Legislative assembly

Minimum age for MPs: Johor has the right to decide, says Wan Junaidi

Minister at Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar addresses the media during the press conference in Putrajaya on June 13, 2022. — Photo by Shafwan Zaidon

Saturday, June 18, 2022 4:36 PM MYT

KUCHING, June 18 – Johor has the right to decide whether to lower the minimum age of candidates running for seats in the State Legislative Assembly from 21 to 18, the Minister of the Department of Prime Minister (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He said the autonomy of the state should be respected, especially on certain matters over which the federal government has no power.

“Whether a state accepts or not (something), it always has the autonomy to decide according to what it wants.

“If Johor does not pass any law to lower the age of candidates for National Assembly seats to 18, that is their right, he said.

He told reporters as much when he met on the sidelines of the 15th Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Party General Assembly here today.

On June 16, the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar explained why he did not consent to the State of Johor (Amendment) Act 2021 to lower the minimum age of candidates for election to seats in the State Legislative Assembly from age 21 to 18.

Addressing the opening of the first meeting of the 15th State Legislative Assembly, Sultan Ibrahim recalled that the minimum age to be a member of the Johor State Assembly still remained at 21.

“On January 6 (this year), I had not given my consent to the amendment of the law because, in my opinion, the proposal to reduce the minimum age (for members of the Assembly) is not not in line with the direction of the government which wants high quality and knowledgeable leaders.

“However, I support the right to vote given to people aged 18 and over to vote but to become a member of the Assembly, I think it is not appropriate,” the Sultan said.

On January 6, the Johor State Legislative Assembly approved the enactment to lower the minimum age of candidates running for state office from 21 to 18.

Meanwhile, Wan Junaidi said that at the federal level, the minimum age for election candidates to be an MP is still 18, and that could cause confusion for the Election Commission (EC), especially during elections. simultaneous elections (national and federal elections held at the same time).

“In a simultaneous election, there is a list of candidates for Parliament and DUNs (State seats) and if you have another type of threshold for age, we fear confusion among workers ( EC) who are not highly trained in the conduct of elections.

“EC will need to work harder to train its officers to allow both types of threshold for candidates to run for office, especially when elections are held concurrently,” he added. — Bernama