Saifuddin: Allow 18-year-olds to vote

(The Star) – Malaysians who are 18 years of age should be allowed to vote in the general election, said Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said Malaysia was among only 12 nations, including Singapore, with a 21-year-old minimum voting age.

“We want Malaysia to be among the more democratic countries,” he added.

If an 18-year-old can obtain a driver’s licence and enter into a contract, he said he saw no reason why he or she was not mature enough to vote.

He said this at the 1st International Conference on Globalisation, Governance and Sustainability for Youth in ASEAN 2011 at Universiti Sains Malaysia here yesterday.

He said those who argued that youths were not matured enough to vote were themselves immature.

He said students had a right to have critical views.

“This is positive because to critic is to seek knowledge.

“We cannot label students who are critical as anti-establishment,” he said.