Move to lower voting age must be devoid of political agenda — Semop rep

Abdullah Saidol — file pic

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KUCHING, July 3: Semop assemblyman Abdullah Saidol agrees that the younger generation should be empowered to be involved in determining the nation’s fate, but it has to be done without any political agenda.

“We are the most plural society in this region, multiracial and multireligious. How much do those citizens at that young age understand our nation’s history and sociocultural evolution? I have seen some of our youths taking group photos displaying an upside down national flag. Some can’t even recite our Rukun Negara accurately.

“I am not trying to question those at the age of 18, their level of maturity, when some of us adults are also behaving childishly even in Parliament.

“In principle, while I do agree that giving our younger generation empowerment to be involved in structuring our nation’s fate and direction is a progressive idea, it must be done not out of political interest or agenda,” said Saidol in a statement.

He said among the 10 Asean countries, only Malaysia and Singapore allow voting at the age of 21.

Abdullah, who is also Assistant Corporate Affairs Minister, pointed out that the Age of Majority Act 1971 stated that the age of majority is 18; while the Contract Act 1950 allows those at the age of 18 to enter into contractual obligations.

“But most Malaysians between the age of 18 to 21 are either still studying in school or in higher institutions,” he said.

He believed that the proposal to lower the legal age of voting in Malaysia should not only be based on legal consideration while thorough and comprehensive study must be conducted to ascertain the level of political consciousness and socio-economic awareness among the nation’s young citizens first.

“Current lawmakers, especially from the PH (Pakatan Harapan) bench, must not be reckless in their effort to impress the people about their so-called ‘Malaysia Baru’,” said Abdullah.

He said Malaysians should by now seriously take note of PH’s unfulfilled promises and all the U-turns in their various national policies.

“Our economy, as a whole, is going downwards and everything looks haywire due to some minister’s “mouth faster than brain” statements.

“What happens now is that they are still behaving like the opposition and are already busy here and there playing politics, as if the next general election is next year.

“In the nutshell, the conduct of our federal PH politicians glaringly show sign of insecurity and the so-called ‘Malaysia Baru’ is just fiction,” said Abdullah. — DayakDaily