GOMBAK: Abdul Hadi Awang has asked people not to object to lowering the voting age to 18 on the grounds that these youths are immature.
“If they are immature, it is our fault, not theirs.
“We need to educate them so that they understand politics,” he said in his speech at Taman Melewar here.
The PAS president, who has repeatedly backed the government’s motion to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, said most countries had done so after realising that it was crucial for youths to vote.
He cited Indonesia as an example where 17 year olds could vote.
“In today’s world, there are a lot of countries that allow 18 year olds to vote, including non-Muslim countries.”
However, in Malaysia and Singapore, the voting age is still 21, he added.
Hadi said the rakyat’s awareness on voting was still low and that PAS supports the government’s move to amend the Constitution to lower the voting age and for automatic voter registration.
‘Politics is part of Islamic teachings’
Hadi said politics is part of Islamic teachings and those who call for politics and religion to be separate were not following Islamic teachings.
“What is important is to inform them on their duty to vote,” he said, saying this was the duty of parents.
On July 10, the Pakatan Harapan government withdrew the Bill to lower the age of voting to 18.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman withdrew the Constitution (Amendment) 2019 Bill, to allow for changes to be made.
This came after opposition lawmakers said the lowering of the voting age to 18 should come with automatic voter registration.