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PAS' private member's bill: 18-year-olds to vote and run for office

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Abdul Hadi Awang has announced that PAS will bring a private motion to enable amendments to be made to the government's proposed Undi 18 bill.

The PAS president said the additions would allow for automatic voter registration, as well as for those aged under 18 to not just vote, but to qualify as candidates and to contest in elections.

"Most of the world's countries have lowered the voting age to 18, and PAS supports the proposed amendments by Pakatan Harapan, but with some additional necessary changes," he told a press conference in his constituency of Marang today.

"Automatic voter registration will increase responsibility because the impulse to vote is still weak among young people.

"Also, if they are old enough to vote at 18, then they should be old enough to be a candidate."

Hadi said this was in response to a government proposal to lower the voting age from 21 to 18.

The government tabled the amendment to Article 119 of Federal Constitution Bill to lower the voting age to 18 at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

The amendment was tabled for first reading by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

"Every citizen who has attained the age of 18 years on the qualifying date and has been resident in a constituency for at least six months immediately preceding the qualifying date is entitled to vote in that constituency," the proposed amendment reads.

It is expected that the amendment, which needs the support of two-thirds of the House to pass, will be debated at the policy stage on July 16.

Commenting on the maturity of 18-year-old voters, Hadi said he was confident that young people could make proper judgements, and that it is the government's responsibility to give them knowledge.

"Young people are now able to read, they are not illiterate anymore," he said.

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