Undi18: Ministry of Higher Education to Form Committee for Student Voter Empowerment Program

In July 2019 Parliament approved the proposed amendment to Section 3(a) and (b) of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 relating to the lowering of the age limit for voting from 21 to 18 years old. The amendment also involves the implementation of automatic voter registration by the government. — Photo by Hari Anggara

Tuesday, August 16, 2022 9:09 PM MYT

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 16 – The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) will set up a committee for the Student Voters Education Empowerment Program (Undi 18), its Minister, Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad has said.

She said the main function of the committee is to act as a platform for the MOHE; public universities; the Electoral Academy (APR) and the Electoral Commission (EC), to discuss the implementation of voter education programs involving students from public institutions of higher learning (IPTA).

“This committee is also responsible for reviewing the effectiveness of the implementation of the program that has been planned, and subsequently proposing appropriate mechanisms to improve its implementation,” she said.

Noraini said so in his speech at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding and Memorandum of Cooperation between Public Universities, Polytechnics, Community Colleges and the EC for the Undi 18 program today.

She added that the committee will include student affairs and alumni representatives from 20 public universities, the Department of Community Polytechnic and College Education (JPPKK), APR and CE, along with the Holistic Student Division of the Department of Higher Education (JPT) as Secretariat. .

She said the signing of the MoU and Memorandum of Cooperation was a manifestation of MOHE’s support for the implementation of Undi 18, which resulted in collaboration between public universities, polytechnics, community colleges and the EC in implementing voter education programs for students.

In July 2019 Parliament approved the proposed amendment to Section 3(a) and (b) of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 relating to the lowering of the age limit for voting from 21 to 18 years old. The amendment also involves the implementation of automatic voter registration by the government.

Noraini said that with the amendment, the majority of IPT students are eligible to vote as first-time voters in the upcoming general election (GE).

She added that the repeal of section 15(2)(c) of the Universities and University Colleges Act 1975 (UUCA) and section 10(2)(c) of the 1976 on Educational Institutions (Discipline) in 2019 enabled IPTA students to engage in politics on and off campus, including running as candidates for office.

“The point is that these two changes have given a greater role to IPT students to be more meaningfully involved in the country’s democratic process, and require the commitment of the government, particularly the MOHE, to provide students with exposure to and understanding of the democratic system, elections and the politics of the country,” she said.—Bernama