PARTI Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) hurled brickbats at Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Rais Yatim for saying it was impractical to lower the voting age to 18 (Undi-18) and implement automatic voter registration at the current juncture.
“MPs and Senators must represent the people’s aspiration and not stand against it. Clearly, Rais and his political masters are shaking in their boots over youth power, which is why they are stalling Undi-18 and automatic voters’ registration,” said its central committee member Sharan Raj, in a statement.
Yesterday, Rais told Bernama that it was impractical to lower the voting age to 18 for now because of the time-consuming obstructions faced by the relevant agencies to implement the measure.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leader said this despite the legislation, known as Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 was passed by the Dewan Negara in July 2019 and gazetted two months later.
The Elections Commission (EC) had earlier announced that the lowering of voting age and automatic voter registration would be implemented from July this year onwards.
Training his guns against Rais, Sharan said that Undi-18 and automatic voter registration was the biggest electoral reforms ever made, since the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
With youth leading the political change, he added that the younger generation would constantly push for a progressive society, unlike senior leaders who wish to retain the status-quo.
“And that is why they fear these reforms. The legislation threatens the status-quo such as racial politics, money politics, corruption, patronage and political-business nexus, which is the foundation of all these right-wing parties in Malaysia.
“With such reforms taking effect, voters will shift Malaysia’s political landscape from racial and money politics towards progressive and policy driven agenda,” Sharan remarked. – March 11, 2021.