Motion to lower voting age to 18 to be tabled next month

Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun meets students of the Kuching Polytechnic at the voter education programme today. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: The motion to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 will be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat during the July meeting, said Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Azizan Harun.

He said the motion, which would involve amending the Federal Constitution, would be tabled on July 4.

“If the motion is passed, many more youths and students of institutions of higher learning, including government polytechnics, will be eligible to vote in the next general election,” he told a press conference after launching the Voter Education Programme with Kuching Polytechnic today.

Azhar said that until the first quarter of this year, there were still 3.8 million youths yet to register as voters although they had reached the eligible age.

“The EC intends to approach more youths,” he said, adding that 31,355 students between the age of 18 and 26 had joined the EC education programme through the Election Academy.

Azhar said the EC was prepared to conduct the Sarawak state election, which must be held by 2021, whenever the state decided to hold it.

He described as untrue a statement that had gone viral on social media calling on the people in Sarawak to register with the EC as soon as possible as the closing date to do so was June 30.

“However, I advise the people to register as soon as possible to avoid any inconvenience and disappointment,” he said, adding that only those whose names were gazetted in the electoral rolls are eligible to vote.