JOHOR BARU: Johor Pakatan Harapan Youth has criticised the state government’s decision to maintain the youth age limit at 40 which they said has put them in an awkward situation.
Its secretary Azam Mektar said as the amendment to the Youth Societies and Youth Development Act which sets the new legal definition of youth to individuals aged 15 to 30 years was passed by the Dewan Rakyat without objection, there was no excuse for the Johor government to issue contradicting statements on the matter.
“The decision by Putrajaya is a step forward in bringing a new shift in the role of youths in the country and has been discussed since 2010.
“The state decision has made it difficult for us to explain the matter and engage with youths.
“We are in an awkward situation,” he said yesterday.
On Monday, Johor announced that it would maintain its categorisation of youth for its policies as those aged between 15 and 40 but changed the stand the following day to lower the limit to 30.
However, less than 24 hours later, a state exco member issued a statement saying that Johor would maintain its youth age limit at 40 following “advice from several parties”.
Meanwhile, The Johor Youth Council is accusing Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman of playing politics over the issue.
Its president Md Salleheen Mohamad said the minister was not serious in strengthening youth development in the country.
“He always plays politics with the youths for his power and position.
“He repeatedly talks about youth transformation, but at the same time his ministry has created the Youth Power Club (YPC) at all 222 parliamentary areas headed by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Armada,” said Md Salleheen.
He also claimed Syed Saddiq had made a promise to create a special committee to see that the youth unemployment rate drops from 11% to 10%.
He said the lowered age limit was a ruse to show that the unemployment rate among youths had dropped.