KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General Chambers (AGC) has objected to the application for leave by 18 Malaysian youths to challenge the government’s action in delaying the implementation of the Undi 18, a move to lower the voting age to 18 and to enable automatic voter registration (AVR).
The youths had on behalf of the Undi 18 movement filed a judicial review application and named Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the government and the Election Commission (EC) as respondents.
Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, representing the AGC, told reporters that they filed a preliminary objection today on the grounds that the application brought by the 18 youths was frivolous, vexatious and premature at this stage because no action has been taken relating to the matter.
Another senior federal council, Azizan Md Arshad, said that the necessary law and regulations need to be amended before the AVR can be enforced.
“This is because, with the Constitutional amendment, there is no longer any application as AVR kicks in. It is the argument of the applicants that the enforcement and implementation of Section 3(a) and Section 3(b) of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 can be done separately.
“However, we will submit that the enforcement and implementation to the Constitutional amendments cannot be done in isolation and has to be done together. The enforcement and application of AVR is the reverse effect of application for registration by the qualified person,” he said adding that the court then fixed May 6 to hear the objection raised by the AGC.
The 18 youths’ counsel Datuk S. Ambiga said today was fixed to hear the leave application for the judicial review by her clients before High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid.
However, the lawyer said they have received the AGC’s submissions objecting to the judicial review application and they need time to respond to that matter.
“So, the court adjourned the hearing today and fixed May 6 to hear the AGC’s objection and the leave application,” she said.
On April 2, the youths filed their legal action seeking several court orders arising from the respondents’ delay in the implementation of Undi-18, a move to lower the voting age to 18 and to enable AVR.
In the application, the youths seek a declaration that the government’s action to delay the enforcement of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 was irrational, illegal, disproportionate and a form of voter suppression.
The applicants want a declaration that those aged 18 to 20 have a legitimate expectation that they will have the right to vote on or before July 2021.
The youths, aged between 18 and 20, are also seeking a declaration that the decision of the respondents to delay the enforcement of Section 3(a) was a form of voter suppression aged 18 to 20 years on July 2021. –Bernama