EC, federal govt must withdraw decision to delay Undi 18 and AVR implementation

Paul Sigar

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KUCHING, March 26: The Election Commission (EC) and the federal government must not delay the implementation of automatic voter registration (AVR) and Undi 18 (lowering of voting age to 18) to 2022.

This is the view of Democratic Action Party Socialist Youth (Dapsy) Stampin publicity secretary Paul Sigar as he saw the postponement as a backtrack to de facto Law Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan’s promise in November 2020 that the system would begin by July this year.

By the extension of implementation date for another year, he said this is depriving the youth of their voting rights when they have much potential in contributing to the political and developmental state of the country.

“I am concerned by the implications of such a proposition as the youth have so much potential to contribute to our nation-building and steering the direction of this country.

“Their diverse opinions and ideals should be appreciated and welcomed, not shut down and excluded,” he said in a statement today.

Paul held that the participation in Malaysia’s politics is not an exclusive matter reserved for the elite few or a self-serving career for veteran politicians only, instead it should be accessible to everyone across all age groups mature enough to appreciate the nature of their civic duty.

With that, he urged the federal government to rectify this issue promptly and not to delay it further when these amendments are long overdue.

“It is incumbent upon the government of the day to right this decades-long wrong.

“I urge the government to respect and restore the democratic voices of the younger generation and take practical steps to ensure the youth’s participation in GE15 (15th General Election),” he said.

Yesterday on March 25, EC chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh said the AVR and Undi 18 can only be implemented after Sept 1, 2022 due to various constraints, according to a news report by Bernama.

He added that the planning and preparations towards the implementation of both systems were directly affected by limitations due to the current Movement Control Order (MCO). — DayakDaily