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Voting age to be lowered from 21 to 18 in Malaysia

Putrajaya

THE Malaysian government has decided to lower the voting age from 21 to 18.

The Star online newspaper reported that the decision was made at its weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Work on amending the Federal Constitution will begin soon, said Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

"One of the things to be done is to work closely with the youth wings of Opposition parties as a two-thirds majority is needed for laws to be amended," he told reporters.

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"By the next general election, 18-year-olds can cast their votes, that is for certain," he added. "I can say that they too are keen on this issue," he said.

Eighteen is the legal age of adulthood in Malaysian law, and is considered an age to take full responsibility of one's actions, such as being eligible for a driving test, marriage or to sign contracts. The voting age for the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Iran, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia has been lowered to 18. Malaysia and Singapore still retain the voting age at 21.