Malaysia may lower voting age to 18 before next elections, says minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman

Malaysia's youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said the government is studying how to lower the voting age from 21 to 18.
Malaysia's youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman said the government is studying how to lower the voting age from 21 to 18.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SUBANG - Malaysians as young as 18 years old may get to vote in the next general elections, said youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman on Monday (July 9).

The legal voting age in Singapore is 21.

Mr Syed Saddiq, who is Malaysia's youngest Cabinet minister at 25 years of age when he was sworn in on July 2, said the government is studying how to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, the Malay Mail reported.

"The prime minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) and I are very interested in bringing down the voting age to 18," he told an audience at a forum at Sunway University in Selangor.

"It will be done in this term," he added, referring to the maiden term of the government formed by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

The Barisan Nasional coalition was toppled for the first time in history during the 14th general elections on May 9, when youth votes were believed to have catapulted PH into power.

Last Thursday (July 5), Mr Syed Saddiq told reporters he would discuss with Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik how exposure in relation to the democratic process could be applied in schools.

 

He said Malaysia should provide political exposure to students at the upper secondary level as is done in several other countries, the Bernama news agency reported.

"In these countries, at the age of 17 or 18 they are eligible to vote and it has been so since the 1960s. So, why in Malaysia (some) are of the opinion that young people do not know (are ignorant) and label them as just 'WeChat' groups," he said.