Johor Pakatan Youth urges state govt to follow Putrajaya's lead on youth definition

Johor Pakatan Youth secretary Azam Mektar today called on the state government to support Putrajaya’s decision to reduce the youth age limit to 30. — Picture courtesy of Azam Mektar
Johor Pakatan Youth secretary Azam Mektar today called on the state government to support Putrajaya’s decision to reduce the youth age limit to 30. — Picture courtesy of Azam Mektar

JOHOR BARU, July 12 — Despite the Johor government’s decision to maintain the definition of the youth age cap at 40, the coalition’s youth wing today called for the state government to support Putrajaya’s decision to make it 30 instead.

Johor PH Youth secretary Azam Mektar said the fact remains that amendments to the Youth Societies and Youth Development 2007 are under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and have been approved by Dewan Rakyat with the support by MPs without objection.

“For this reason, there is no excuse for the Johor government to issue contradicting statements on the proposed amendments to the Youth Societies and Youth Development 2007 (Act 668).

“This decision [by the federal government] is a step forward in bringing a new shift in the role of youths in the country and has been discussed since 2010,” said Azam in a statement.

Today marks the first time that a PH component from Johor has spoken up on the decision that arose from the confusion sparked by a repeated change of position over the past two days regarding the legal definition of youth.

Azam, who admitted that the PH Youth has been put in an awkward situation, said the state government’s actions only made it difficult for the Johor PH Youth and also the coalition’s other youth component parties to explain and conduct engagements with the youth.

“The two-year period for gazetting, as stated by the Minister of Youth and Sports, should be fully utilised to ensure that the agenda is met,” said Azam, who is also the Johor Parti Amanah Negara’s Youth vice-chief.

Yesterday, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that Johor’s move to maintain its youth age limit at 40 will affect the state’s youth movements in the future.

He said that at 30, one was old enough to be considered an adult, adding that the definition of youth between the ages of 15 and 30 was also applied internationally.

The Pagoh MP and seasoned Johor politician said if the federal government has passed the law, the states under PH should follow suit.

Johor’s final stand was to revert to its previous definition of youth, capped at 40.

On Wednesday night, the Johor government withdrew its earlier decision to cap the youth age at 40.

Johor had then said it would follow the federal government’s definition of youth as those aged between 15 and 30. Prior to that, just a day earlier, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal issued a statement saying Johor would maintain its definition of youth as those between 15 and 40.

Last week, the Dewan Rakyat approved an amendment to the Youth Societies and Youth Development Act, where 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.

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

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