The implementation of Undi18, under which Malaysians aged 18 to 20 can cast votes, is expected to be implemented only after 1 September next year, according to the Election Commission (EC) of Malaysia
In a statement today, 25 March, the EC said that while they are committed to the implementation of the Undi 18 Bill that lowers the voting age from 21 to 18 with automatic voter registration for them, their preparations towards it have been affected by the movement control order (MCO).
According to the statement, the EC is working towards the implementation of both process so that the youths of the country can cast their votes in the 15th General Election in 2023.
It added that preparations towards the implementation of the Undi 18 Bill are still ongoing which includes efforts pertaining to system development, checks and coordination of data, programmes involving government agencies, political parties, and NGOs as well as other related preparations.
The EC stated that it has to be realistic amidst the current situation in the country, which is still in the period of MCO
This directly affects planning and SPR preparations.
"Thus, the automatic voter registration and Undi18 is expected to be implemented after 1 September 2022 after re-evaluating various constraints and issues that have affected the EC's initial planning and preparation," it said.
It is believed that the delay in the implementation of Undi18, which was previously announced to be done by July 2021, will affect some 1.2 million Malaysians if the next general election is called before September 2022.
While there has been no official announcement about GE15, many political experts expect the next general election to be held right after the state of Emergency is lifted in August this year, as the commission stated that it will launch an automatic pre-registration check system through its portal in August 2021.
The EC stated that there are 4.4 million Malaysians who are aged 21 and above and eligible to vote who have not yet registered as voters
It urged those aged 21 and above to immediately register as voters.
The announcement by the EC comes two weeks after Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Rais Yatim said 'Undi18' is not practical for now: