KUALA LUMPUR: The unanimous amendment to the Federal Constitution is a historic moment reflecting total bipartisanship from leaders across the political divide, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“For the first time in history, we achieved bipartisanship which is total and this is an achievement for the people in Malaysia,” he said during a press conference at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
Dr Mahathir also thanked all parties, including the Opposition, for supporting the Pakatan Harapan government’s second bid to amend the Federal Constitution.
“This is a new era where even the Opposition can see the benefit taken by the government,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said those who are above the age of 18, who have yet to register under the old system, would be eligible to vote.
“Yes, we will register them automatically,” he added.
Asked if there is a need for a two-thirds majority in the Dewan Negara, Dr Mahathir replied that it was not necessary.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who was present during the press conference, credited the Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers for the successful passing of the amendments.
“If there are more people saying that a 94-year-old cannot fight for the future of the youth, let this be clear evidence that at heart, he (Dr Mahathir) is younger than many of us, including myself,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim (pic) described the bipartisan effort to lower the voting age as an “amazing” achievement that all Malaysians should be proud of.
“This is a bipartisan effort, Malaysians will remember today because both sides set aside politics to come together to reach an important decision for Malaysia,” he said.
Sim also quipped that the amendments to allow 18-year-olds eligible to stand in elections could bring some calm in the House.
“It’s a good sign to bring young people in (politics), as this will not only enrich the political scene in terms of discussion with a younger perspective, but also when you have younger people in the House, I think the parents will behave better.
“Maybe if we bring in the kids, the adults will behave better,” he said in reference to the sometimes rowdy behaviour of MPs.[Source: “A historic moment for M’sians” published by TheStar.com.my]