PETALING JAYA: A group of youths dressed in black and white gathered peacefully in front of Parliament building to push for the implementation of lowering the voting age to 18 on Saturday (March 27).
Dubbed Himpunan Tuntut Undi18″ (Gathering to push for 18-year-olds to vote), the youths gathered at the nearby Padang Merbok before marching to the gates of Parliament holding placards and shouting slogans, led by youth leaders from the Undi18 Movement.
Police were on standby to monitor the situation.
Wearing face masks and trying to observe physical distancing, some of the protesters also donned full personal protective equipment.
The protesters carried banners stating “Undi18 now” and chanted “Long live the youths! Where are our votes?”
At its climax, the protesters sat on the road leading to Parliament.
Undi18 Movement leader Tharma Pillai, in his speech to the crowd, stated that it is the democratic right of the youths to vote.
“We believe in democracy and the voices of the youths – issues on decent living, issues of minimum wage, we start with lowering the age so that the youths can choose a government who can take care of the youths. We want more youths to represent us. we want the government to promise that the implementation of the lowering of the voters’ age to 18,” said Tharma.
Another Undi18 Movement leader, Nurul Rifayah Muhammad Iqbal, said that she represented all 18-year-olds.
“Undi18 is a movement that is a reaction against the Election Commission and the Federal Government for having delayed the voters aged 18 to register as voters.
“Malaysian youths must protest this as this is the right of every adult to vote in any democracy. What is EC’s problem?
“We demand that the EC and the Federal Government allow 18-year-olds to register as voters in July and be transparent in its process. We also demand that Parliament be allowed to convene.
“We ask the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to commit himself to what he has voted for as an MP when voting for the lowering of age to 18 in the Parliament,” said Nurul Rifayah.
The protesters dispersed after an hour.
On March 25, EC chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh said that the automatic voter registration (AVR) and lowering of the voting age to 18 can only be realised by Sept 1,2022, at the earliest as EC is facing constraints such as movement control order.
He explained that the nationwide MCO to curb Covid-19 had affected the commissions plans and preparation to see the move come into fruition.
This raised much dissatisfaction from many quarters, including federal ministers.

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