“We are going to submit a private members’ bill to Parliament (instead),” he said
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman had yesterday said that while the Pakatan Harapan government agreed in principle to the proposal to include automatic voter registration for 18-year-old Malaysians, it was unable to include it in the motion tabled today
Meanwhile, EC chief Azhar Azizan Harun said automatic voter registration would require both Article 119(4) of the Federal Constitution and Elections (Registration of Electors) Regulations 2002 to be amended as well. - Mkini

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