PETALING JAYA: Following the government’s move to lower the age limit for youths from 40 to 30, several quarters are now raising concerns whether recipients of some government schemes and aid will be affected.
Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia Young Entrepreneurs Committee vice-chairman Ken Yap (pic) cited the example of the BSN MyHome (Youth Housing Scheme).
“The scheme is designed to help single or married youths, ranging from 25 to 40, to own their first home.
“Under the new proposal, will youths lose out just because they are no longer in the ‘age bracket’?” he asked.
Yap said a majority of youths in their mid-20s and 30s are just starting to come up.
“That age range is also when they put in efforts to gain experience and exposure.
“Setting the age limit at 30 will deprive them the opportunity along their journey to become mature leaders,” he said, adding that the age limit should remain status quo at 40 to give youths the time to develop.
Last Tuesday, the Dewan Rakyat tabled an amendment to the Youth Societies and Youth Development Act, lowering the age from 40 to 30.
World Youth Foundation chief operating officer Varsha Ajmera said the government needs to follow up on the other aspects on how youths are affected following the new definition.
“It’s a good first step in empowering youths but there are a lot more to follow through, especially on how ready are Malaysian youths.
“The ages of them beginning schooling and getting their first degree are rather late. Do we have a strong support system to empower our youths?
“We are making some progress but I think we need to look at the whole system rather than doing physical changes,” she said.
Varsha also noted that the government should engage with more youth organisations.
But according to Young Malaysians Movement (YMM) president Chew Sir Boon, he said the new age definition would only affect the operation of youth societies and organisations registered with the Registrar of Youth (ROY) Office.
“This will have no effect on any government policy, schemes or aid targeted for youths as the authorities have the right to set all conditions, including the age limits,” he said.
“This will not affect the youth wing of most associations and clans.”
As YMM is registered with ROY, Chew noted that the new definition will force the movement to implement the new age limit in its election next year.
“This will encourage more youth leaders to emerge,” he said, adding that engagement with the youths could be challenging as there are not many active youths below 30.