KUCHING (Nov 7): The state’s present ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is not afraid of Undi18, which refers to the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18, says Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He acknowledges that by the time Undi18 comes into effect in January next year, there would be 1.3 million voters aged between 18 and 20 nationwide.
“The GPS decided to seek the revocation of the Emergency Order to pave way for the state election not because we’re afraid of Undi18, but the current term of office had long expired.
“What’s more, not all those aged 18 to 20 would vote against us, nor would all of them come out to cast their votes,” he told reporters when met at a ‘Meet-the-Leaders’ session for the Santubong parliamentary constituency at Preview Convention Centre (PCC) Demak here yesterday.
According to Wan Junaidi, who is Santubong MP, the Election Commission (EC) is not quite ready for the implementation of Undi18, especially in terms of its system.
He said the commission would also have to come up with training programmes to guide those aged 16 to 17 on how to exercise their voting rights in the 15th general election.
Adding on, he said as Sarawak was awaiting the announcement of polling date from the EC, he called on his Santubong constituents to continue supporting the incumbents from GPS.
Under Santubong, there are three state constituencies – Pantai Damai, Tanjong Datu, and Demak Laut.
“I believe (Tanjong Datu assemblywoman) Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu, (Pantai Damai assemblyman) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi and (Demak Laut assemblyman) Dr Hazland Abang Hipni would be renominated (in the 12th state election).”
Wan Junaidi also expressed his confidence that Chief Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg, who is GPS chairman, would continue implementing various development projects and programmes for Sarawakians so as to transform Sarawak into becoming a developed state by 2030.
“One of the major projects is the Sarawak Water Grid Project, which is out to ensure that all Sarawakians would have access to constant supply of treated water.
“Once this is done, our people especially the rural folk would not face water supply problem during dry season.”
Wan Junaidi said GPS would also continue connecting the rural communities with major road network through the construction of coastal roads and bridges.
He said towards this end, not only would the rural folk have access to better infrastructures, but eventually, their socio-economic status would also be elevated.