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EC : Amendment on reduced voting age not yet in force

PUTRAJAYA — The recently approved amendment allowing for Malaysians aged 18 to vote and to also be eligible to stand for election, along with automatic voter registration, is not yet in force, said Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Azizan Harun today.

This was because the enforcement date for the bill had yet to be fixed and only when this was done, would the bill be gazetted into law.

Azhar added that until the amendment came into force, voter registration must be undertaken the conventional way.

On Tuesday, a new page in the nation’s history was created when Parliament passed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 allowing for the changes.


Speaking at a press conference after the ‘Make A Change, Let’s Do It Together’ forum organised by the commission here today, Azhar said the enforcement date had not yet been fixed because the commission needed to address several matters such as voter address issues and the development of an automatic voter registration system.

The commission needs data from at least three government agencies such as the National Registration Department, Prisons Department and Health Ministry, and such data needs to be in sync with the commission’s system which had yet to be developed, he explained.

Voter address issues need to be attended to beforehand to avoid problems with the automatic voter registration system, he said, citing the example of how Pekeliling Flats and Sulaiman Court addresses in Kuala Lumpur would pose problems as the former is no more in existence and the latter has been replaced with the SOGO shopping centre.

Time was also needed to attend to arrangements between the EC and the Communications and Multimedia Commission.

Azhar added that the EC would provide updates on its readiness from time to time, in a bipartisan manner, explaining that when 100 per cent readiness was achieved, he believed the enforcement date for the amendment would be fixed.