KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian government on Wednesday agreed to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, which is also the age of majority according to the country’s laws, officials said.
The cabinet has agreed to the change, although an amendment to the country’s constitution had to be approved by a two-thirds parliamentary majority for it to be implemented, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said, according to state-run news agency Bernama.
Malaysia joins other countries in southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, in allowing 18-year-olds to vote.
Malaysia’s decision comes amid a growing global trend of lowering the voting age to 16, as Austria did in 2007.
Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, and Nicaragua also allow voting at 16.