Lower voting age: No issue for GPS, says Abdul Karim

KUCHING: The state’s ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) has no issue with the voting age being lowered to 18 ahead of the next general election.

In sharing his personal opinion, Minister of Youth and Sports Sarawak Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the GPS-led state government had always been actively engaging with the youths in Sarawak and thus, the lowering of the voting age to 18 should not pose any major problem politically.

“My personal opinion is that since the law (to lower the voting age) had been passed with an overwhelming majority in Parliament, it should not be a problem so long as it can be implemented (in an) orderly (manner) and many have registered to vote,” said the minister at a press conference held after the launch of the ‘Kuching Old Bazaar’ project at Carpenter Street here yesterday.

However Abdul Karim, who is Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president, said it would be up to the Election Commission (EC) to decide whether the country was ready to implement the lowering of the voting age for the next general election.

It is reported that the amendment to the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age to 18 is already in the implementation stage, following it passing in Parliament in 2019 –n with 211 MPs across political divides supporting the amended Bill. Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, however, had recently said that it was ‘impractical’ to lower the voting age for now due to the challenges faced by the relevant implementing agencies.

--Source: Borneo Post

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