In a recent media interview, Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad expressed support for the proposal to lower the voting age from 21 to 18. The right to vote is therefore a sacred and precious right in any democratic country. In Malaysia, the right to vote is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution. According to Article 119(1) of the Federal Constitution, a citizen who has reached 21 years old, resident in a particular election constituency and has been registered as a voter, is eligible and has the right to vote in any elections to the Dewan Rakyat or the State Legislative Assembly. According to reports, the Prime Minister stated that it is worthwhile to consider the proposal as the Government believes that people are now wiser and can make informed decisions.
Pakatan Harapan in its manifesto had promised to make several reforms to the electoral system, including the proposal to lower the voting age.
Before this, a group of young people started a campaign known as “Undi 18” to call for Article 119(1) to be amended. According to them, at that time, some 1.5 million voters are not able to vote because of the current voting age.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang in his winding up speech in Parliament in 1971 had put forth the proposal to lower the voting age to 18.