PUTRAJAYA: State constitutions will be amended to allow individuals aged 18 and above to stand as candidates in a general election or by-election, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said all Mentris Besar and Chief Ministers agreed to make the necessary amendments during the 137th Mentris Besar and Chief Ministers’ meeting chaired by the Prime Minister yesterday.

In 2019, an amendment was made to the Federal Constitution to lower the voting age to 18.

In addition to this, amendments were also sought to lower the eligible age of electoral candidates to 18 and to enable the automatic registration of voters by the Election Commission.

At yesterday’s meeting, the Prime Minister also asked for state governments to expedite the implementation of economic and business-related projects to bring faster economic recovery.

He stated that the issues, which needed to be tackled and improved, were the delay in the approval process related to land matters, and business licences by state and local authorities.

He asked states to improve their delivery systems and processes by reducing bureaucracy and red tape, and proposed that they embrace digitalisation.

“Through the Malaysian Family approach, I call on all to set aside political differences and work together towards economic recovery, and to bring the country out of the pandemic,” he said in a statement issued after the meeting attended by all the Mentris Besar and Chief Ministers, regardless of political affiliation.

Ismail Sabri said other matters discussed included joint efforts by the federal and state governments to realise the National Climate Change and Green Technology Agenda, such as efforts to restore forests and halt land degradation by 2030.

“To achieve this, the government is considering awarding incentives to states to implement programmes and projects that are sustainable, and those that help protect biodiversity,” he said.

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