What actually determines their transition to “Dewasa”? You may think it is about moving away from your parents, getting a job, being financially independent, building a family and etc. Instead many of these young adults do still feel like kids clinging on their parents. In Malaysia, we are licensed to ride motorcycle at the age of 16, we can drive a car in the age of 17 and we can watch any film or movie if we are above 18. But you are only eligible to vote when you are above 21. Next year the 13th parliament of Malaysia will automatically dissolve, and I believe that the general election will be around the corner. This brings up my concern to the voting age in Malaysia.
Source : Google, The Japan times
In Japan, “The-Coming-of-age” Day(成人式、せいじんしき) is one of their tradition to congratulate all those who have reached the maturity age (20 years old). Turning 20, they can apply for credit cards, loans, mobile plans, and rent an apartment without approval from their parents. They are also eligible to vote too. It was thought that Japan was somehow conservative but the voting age lowered last year. This shows a big age revolution in Japan. The amendments of lowering the voting age to 18 was approved and launched in June 2016. Approximately 2.4 million new voters, around the age range of 18 and 19 were added to the electorate. Surprisingly, this increased the voting turnout of 18 years old to 81.26%!
Before the Second World War, almost all countries had the voting age of 21 or higher. In the 1970s, the voting age was reduced to 18 in many countries. While majority of the countries has lowered their voting age to 18, some are as low as 16! Yet, Malaysia still remains at 21. In the 2013 general election, 85 percent of registered voters in total, and it was the highest rate that Malaysia had ever gotten in our electoral history. Next year the 13th parliament of Malaysia will automatically dissolve. Rumors about the next election will start spreading all over soon. This is the perfect time to voice out! Undi18 encourages the participation of Malaysian youths, expand the participation of democracy and raise the political awareness.