The Malaysian Cabinet has decided to lower the voting age from 21 to 18. The decision was made at its weekly meeting on Wednesday (Sept 19), and work on amending the Federal Constitution will begin soon, said Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman. “One of the things to be done is to work closely with the youth wings of opposition parties as a two-thirds majority is needed for laws to be amended,” he told reporters. “By the next general election, 18-year-olds can cast their votes, that is for certain,” he added.
Mr Syed Saddiq, 25, was confident about getting cooperation from political parties, saying that he already had initiated informal discussion with several youth leaders.
“I can say that they too are keen on this issue,” he said.
Eighteen is the legal age of adulthood in Malaysian law, and is considered an age to take full responsibility of one’s actions, such as being eligible for a driving test, marriage or to sign contracts.
The voting age for the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Iran, the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia has been lowered to 18. Malaysia and Singapore still retain the voting age at 21.