KUALA LUMPUR: The 2022 Constitutional Amendment, which among other things seeks to provide for the non-application of Article 119 to Malaysian rulers regarding voter registration, was passed by the Dewan Rakyat today with the support of more than two third of the deputies (MPs) .
The bill was introduced by the Minister of Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and passed unanimously by 178 MPs, while 42 MPs were absent.
Earlier, during the closing debate on the bill, Wan Junaidi said the amendment followed the implementation of the voting age limit which was lowered from 21 to 18 and the automatic voter registration.
He said that with the bill, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the power to exempt the ruler and his wife, the Yang Dipertua Negeri and his wife, heirs apparent, alternate heirs and other heirs from a leader and their wives to be registered as voters to automatically remain neutral and not favor any political party.
“Indeed, I completely agree that governments must be neutral in all respects, which is the spirit and the reality of this bill.
“In such a situation, we provide space and an opportunity for Istana to be neutral from all angles and the question of whether the leaders can vote or not does not arise,” he said.
However, the choice to vote or not to vote is subject to the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Conference of Leaders, he added.
A total of 14 government MPs as well as opposition blocs debated the bill and gave their unanimous support.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Wan Junaidi said the bill would be tabled in Dewan Negara next week, adding that a full list of exemptions for each state would be presented through an order to be published. after obtaining the consent of the Conference of Leaders. .
The Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019 states, among other things, that a citizen who reaches the age of 18 and is eligible to vote shall be automatically registered as a voter by the Election Commission.
The minimum voting age for Malaysians was lowered to 18 after the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed by Dewan Rakyat on July 16, 2019 and Dewan Negara on July 25 of the same year. — Bernama