The Malaysian parliament has approved a new legal amendment to lower the voting age to 18 on July 16, adding approximately 1.5 million young voters to the electoral roll.
Malaysia was previously one of the few countries that required citizens to be 21 years old to vote. The amendment also includes provisions for automatic voter registrations and measures that would make candidates eligible to stand for elections once they reach the age of 18.
This makes the bill the first to enjoy multi-partisan support in Malaysia as 211 MPs from the 222-seat parliament, across both the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition and opposition parties Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), voted in favour of it. Datuk Seri Ismail bin Bakar, Chief Secretary in the Malaysian government, explained,”the right to vote is the right of all Malaysians.”