KUALA LUMPUR – The Chairman of Election Commission (EC) of Malaysia Azhar Azizan Harun said, the Article 119 (4) of the Constitution needs to be amended in order to implement the automatic voter registration.
Speaking at a press conference at the lobby of the Parliament today, he said, amendment need to be made for the Elections Regulations (Registration of Electors) 2002.
According to him, the amendments of the regulation needs to be presented to the parliament. However it does not require the Dewan Rakyat’s approval.
“Although the amendment on the Elections Regulations is under my jurisdiction. It would need to be tabulated at the Parliament. It does not require approval but only a presentation,” he said.
The presentation, according to him is for the acknowledgement of the Dewan Rakyat based on the fixed regulations, without needing the approval from its members as it is not a law.
At this moment, each Malaysian needs to make an application to be a registered voter through Form A.
“Legal voting age of 18 and automatic registration are structural matters, the policies are being implemented by the government and the Parliament and not the EC.
“On behalf of the EC, I am neutral on this issue as we follow the existing framework of the law,” he said.
The Federal Constitution has stated the minimum voting age as 21 year-old.
The country has gone through 14 General Elections (GE), from the first in 1959 until the recent GE.
Prior to the 1970’s, the voting age for all democratic countries is 21 years and above.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports will be tabulating the amendment for Article 119 of the Constitution of Malaysia for its first reading at the Dewan Rakyat today, to bring down the minimum voting age to 18-year-old. -MalaysiaGazette