Malaysian Parliament passes bill to lower voting age

Updated 17 July 2019

Malaysian Parliament passes bill to lower voting age

  • The landmark measure lowered the voting age from 21 to 18
  •  Lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties joined forces for the first time for constitutional change

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Parliament on Tuesday passed a landmark bill that lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.

It marked the first time that lawmakers from the government and opposition parties were able to work together for constitutional change.

“Let us create history for Malaysia today,” said Prime Minister Mahathir Muhamad in his closing speech in Parliament.

“We may have political differences, but we can agree on the wellbeing and prosperity of Malaysians.”

The law will be called the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2019. Mahathir told MPs that the amendment is evidence that the government is serious about fulfilling its election promises of lowering the voting age and “implementing automatic voters’ registration through the National Registration Department.”

The 2018 general election witnessed 14.9 million registered voters. The government hopes that the bill will increase the number of registered voters to 22.7 million by 2023.

The bill also enables Malaysians to run for the House of Representatives and the State Assembly from the age of 18 instead of 21. 

The country’s previous voting age had hindered many young people from participating in political change.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq, a millennial, described the passing of the bill as “historic.”

Cooperation between lawmakers had “significantly shaped the democratic foundation of the country for young people on a par with other democracies in the world,” he said.



Delta fined $50,000 for discriminating against Muslim passengers

Updated 25 January 2020

Delta fined $50,000 for discriminating against Muslim passengers

  • The flight attendant said she saw Mr.X texting on his cell phone using the word “Allah” several times
  • The captain refused to let the two passengers re-board the plane

WASHINGTON: Delta Air Lines was Friday fined $50,000 by the US Department of Transportation to settle allegations it discriminated against three Muslim passengers who were ordered off their planes.
In its consent order, the department said it found Delta “engaged in discriminatory conduct” and violated anti-discrimination laws when it removed the three passengers.
In one incident on July 26, 2016, a Muslim couple were removed from Delta Flight 229 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris after a passenger told a flight attendant their behavior made her “very uncomfortable and nervous.”
“Mrs X” was wearing a head scarf and the passenger said “Mr X” had inserted something into his watch.
The flight attendant said she saw Mr.X texting on his cell phone using the word “Allah” several times.
The captain then spoke with Delta’s corporate security, who said Mr.and Mrs.X were US citizens returning home and there were “no red flags.”
However the captain refused to let them re-board the plane.
The Department of Transportation said the captain had failed to follow Delta’s security protocol and it appeared that “but for Mr.and Mrs.X’s perceived religion, Delta would not have removed or denied them reboarding” of their flight.
The second incident covered in the order involved another Muslim passenger who boarded Flight 49 at Amsterdam heading for New York on July 31, 2016.
Other passengers and flight attendants complained about him but the first officer saw nothing unusual about him and Delta security also said “Mr A“’s record had “no red flags.”
The captain prepared the plane for departure but then returned to the gate and had Mr.A removed and his seat searched.
The Transportation Department said the captain had not followed Delta’s security protocol and the removal of Mr.A “after being cleared was discriminatory.”
Delta disagreed that it engaged in discriminatory conduct but “does not dispute that each of these two incidents could have been handled differently,” the order said.
The government said the fine “establishes a strong deterrent against future similar unlawful practices by Delta and other carriers.”
Following the July 2016 incidents, Delta said it had reviewed and enhanced its procedure to investigate suspicious activity “to make it more collaborative and objective.”