Dr Mahathir: Automatic registration included in bill to lower voting age

Dr Mahathir: Automatic registration included in bill to lower voting age
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KUALA LUMPUR (July 10): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the updated version of the amendment bill to reduce Malaysia's voting age to 18 from 21 will also include automatic voter registration.

The updated version of the bill will be tabled for first reading in Parliament tomorrow, said the premier at a press conference here today, after the government withdrew the initial amendment bill, which was to be tabled for first reading on July 4.

Earlier today, Dr Mahathir had also chaired a meeting with party leaders, including the opposition on the issue.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman told reporters at the Parliament lobby today that it was a "historic occasion" with the updated version of the amendment bill now having support from the government and opposition.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the opposition welcomed the government's decision to include their proposals on the reduction of the minimum age for election candidates and automatic voter registration.

"Because the government has agreed with our proposals, it is confirmed the opposition will support the motion [to reduce the voting age] tomorrow," said Ismail.

The amendment bill needs a two-thirds majority vote from the Dewan Rakyat or Parliament's lower house's 222 seats to be passed.