KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman has tabled again a constitutional amendment Bill to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 years while adding the demands made by the Opposition. The Bill, which includes automatic voter registration at 18 and lowering the age for Dewan Rakyat membership to 18, went through its first reading today.
On July 3, Malaysia’s youngest minister had tried tabling the amendment for the first reading but received conditional support from the Opposition who demanded that the government include its two demands.
In a press conference previously, Opposition chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said the Opposition bloc which is made up of BN component parties, PAS and GPS had agreed to support the Bill if the conditions it laid out were met.
He claimed that during the ministry briefing for MPs, Putrajaya had first refused to bow to its demands. However, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration had later agreed to include its demands as any constitutional amendment requires the support of two-thirds of the Lower House. At the moment, the PH coalition does not command two-thirds of the Dewan Rakyat. The second reading and debate has been set for July 16.