Was it a U-turn? Johor goes full circle as it now says youths still capped at 40

Johor Youth, Sports, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative committee chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said after further discussions with ‘several parties’, the state government will look into the implications involving age amendments to the Youth Societies and Youth Development (Amendment) Bill 2019 (Act 668). — Picture by Ben Tan
Johor Youth, Sports, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative committee chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said after further discussions with ‘several parties’, the state government will look into the implications involving age amendments to the Youth Societies and Youth Development (Amendment) Bill 2019 (Act 668). — Picture by Ben Tan

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — The Johor government said tonight it was sticking by its earlier decision to cap the youth age at 40, despite saying just a few hours ago that this decision had been withdrawn.

In a statement, state Youth, Sports, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative committee chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said after further discussions with “several parties”, the state government will look into the implications involving age amendments to the Youth Societies and Youth Development (Amendment) Bill 2019 (Act 668).

“Therefore, the state government maintains once again its age limit for youths in the state at 40 as previously announced by the Johor mentri besar yesterday until the Act is gazetted in 2021.

“This is to ensure that there is an adequate preparation time for matters to be looked into carefully,” he explained, saying that the state government will continue to study the matter to see whether the amendment is suitable for Johor.

Syed Umar had earlier told Malay Mail that a consensus was reached in a state government council meeting chaired by Johor MB Dr Sahruddin Jamal this morning, and that the state government would abide by Putrajaya’s decision.

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.

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.

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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