Old enough to vote but too young to wed, laments MCA

MCA president Wee Ka Siong says the laws on the minimum age to vote and to marry should be consistent.

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA today called on the government to streamline laws that concern the age of individuals, noting that there are discrepancies following Putrajaya’s push to amend the Constitution to lower the voting age.

Its president Wee Ka Siong says while they were for 18-year-olds being made eligible to vote, some laws, such as Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, stipulated that non-Muslims below the age of 21 needed parental consent to get married.

“This is why we must look at existing laws. Don’t tell me I can determine a government when I’m 18, but do not have a say as to who I can marry.

“We need to streamline such laws. We need to be consistent,” Wee told the Dewan Rakyat when debating the bill to amend the constitution to lower the voting age.

The Ayer Hitam MP also said the government should table the bill to lower the age of voters to 18 and automatic registration at the same time. “It shouldn’t be done in phases.”

Earlier, Wee ticked off ministers for being absent for the debate.

They included Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who was at the forefront in pushing for the voting age to be lowered.

“Would you agree if I said that those who should be listening to YB’s valid viewpoints on the matter are not around?” he said in a question directed at Petra Jaya MP Fadillah Yusof.

The much-awaited constitutional amendment to lower the age for voting and election candidacy to 18 was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat earlier today.