18-year-olds will be able to vote by mid-2021, says EC

KOTA KINABALU: Election Commission (EC) chairman Azhar Azizan Harun expects amendments to the law allowing 18-year-olds to vote to be completed by July 2021.

“The EC is in the midst of amending the voter registration laws as well as other related legislation, standard operating procedures and infrastructure to implement the law on 18-year-olds voting and automatic voter registration.

“We estimate all these will be done between 18 and 24 months from the date the amendments were approved in the Dewan Negara last July 25. We expect the date of implementation to be by July 2021,” he said.

Azhar said this to reporters after an engagement with Sabah political parties and NGOs here today.

He said concerns voiced during the engagement included redelineation of electoral boundaries and voters obtaining illegal identity cards.

On redelineation, he said he told the participants the EC could not implement it for now because they had just recently carried out such an exercise.

Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun says the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants had identified that 16,000 ICs were improperly issued and these have already been struck off from the electoral roll.

“On the identity card issue, we have engaged with the National Registration Department and the home ministry over the matter.

“The Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants had identified 16,000 ICs improperly issued and we have struck them off from our electoral roll,” Azhar said, adding this was done before he was appointed chairman.