People’s Action Party (PAP) parliamentarian Lim Wee Kiak is set to ask his party leader, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, about the possibility of lowering the voting age to 18 years old, when Parliament next convenes on Monday (5 Aug).
According to the Order Paper of Parliament, the Sembawang GRC MP has filed the following questions to ask PM Lee: “(a) if he will review the eligible voting age for Singaporeans under the Parliamentary Elections Act;
“(b) what is the consideration for retaining the current voting age;
“and (c) how many more voters will be eligible if the current voting age is changed to 18 years old.”
Currently, Singaporeans who are aged 21 and above are eligible to vote in elections. The 21-year-old age limit falls in line with the past practice of the United Kingdom at the time independence was granted to Singapore, in 1965.
In 1969, the United Kingdom decided to lower the British voting age to 18. The US, Canada, West Germany and France followed suit and changed the voting age to 18 within the following five years.
Last year, Malaysia – which was also a former crown colony, like Singapore – lowered the voting age to 18 years old and above. The voting-age amendment was passed unanimously in Parliament and will take effect starting with the next Malaysian general elections, due to be held before mid-2023.