On July 4, Malaysia tabled a Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to lower the minimum voting age from 21 to 18 years. If the proposed legislation were to be passed, it would add 1.5 million voters to the current electoral roll. Its first reading was presented by Minister of Youth and Sports Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
Voting age has become a hot issue in the media as it will drastically changes the number of voters in the next general election. According to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Legal Affairs) Liew Vui Keong, the percentage of eligible voters for GE-15 will be more than 50%.
However, not everyone shared the same enthusiasm in lowering the legal voting age for Malaysians.
On Facebook, netizens suggested that there are other matters out there which are more important than lowering the voting age, such as cost of living, job opportunities for youth, reduce/abolish toll and etc.
Regardless, the proposal of lowering the voting age to 18 years was written in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto under Promise 17, which is aimed to ensure transparency and robustness of Malaysia election system.
This situation indicates that Pakatan Harapan will be constantly criticised by the people whether it is fulfilling or breaking its promises. This is because PH is now the government. Nevertheless, public criticisms could be a good thing as it will provide a check and balance on the government.