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Undi 18 to be implemented in 18 to 24 months' time

The status of the full implementation of Undi 18 is expected to be known as early as the end of next year or by the end of 2021, said Election Commission chairperson Azhar Azizan Harun.

Azhar said the EC had to take into account some of the requirements and engagement sessions to provide a comprehensive and effective approach within the next 18 to 24 months.

He added that Undi 18 also included three key components, namely reducing the age limit eligibility of voters from 21 to 18, lowering the candidacy age from 21 to 18, and implementing automatic voter registration.

“I would like to make it clear that Undi 18 will only be implemented fully once or separately after taking into account views from various quarters,” he said in a statement issued in Kuala Lumpur late yesterday.

Azhar noted that the EC is in the midst of preparing a timeline, as well as cost analysis of the full implementation of Undi 18.

Among the related issues include upgrading the EC's ICT system, data requirements from government agencies, including the National Registration Department, Prisons Department or the court, as well as the Health Ministry.

This also includes amendments to any election law or regulation to implement Undi 18, and amendments to the respective state constitutions to allow a citizen aged 18 years to stand as a candidate for a state assembly seat.

Azhar said that at the same time, the EC would also need to look into matters such as the cost of upcoming elections, sufficient election facilities to ensure electorate comfort, and requirement of additional EC human resource and election personnel.

Furthermore, the EC has to study new voting centres that need to be established to accommodate increased voters in the next election, and to determine the localities of the new voters.

The government estimates that 7.8 million new voters will be added to the electoral roll by 2023.

It also estimates that the number of registered voters will reach 22.7 million in 2023, compared to 14.9 million in last year’s 14th general election.

- Bernama