The Malaysia United Democratic Alliance (Muda) said today that it is planning to file a suit as soon as possible to challenge the postponement of Undi18.
In a statement this evening, the party said that the Election Commission’s (EC) reason for the delay — the Covid-19 pandemic — made a mockery of Malaysians.
“It makes no sense that during the MCO and the Emergency, children still attended virtual classes from home, people still went to work to pay off bank debts — but the government gives lame excuses when it comes to bureaucratic issues,” Muda said.
Muda added that the postponement of Undi18 is a violation of democratic rights and contradicts the country’s Constitution.
“More than two-thirds of Malaysians have shown their support for this motion, and its postponement only demonstrates that the government is afraid of the youth,” it said.
Earlier today, the EC announced that it has decided to postpone Undi18 and the accompanying automatic voter registration, citing Covid-19 for causing delays to its implementation.
The EC said it needed to evaluate new obstacles and persisting issues as well as account for the various movement control orders (MCO) that are in place.
Undi18 had already come into doubt earlier this year after a deputy minister suggested that Malaysians youths were not ready to participate in voting.
Federal lawmakers crossed the political aisle and voted unanimously to amend the Federal Constitution in July 2019 and lower the minimum voting age from 21 to 18.
Undi18 can only take effect once it has been gazetted, which was scheduled for the second half of this year.
Meanwhile, DAP Socialist Youth National Publicity Secretary Phoong Jin Zhe said the postponement was ridiculous, unacceptable and a disgrace to Malaysia.
“I call on all young people to stand up and protest against this decision by the EC. On social media or publicly, let’s rise and tell the government how disappointed we are,” the Luyang state assemblyman said.
“Since the bill was approved through a bipartisanship effort, I urge all MPs especially those who are currently part of the PN and BN government to state their stance,” he said.
“Moreover, the ministers and deputy ministers should resign if they are unable to implement the bill as promised because this shows how much of a hypocrite they are for voting for it before this but delaying the implementation on purpose,” he added.
He said this is clearly a politically motivated decision apart from the EC’s inefficiency, as the commission had more than a year to prepare for the implementation after the Senate passed the bill on July 25, 2019.