KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s move to lower the age limit for youths from 40 to 30 years would give them the chance to play a bigger role as mainstream leaders instead of being limited to youth associations.
Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Supreme Council member Datuk Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen said the move to lower the youth age limit will give youths a chance to show their leadership talents at various levels.
“Youth associations are the ‘factories’ to produce young leaders with integrity and leadership qualities who are on par with older leaders. We are confident that with the amendment to the Youth Societies and Youth Development Act (Act 668), we are helping to place our youths in the mainstream, this is a good move,” he told Bernama here today.
Mohd Rafiq said the view that the youths had a leadership crisis and were too immature to lead could no longer be accepted because they are now exposed to information and had access to a lot of knowledge.
Former Malaysian Youth Council (MBM) president Mua’amar Ghadafi Jamal Jamaludin also agreed that the move to lower the age cap of youths will give them more opportunities to shine as leaders, although there are also concerns that the government must address.
“If before this, youths received various economic initiatives from the government, the lowering of the age cap might mean they no longer had access to them.
“For instance, initiatives like the Agropreneur Muda programme created for youths aged between 18 to 40 are aimed at helping and promoting the involvement of young people in agro-entrepreneurship, so after the act is amended, what will happen to those between 31 to 40 years old? Can they still enjoy this initiative?” he asked.
He added that those aged between 31 to 40 years would also lose the chance to own houses while they were still struggling.
He said the amended act may mean they were no longer eligible for such initiatives like the Youth Housing Scheme and had to compete with other groups to own a house.
Therefore, he said the government need to have an alternative plan to replace these initiatives to ensure that those who are no longer considered youths can continue to benefit from government programmes.
“It is not that we want to create a generation that is dependent on government aid, but these initiatives are seen as safety nets for these people,” he said.
On July 3, the Dewan Rakyat passed the Youth Societies and Development (Amendment) Act 2019, which is aimed at reducing the age limit in the definition of youth from 40 to 30 years. — Bernama