Ministry should review decision to lower youth age limit to 30, says MCA Youth

Federal Territories MCA Youth chief Mike Chong Yew Chuan (right) presenting the certificate of appointment to former MCA Youth leader Tan Kok Eng as its advisor while the national Youth chief Ling Tian Soon (centre) looks on during a gathering at Wisma MCA in Kuala Lumpur. — Photo: CHAN TAK KONG / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Youth and Sports Ministry should review its decision to lower the age limit for youths from 40 to 30 years old, which will come into effect on Jan 1, 2026, says MCA Youth.

Its national chief Ling Tian Soon said there was a need for the ministry to re-engage with the various youth groups in the country and hear them out.

“They should sit down with all youth groups and find out if the lowering of the age limit for youth is causing them any problems,” he said Thursday (March 28).

Ling said this when opening the Federal Territories MCA Youth gathering with various Chinese youth groups at Wisma MCA here on Thursday (March 28) night.

He said all youth organisations, especially those with proper organisational structures at the branch, division, district, state and national levels, are affected by the new ruling.

“I can say this (age limit) is tantamount to a destructive decision,” he said.

Based on Malaysia's education path, Ling said a young person usually graduates from tertiary studies and joins the workforce in his 20s.

“After we build a family and join a youth organisation to serve, we would soon be reaching the age of 30 and it would be too late for us to go on then.

“Therefore, I urge the ministry to return to the discussion table with youth groups and review these requirements,” he said.

The government had set Jan 1, 2026, as the date that the Youth Societies and Youth Development (Amendment) Act 2019 (Act A1602) comes into force.

The amendments include lowering the youth age limit to 30, setting the age limit for youth society office bearers to 18 to 30 years old and shortening the period to hold office as head of youth society from six to four years.

Ling said MCA Youth carries the significant responsibility of transforming and revitalising the party, making it vibrant and engaging to attract more young members.

“We have various platforms for young individuals who are embarking on their life journeys.

“Becoming a politician is not the only path they can take, but we can provide a solid foundation and guidance for their political endeavours,” he said.

Encouraging all members to speak out against injustice and serve as a voice of checks and balances, Ling reiterated the importance of MCA Youth in promoting national unity.

“We must not allow unscrupulous parties to dictate the narrative and mislead the public,” he said.

Federal Territories MCA Youth chief Mike Chong Yew Chuan raised the importance of MCA Youth in bridging connections with various Chinese youth groups and understanding their challenges.

“These challenges range from pursuing educational opportunities, securing jobs, navigating career growth, coping with the increasing cost of living, to staying informed about politics and current events.”

As the national MCA Youth deputy chief, Chong also proposed organising a national-level Chinese Youth Convention to provide a platform for all youth organisations to come together, exchange ideas and address pressing issues.

He also urged all MCA Youth members to actively speak up on national issues that impact the people, particularly the youth, across the nation.

Chong then announced the appointment of seven advisors for the Federal Territories MCA Youth, consisting of former Youth leaders and seasoned party veterans.

“In today's complex political landscape, drawing on the wisdom of our past leaders and experienced members can enhance our decision-making and provide us with a clearer direction,” he said.

The former Youth leaders are Datuk Seri Yew Teong Look, Datuk Seri Tan Chai Ho, Datuk Chew Lian Keng, Tan Kok Eng and Tan Teik Peng; while the veterans are Tan Sri Kuan Peng Soon and Tan Sri Gan Yu Chai.

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