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Promise, Peril in Malaysia's Move to Lower Voting Age

Parties on either side of Malaysia's deep political divide are hoping to capitalize on a bipartisan bill to lower the country's voting age from 21 to 18, a move likely to swell the ranks of eligible voters.The sudden influx of first-time voters, however, could also backfire on either side and risks amplifying some of Malaysia's thorniest political problems, analysts and observers warn.Malaysia's lower house on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the constitutional amendment, which would not only lower the voting age but automatically register citizens as they come of age. Together, the changes could boost the country's voter rolls 50 percent by the time of the next general election in 2023.The Senate must vote on the measure in 30 days and is expected to add its endorsement, fulfilling a campaign promise of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, which ended Barisan Nasional's six-decade run in power in an election upset last year. The measure will also bring Malaysia's voting age in line with most countries.FILE - Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, center, shows document of Registration of Pakatan Harapan "Alliance of Hope" during a press conference in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, May 17, 2018.James Chin, director of the University of Tasmania's Asia Institute, said Pakatan Harapan was banking on most of Malaysia's youngest voters to stick with it through the next election, as they did in 2018; but, he said the last poll would likely prove a poor bellwether for the next, now that the coalition has lost its outsider appeal."The problem is that you can't apply the same rules anymore because Pakatan is no longer in opposition. In other words, people supported you previously because they liked the fact that you keep criticizing the government, you keep attacking the government. But now you're part of government; it's much more different. So if things... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Promise, Peril in Malaysia's Move to Lower Voting Age, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Promise, Peril in Malaysia's Move to Lower Voting Age

 

 

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Published By: VOA NEWS - Friday, 19 July

 

 

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