By OMAR RIDZUAN
YOUTH and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman tabled in Parliament last week an amendment to Article 119 of the Federal Constitution.
The amendment to the bill was a proposal to lower the voting age to 18 years old from 21.
Lawmakers will vote on July 19 on whether 18-year olds will be allowed to vote or not.
The question right now, are 18-year-olds mature enough to vote?
Are 18-year olds ready to make sound and rational decisions to determine the future of our country?
If we look at one perspective, yes the younger generation could be brash and immature to go to the polls.
But from another point of view, the younger generation is getting smarter and smarter these days.
Some of the youngsters are even smarter than their parents or the older generation around them.
On that basis, they should be allowed to vote as they can make balanced decisions.
The country need to allow the younger generation to be involved in the political scenario of the country.
This is because they will be the future leaders of the nation charting its future growth.
Besides, in other aspects of Malaysian law, the youths are defined as adults when they reach 18 years old and above.
Malaysian youths need to be 18 before they can apply for their driving license.
Malaysian youths need to be 18 before they can join the army.
If youths can do all that at 18, why can’t they vote at 18 as well?
Why must they wait until 21 years old?
Other countries have already lowered the voting age to 18 and Malaysia should follow suit.
Amending the voting age to 18 from 21 is the right step towards democracy.