EC, NRD set up special task force over 18-year voting age

11 Oct 2019 / 09:53 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission (EC) and National Registration Department (NRD) have set up a special task force on the implementation of the 18-year-old voting age and automatic voter registration.

EC Chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (pix), in a statement said the task force would co-ordinate Malaysian citizens’ information and other related matters.

“Besides that, one of the cooperation programmes between both agencies which has been planned is to organise a major campaign to encourage citizens to update their latest residential address in the NRD,” he added.

He said, although the implementation of the 18-year-old voting age and automatic voter registration would be effective on July 1, 2021, EC would try to implement as soon as possible.

During the transition period, the EC also has proposed to appoint an Election Assistant Registrar (PPP) from among political parties,” he said.

“Towards this end, political parties can submit appointment proposals to the EC headquarters and any state EC election offices nationwide from now,” he said.

Azhar Azizan said EC also suggested an amendment to the state constitution, to enable a 18-year-old candidate to represent the state assembly, to be made during the sitting in November or by March 2020.

The selection of 18-year-old candidates as representatives at the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) had come into force on Sept 11, this year.

“All parties must take cognisance concerning this amendment which is in force at the Dewan Rakyat level and hope that it can be implemented quickly at the State Assembly level,” he said.

Azhar Azizan said all these issues had already explained to 20 representatives from political parties in a bipartisan engagement session on the implementation on the 18-year-old voting age and automatic voter registration on Oct 3.

In the statement, Azhar Azizan said that EC had also informed on the implementation of voter education programmes to provide awareness and understanding of the democratic process and elections in the country, especially among the youths and students.

He said EC had developed special modules based on the target groups, namely the voter education module for school leavers and civics education module for secondary school students.

“If there is any political party which wants to know more about the modules, we are ready to divulge its content in detail,” he said, adding EC will continue to hold engagement sessions with political parties and various quarters from time to time to inform on the latest status on the implementation of the 18-year-old voting age and automatic voter registration. — Bernama

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