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Phoong Jin Zhe

25 Mar 2021

KOTA KINABALU: Luyang State Assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe has called on the young people to stand up and protest against the decision by the Election Commission (EC) to implement the automatic registration for 18-year-olds voters after September 2022.

Expressing his utter disappointment, he said the move to delay the implementation of UNDI18 was "ridiculous, unacceptable and a disgrace to Malaysia".

"The Undi 18 bill was a national consensus as the Parliament unanimously passed the bill in July 2019 with 211 Members of Parliament voted in favour of the bill and no MP opposed the bill.

"Apart from showing that the EC is incapable and inefficient, this is clearly a politically motivated decision as the commission had sufficient time which was more than a year to prepare for the implementation after the Senate passed the bill on the 25th of July in 2019," he said in a statement today.

Previously, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan has made assurance on the Nov 3 last year that both the 18 years old voting age and automatic voter registration would be implemented the latest by July 2021.

Jin Zhe lamented that using the Movement Control Order (MCO) as an excuse is an obvious act of disrespecting the rights of youths and a clear betrayal to the consensus achieved by both houses in the Parliament.

"After prohibiting the Parliament from sittings, the Perikatan National (PN) regime has now gone to a further extent to oppress the voices of the public, particularly our youth.

"The EC and the PN government must explain for the delay as MCO is clearly an unacceptable reason, it is obvious that there is a hidden agenda behind this," Jin Zhe lamented.

"I call on all young people to stand up and protest against this decision by the EC. On social media or publicly, let’s rise and tell the government how disappointed we are.

"Since the bill was approved through a bipartisanship effort, I urge all MPs especially those who are currently part of the PN and Barisan Nasional (BN) government to state their stance.

"Moreover, the Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers should resign if they are unable to implement the bill as promised because this shows how much of a hypocrite they are for voting for it before this but delaying the implementation on purpose."

Jin Zhe also pointed out that he had advocated to amend the state constitution to lower the minimum age for one to be elected as a State Assemblyperson or a Nominated Assemblyperson back when he was the State Minister of Youth and Sports when Warisan Plus was the government.

"This is to protect the rights of the youths and to empower them too. If the elections are to be held soon, youths of 18 years old can be nominated as candidates but they cannot vote for themselves, this is ridiculous and unreasonable."


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