18 to 20-year-olds in Sarawak to be first to experience Undi18 when State polls come

Lina Soo (file photo)

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KUCHING, Sept 4: Individuals aged 18 to 20 in Sarawak will be the first group in the country to benefit from the implementation of the Undi18 amendments when the State Election is held.

Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) president Lina Soo was referring to Kuching High Court’s recent decision to rule in favour of five Sarawakian youths who had challenged the government under former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to expedite the implementation of the lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 latest by Dec 31 this year.

“On the impending Sarawak election (PRN12) which is expected to be held next year, the implementation of Undi18 amendments by Dec 31 will mean an additional Sarawak age group of 18 to 20 will be the first in the country to benefit from the timely execution of the law.

“This new layer of voters has the legitimacy to exercise their right to participate in the democratic process in politics and no government should deny them their vote,” she said in a statement today.

She said a citizen is never too young to take an interest in the affairs of the State and being better informed and better read, especially when youths of today are politically mature and understand the voting process.

“At the age of 18 to 20 where one can choose a bride or bridegroom for a lifetime, the youth is surely able to vote for the government of their choice for the next five years,” she added.

Soo also said the follow-up action by the government either to expedite the Undi18 amendments as ordered, or to file an appeal which may then render the case into a purely academic exercise will indicate the government’s responsiveness to this formative section of the population.

She further urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to rise to the occasion and recognise the aspiration of the age group by setting in process the implementation of the Undi18 amendments before the end of the year which would in turn form part of his achievements in the 100-days challenge which he had set for his ministers.

Yesterday (Sept 3), judicial commissioner Alexander Siew How Wai had ruled that the government and Election Commission (EC)’s action to delay Undi18 to 2022 from its promised date in July, 2021, as “irrational, illegal, disproportionate and amounts to voter suppression”.

The court had also granted an order to quash the federal government’s decision to implement the Undi18 amendments by September 2022. — DayakDaily