BERSIH 2.0 Condemns Cabinet’s Refusal to Separate UNDI18 and Automatic Voters Registration

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) condemns the failure of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s cabinet which met yesterday (7 April 2021) to decide to separate the implementation of lowering the voting age to 18 years (UNDI18) and automatic voter registration (AVR). The good news that Malaysians have been waiting for a week did not happen.

Bersih 2.0 questions whether the two cabinet ministers, Youth and Sports Minister YB Dato’ Sri Reezal Merican, and Innovation Minister YB Khairy Jamaluddin had actually presented this proposal to the cabinet as promised, according to media reports on 31 March 2021 (1).

Bersih 2.0 demands Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan to state his stand as the de facto Law Minister and PAS’s stand on the separation of UNDI18 and AVR. UNDI18 could have already been enforced in August 2019 if not for PAS’s demand to implement both at the same time. If PAS is not afraid of the youth votes, then Takiyuddin should support Reezal and Khairy’s proposal to enforce UNDI18 immediately while waiting for the AVR hurdle to be resolved.

With this separation, Malaysians who have reached the age of 18 and above can register as voters for any upcoming by-election, state election or federal election.

Deliberately delaying UNDI18 is a despicable act to suppress youth voters and will only ignite waves of anger like the heinous tactic of UNDIRabu during GE14.

Youths, who are already hampered by various education, economic and social issues, will not sit idly by while being bullied by hypocrite politicians who are trying to delay UNDI18 now, after approving the constitutional amendment in the Dewan Rakyat unanimously on 16 July 2019 without any doubt of the maturity of youth at that time.

BERSIH 2.0 also demands the establishment of an independent committee comprising representatives of government parties, oppositions and the civil society to investigate the delay in the completion of the AVR, as EC Chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh shamelessly tried to hide the problems in the preparation works for the AVR and mislead the people with fake news that the delay was due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).

This independent panel should be authorised to open files and submit information including contracts and costs of AVR preparation, tender process by the Election Commission (EC), reasons for delay and contractor responsibilities, and compensation for their failure to meet the scheduled.

Abdul Ghani’s absurd and deliberate excuse of hiding the problems that took place in the AVR would undermine the public’s confidence in the competency or integrity, or both, of his leadership. The EC chairman is urged to salvage his dignity by resignation to give way to a more competent and honest successor.

Released by,
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0