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Senior Minister Azmin Ali assured that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government supports Undi18, which is the automatic registration of 18-year-olds as voters.
However, he said more crucial amendments are needed before allowing them to cast their ballots.
Earlier, Umno ministers Reezal Merican Naina Merican and Khairy Jamaluddin promised to raise the issue in the cabinet to press the Election Commission (EC) to implement Undi18.
Azmin also claimed that the next general election would be held in 2023 in response to claims that the EC's decision to postpone the implementation of Undi18 is aimed at preventing the new batch of voters from participating in snap polls.
“Yes, it is true. We made the amendment. We are confident that Malaysian youths are responsible citizens.
"They should be part of the mainstream to participate in a democratic process and that was the reason why we brought this amendment to Parliament and we passed it in Parliament.
"But it doesn’t end there. There is a process. A lot of other provisions need to be amended. And when we made the amendment on that principle, (it was) with the hope that for the next election, they would be able to participate,” he was quoted as saying by Malay Mail.
"The next election is in 2023.
“Who promised to have it in 2020 or 2021? They are the ones forcing us to do the election in 2020 or 2021," Azmin added in an obvious reference to Umno which is pushing for snap polls.
Therefore, Azmin, who is also the PN information chief, urged the public not to make assumptions.
Yesterday, the EC announced that the implementation of Undi18 and automatic voter registration has been postponed to after Sept 1 next year.
The process was supposed to be completed in July 2021 but EC chairperson Abdul Ghani said that the work was hindered by the movement control order due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the new EC timeline, those aged between 18 and 20 would most likely miss out on the 15th general election which is widely expected to be held when the state of emergency ends in August.
The EC has estimated that there are currently around 1.2 million youths in this age group.
Youth activists and politicians from both sides of the divide have criticised the postponement and Pakatan Harapan Youth is scheduled to hold a protest on this tomorrow.