KUALA LUMPUR: A group of 18 young adults who sued the government over its refusal to implement constitutional amendments to allow 18-year-olds to vote and for all citizens to be automatically registered as voters, has withdrawn its legal challenge in a High Court here.
Their decision comes after another High Court in Kuching last month granted a similar judicial review, filed by five Sarawakians, over the government’s refusal to implement Undi18 amendments by July.
In the notice of discontinuation filed on Oct 14, the 18 said they were withdrawing the case, with liberty to file afresh.
High Court judge Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid was scheduled to deliver his decision on their case on Thursday.
He heard arguments from lawyers for the 18 young adults and the attorney-general’s chambers (AGC), representing former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the Election Commission (EC) on Aug 23.
Kuching High Court judicial commissioner Alexander Siew had on Sept 3 delivered his ruling in favour of the five Sarawakians to quash the federal government’s decision on executing the Undi18 amendments by September 2022. Siew ordered the government to execute the amendments by the end of 2021.
Law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told the Dewan Rakyat on Sept 23 that the government, led by Ismail Sabri Yaakob, would comply with the Kuching court order and implement both Undi18 and the automatic voter registration amendments before Dec 31.
Previously, he said the EC would prepare to implement Undi18 amendments by Dec 31 this year, but this would not include automatic registration.
Wan Junaidi added that by Dec 31 there will be 5.6 million additional voters, with 4.4 million aged 21 and above. Another 1.2 million will be aged between 18 and 21.
The Undi18 bill, officially known as Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019, was passed by the Dewan Negara in July 2019 and gazetted two months later. The amendment lowers the voting age from 21 to 18.