In U-turn, exco says Johor now following Putrajaya’s definition of youth as 15-30 year-olds

Sheikh Umar said Johor will now follow the federal government’s definition of youth as those between 15 and 30. — Picture by Ben Tan
Sheikh Umar said Johor will now follow the federal government’s definition of youth as those between 15 and 30. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, July 9 — The Johor government today withdrew its earlier decision to cap the youth age at 40.

State Youth, Sports, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative committee chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said Johor will now follow the federal government’s definition of youth as those between 15 and 30.

“A consensus was reached in a state government council meeting chaired by Dr Sahruddin this morning.

“We will abide by Putrajaya’s decision,” Sheikh Umar told Malay Mail when contacted this afternoon.

Just a day earlier, Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal issued a statement saying Johor will maintain its definition of youth as those between 15 and 40.

Yesterday, Dr Sahruddin issued a statement declaring that Johor will maintain its categorisation of youths as those between 15 and 40 years’ old for its policies despite Putrajaya’s move to lower the age ceiling to 30.

He added that many government-funded youth programmes had also targeted those aged between 18 to 40.

At that time, Johor was the latest state to join Selangor and Sarawak in maintaining the youth age cap at 40.

He said the state government received and took note of the federal government’s decision pertaining to the age amendments to the Youth Societies and Youth Development (Amendment) Bill 2019 (Act 668).

“The state government acknowledges this and we will help coordinate state-level technical affairs with regards to the decision,” said Sheikh Umar.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman recently tabled a motion to lower the ceiling age for youth in Parliament, which is expected to be gazetted on December 31, 2021.

“This two-year period is sufficient for the state government to review and expand the engagement to implement grassroot understanding of the matter.

“I would like to emphasise that this amendment is to an Act relating to legislative matters.  It is not just a policy like the National Youth Policy that was launched by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2015,” said Sheikh Umar.

The Paloh assemblyman said the state government considers the issue settled with very positive results.

Last week, the Dewan Rakyat approved an amendment to the Youth Societies and Youth Development Act, in which the age limit of youth was lowered from 40 to 30. The amendment must be approved by the Dewan Negara and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before it becomes law.

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