BY UMSU PRESS
The Election Commission (EC) has announced that those who have pre–registered to be automatic voters will be able to check their status of registration from the 1st of October 2021 till 31st of October 2021. Malaysia is finally set for the execution of the automatic voter registration and the lowering of voters' age in General Election throughout the country from 21 to 18.
Datuk Ikmalrudin Ishak, the Secretary of the Election Commission urged the potential 5.8 million voters who are 18 years and above to verify their information with the Election Commission. He reminded the citizens to update their identity cards in the National Registration Department by 31st October 2021 if any individuals find that the address stated does not match their current address.
Netizens are pleased to see the implementation of Undi 18 after years of having a hard time lobbying the Undi 18 movement led by Qyira Yusri and Tharma Pillai, the co-founders of Undi 18 movement. The implementation of Undi 18 by the government and the Election Commission was received well and praised by the netizens.
Undi 18 started off as a student movement in 2016, which was under the wings of the Malaysian Students’ Global Alliance. This student movement advocated to bring amendments to the Article 119(1) of the Federal Constitution to make Malaysia’s voting age 18 instead of 21. Their bill called for:
Numerous forums, public engagement and town hall sessions took place to create awareness among the older and the younger generations to gain support in the effort taken to lower the voting age and to encourage the youth’s participation in this Undi 18 movement.
Qyira Yusri and Tharma Pillai succeeded in lobbying most of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) politicians and secured Undi 18 as a part of their manifesto. Muar Member of Parliament (MP), YB Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman supported their effort and got on board with Tun Dr Mahathir who tabled the bill reading to all the Parliament Members in effort to make Undi 18 a success.
The Undi 18 bill reading gained 211 votes from the Dewan Rakyat on the 16th of July 2019 and 47 votes from the Dewan Negara on 25th of July 2019. Yang Di–Pertuan Agong granted assent for the bill and it was manifested into the law on the 10th of September 2019.
Many arguments were thrown against Undi 18 and one of the main arguments discussed was 18 years olds are not mature enough to decide and vote. Netizens however found this irrational as 18 years olds are considered adults in this country and are mature enough to get married and build their own family, involve themselves in property buying and are also legally responsible for any crime. On top of that, Malaysia is also one of the 10 countries in the world that still has a voting minimum age as 21.
Although some questioned the rationality of Undi 18, Executive Director of Ilham Center, Hisommudin Bakar has expressed that objection towards Undi 18 will no longer be relevant as it has already been passed in the Dewan Rakyat.
Despite that, the High Court in Sarawak has ordered the government and Election Commission to implement the Undi 18 by the end of the year as to enable Malaysians 18 years and above to vote for the 15th General Election (GE) after five Malaysian youths took the government and the Election Commission to the court for delaying the implementation of Undi 18.
When the Election Commission announced those 18 years and above who have pre – registered to check their status, Qyira Yusri and Tharma Pillai brought their happiness to their Twitter accounts.
Tharma Pillai had tweeted, “By the end of the year, millions of young first – time voters will enter the electoral roll. 7.8 million extra voters by 2023. Finally, the journey towards #Undi18 will be done. The youth must take advantage of our numbers and push for genuine change in this country.”
Qyira Yusri, on the other hand tweeted, “Surreal to know we have come this far. We started with a change.org petition in 2017, now we are here.”
Meanwhile, Muar Member of Parliament (MP), YB Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, also the former Minister of Youth and Sports who has been supporting their Undi 18 movement effort since the start and helped to raise it in the parliament also tweeted in his Twitter account to express his happiness:
“An honour to have worked with both Qyira and Tharma. Passionate, Focused, Reform – centered. I’m looking forward to more amazing things for Malaysia from the both of you!”
This is an honour and a great achievement for the youths in Malaysia as the Undi 18 is finally implemented. Those who are 18 years and above can start to check and verify your status with the Election Commission on the website:
Written by Secretariat of Current Affairs 2021
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