Undi18 To Finally Be Implemented On 15 Dec, But Not In Time For Sarawak Elections

(Source: Miera Zulyana/Malay Mail)

After more than two years since being passed unanimously in the Dewan Rakyat, the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019, commonly referred to as the Undi18 bill, is finally being implemented on 15 December this year.

Election Commission (EC) secretary Datuk Ikmalrudin Ishak said that the law has been gazetted yesterday, 1 December, after it had received the royal assent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“Amendments to the subsidiary laws related to the election… were (also) gazetted on Nov 30 after receiving the royal assent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in accordance with Section 17 of the Election Act 1958,” he was quoted as saying by New Straits Times.

Undi18 is expected to add more than 5.6million new young voters to the electorate. (source: Utusan Malaysia)

Following the announcement, the youth-based party MUDA has said that the implementation of Undi18 is “a win for Malaysia”.

“The decision to gazette UNDI18 is inline with efforts to instil a sense of democracy in Malaysians, as is being carried out across the world,” said the party’s secretary general Amira Aisya in a statement.

These developments come after years of delay on both the government’s and the EC’s end, but were compelled by an earlier Kuching High Court order to implement Undi18 by the end of this year.

The five youths who filed the judicial review – (from left) Sharifah Maheerah Syed Haizir, Ivan Alexander Ong, Tiffany Wee Ke Ying, Viviyen Desi Geoge, and Chang Swee Ern – won their case on 3 September of this year. (source: Malay Mail)

However, this change will not be made in time for the upcoming Sarawak state elections, set to take place three days after the implementation date.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament & Law) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said that the previous electoral roll will be used, as there isn’t sufficient time to update it.

“The gazettification is just a process in order to make use of Undi 18 by January next year,” he clarified to Malay Mail.

Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. (source: Astro Awani)

“The electoral roll is not as simple as that. It is just a list because we have to eliminate those who are in prison, who are mad, and those who have died.

“You may not realise it, that in Sarawak it is not compulsory to report deaths. As a result of that, there are names of people aged over 100 years old because nobody reported their deaths.

“Once it becomes automatic next year, can you imagine everybody will go in automatically into the list and every quarterly, the EC will examine the list and confirm it.”