JOHOR BARU: The youth age cap issue seems to be causing more harm than good for Pakatan Harapan with Johor Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Armada chief Norul Haszarul Abu Samah criticising Putrajaya's move.
Although he did not mention names, it was clear that Norul Haszarul's barbs were aimed at Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who is also Bersatu Armada chief.
He told the minister not to play with fire by interfering in Johor affairs.
He added that the age cap issue was still being debated, and in his view, the state government's handling of the matter was correct.
"This state is sovereign with a prosperous and united rakyat where the rejection of the age cap is not a political sentiment but in line with the Johor Sustainable Development Plan 2019-2030 in line with the Mentri Besar's statement.
"We, in Johor, have our own way in deciding the path where it does not need to follow the ways of others," he said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.
Norul Haszarul added that this was a reminder to all ministries not to make hasty decisions and to always practise an open door policy by listening to the views and suggestions of all stakeholders, particularly the youths at grassroots level.
He said so far seven states had rejected the motion pertaining to the youth age cap.
According to him, Johor aside, Sarawak, Selangor, Perlis, Pahang, Kelantan and Kedah were also retaining the youth age limit at 40.
He urged Syed Saddiq to focus on his ministry and leave state affairs to those who were well-versed in them.
"I urge the minister in question to stop complaining or sulking and ask help from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin each time he fails in his duties.
He said they had more pressing matters to attend to than to entertain the minister's "personal agenda".
On July 8, Johor had announced it would maintain its categorisation of youth for its polices as those between 15 and 40 despite the Federal Government's move to lower the age limit to 30.
Johor, at the time, joined Selangor and Sarawak in maintaining the youth age cap at 40.
On Tuesday (July 9), the Johor government changed its stand to lower the youth age limit to 30.
Less than 24 hours later, state Youth, Sports, Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives Committee chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali issued another statement on the same day, saying Johor would maintain its youth age limit at 40 following "advice from several parties".