All eyes are on the Dewan Rakyat today as the Bill to amend the Constitution to lower the minimum voting age to 18 will be tabled at the Parliament today. This move is to empower the youths of Malaysia and to ensure that their voices are properly represented through the democratic act of voting. The Bill, dubbed as The Undi 18 Bill, will be debated and voted on today by the Dewan Rakyat.
Here are the facts you should know:
Malaysia is one of the few countries with a minimum voting age above 19 years old.
According to The Star, there are fewer than 20 countries in the world that have a minimum voting age of 19 and above. Most of the world’s nations such as Japan, China, Brunei, United Kingdom and United States have a minimum voting age of 18. Malaysia and Singapore are the only 2 countries in ASEAN with a minimum voting age of 21.
Image via Undi Lapan Belas
A two-thirds majority support is needed to pass the Bill.
In order to pass the Bill, a two-thirds majority support from at least 148 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat is required, but the federal government only holds 129 seats. The federal government has been working hard to garner support from the Opposition, citing it as an important issue that deserves bipartisan support.
The Bill also seeks to lower the minimum age of electoral candidates and introduce automatic voter registration.
The Bill that will be tabled in the Parliament today includes the amendment of the minimum voting age, the automatic registration of voters, as well as the amendment of the minimum age of electoral candidates to 18. The opposition party has previously voiced support only if the automatic registration of voters would be included in the Bill.
7.8 million new voters will be added by 2023 if the Bill is passed.
Together with the implementation of automatic voter registration, there will be an increase of 7.8 million voters by 2023 if the minimum voting age is reduced to 18, resulting in a 50 per cent increase in voters for the 15th General Election.
If the Bill receives a two-thirds majority support in the Dewan Rakyat, it will be passed on to the Dewan Negara for further discussion before being presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for royal assent.
It sure is an exciting day today! Are you for or against the Undi 18 Bill?