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Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq chatting with Pekan MP, Datuk Seri Najib Razak at Parliament Building. NSTP/Muhd Zaaba Zakeria

KUALA LUMPUR: The amendment to Article 119 of the Federal Constitution Bill to lower the voting age from 21 to 18 was tabled by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The bill which is known as Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 is expected to be debated at the committee stage on July 16.

“I would like to put forth the Bill Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019.

“The second and third reading (of the bill) will take place during this session (of Dewan Rakyat),” Saddiq told the house.

The amendment paper which was shared with the media states that the Act will come into effect on a date to be appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by notification in the Gazette.

“With this amendment, more Malaysian citizens would be entitled to vote and elect a government through an election which is in line with a progressive democratic system,” it read.

On the financial implications, the amendment paper stated that it would impose extra financial spending on the government.

“This bill will involve the government in extra financial expenditure the amount of which cannot at present be ascertained.”

Amending the Constitution demands a two-thirds majority vote by members of parliament in Dewan Rakyat.

At the moment, Pakatan Harapan is short of nine MPs with only 139 lawmakers on its side.

Yesterday, the opposition bloc gave its word that they would support the bill on the condition that automatic voter registration (AVR) was on the table.

Both lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 and AVR were listed in Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto in last year’s 14th General Election.

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