PETALING JAYA: Dewan Negara president Rais Yatim says it is impractical to lower the voting age to 18 for now because of time-consuming obstructions faced by the relevant agencies in implementing it.
In an interview with Bernama last night, Rais said it would take time to come up with the list of 18-year-olds eligible to vote and the constituencies they come from.
He said this would have to involve the resources of both the National Registration Department and the Election Commission (EC).
“On the issue of 18-year-olds voting, whether we can implement it now, the answer is no. Although it has been passed in terms of the legislature, in terms of readiness there are many gaps.
“After looking at the real situation from the lens of the Dewan Negara, it’s impractical to be implemented in this season,” he said.
The Undi 18 bill, officially known as Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019, was passed by the Dewan Negara in July 2019 and gazetted two months later. The amendment lowers the voting age from 21 to 18.
Previously, the EC had said the implementation of the 18-year-old voting age and automatic voter registration would be implemented from July this year.