Allow manual voter registration for 18-year-olds as soon as possible first, youth groups urge EC

Ashman Adam
·2-min read
A coalition of youth groups asked the EC to be transparent with its efforts in implementing Undi18, calling for a detailed and clearer explanation on the alleged obstructions faced in implementing Undi18. — Picture by Hari Anggara
A coalition of youth groups asked the EC to be transparent with its efforts in implementing Undi18, calling for a detailed and clearer explanation on the alleged obstructions faced in implementing Undi18. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 ― A coalition of youth groups have urged the Election Commission (EC) to grant the youths their democratic right to vote as promised by the Undi18 bill that was passed in Parliament in 2019.

In a statement signed by sixteen youth organisations in Malaysia, they condemned the announcement made by the EC postponing the implementation of Undi18, adding that the EC should allow for manual voter registration to be open to youths aged 18 to 20 as soon as possible if automatic voter registration is not possible.

“We urge the EC to grant youths the democratic right to vote, as promised by the Undi18 bill,” said the coalition.

“The EC should allow for manual voter registration to be open to youths aged 18-20 as soon as possible where automatic voter registration is not possible”

The groups also asked the EC to be transparent with its efforts in implementing Undi18, calling for a detailed and clearer explanation on the alleged obstructions faced in implementing Undi18.

They also called for regular updates and disclosure on the progress of the implementation of the Bill, by way of monthly reports that are data-driven and grounded in evidence, in addition to the interim report promised to be released in September 2021.

“The EC needs to be publicly responsive to the overwhelming amount of citizens’ cries and demands for the bill to be implemented by July 2021, as promised,” they said.

They added that Undi18 has already been written into the country’s constitution and is a reflection of the country’s democracy.

“We call for all Malaysians to join us in holding the EC accountable for its failure to implement the Undi18 bill in an efficient and timely manner,” they said.

The statement was signed by the Youth in Politics, Myer Movement, Youth.MY, ARUS Anak Muda, 111 Initiative, The Pendulum Show, The Noeo Project, StandUp Malaysia, CurtainsUp! Malaysia, Kima Action Malaysia, The Sambal Pod, Dear Asian Youth KL, Benar Betul, Komuhakan Movement, Sorrygaisbut and KPUM, which are all independent youth-led movements that aim to generate more political awareness in Malaysia.

On March 25, the EC announced that the implementation of Undi18 would be postponed until September 2022, citing Covid-19 and the accompanying movement control orders (MCO) as impediments to its imposition.

The delay has caused an uproar from all sides of the political divide, calling for the EC to keep to their promise of implementing Undi18 as planned for July this year.

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