Malaysia

Minimum age for assemblymen: Johor has right to decide, says Wan Junaidi


Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar speaks to the media during the press conference in Putrajaya, 13 June 2022. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar speaks to the media during the press conference in Putrajaya, 13 June 2022. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Saturday, 18 Jun 2022 4:36 PM MYT

KUCHING, June 18 — Johor has the right to decide on whether to reduce the minimum age of election candidates for State Legislative Assembly seats from 21 years to 18, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said state autonomy should be respected especially on certain matters on which the federal government has no power.

“For a state to agree or not to agree (to something) they still have the autonomy to decide based on what they want.

“If Johor is not going to pass any law to allow age of candidates for State Assembly seats to be reduced to 18, it is their right,” he said.

He told this to reporters when met on the sidelines of the 15th General Assembly of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) here today.

On June 16, The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar explained why he did not consent to the Johor State (Amendment) Enactment 2021 to reduce the minimum age of election candidates for the State Legislative Assembly seats from 21 years to 18.

Addressing the opening of the first meeting of the 15th State Legislative Assembly, Sultan Ibrahim reminded that the minimum age to be a Johor state assemblyman still remained at 21.

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“On Jan 6 (this year), I had not given my consent to the Enactment amendment as in my opinion, the proposal to reduce the minimum age (for assemblymen) is not in line with the direction of the government that wants leaders of high quality and knowledgeable.

“However, I support the voting right given to individuals aged 18 and above to vote but to become an assemblyman, I think it’s not apt,” the Sultan said.

On Jan 6, the Johor State Legislative Assembly approved the enactment to reduce the minimum age of election candidates for the state seats from 21 years to 18.

Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi said at the federal level, the minimum age of election candidates to be a Member of Parliament is still at 18 and that this might create confusion for Election Commission (EC), especially in a simultaneous election (state and federal election held at the same time).

“In a simultaneous election there’s a list of candidates for Parliament and DUN (state seats) and if you have a different kind of threshold for the age then we fear confusion among (EC) workers who are not highly trained in conducting elections.

“EC will have to work extra to train their officers to allow the two kinds of threshold for candidates to stand for elections, especially when elections are conducted simultaneously,” he added. — Bernama



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