Wednesday, July 6

Yes to lowering age limit, but don’t rush


MIRI: Youth leaders here are generally supportive of the proposed amendment Bill to lower the age limit of those classified as ‘youth’ from 40 to 30, but feel that more discussion is needed and that any implementation should not be rushed.

Chia Kah Furng

SUPP Piasau Youth publicity secretary Chia Kah Furng said the government needs to hold more dialogue sessions with youth groups in the country to explain to them the implications of lowering the age limit.

“This move (to lower the youth age limit) is a good sign for the country, with its own pros and cons.

“However, the government needs to sit down with youth associations in the country to further discuss the matter.

Leslie Lau

“It is not something that should be implemented immediately as the younger generation needs to understand what the amendment would mean for them and what they are getting out of it,” he said when contacted yesterday.

According to Chia, lowering the age limit would mean youths would have less time to contribute to society, as most of their earlier years are spent on their studies and starting their career.

Echoing his statement was Miri Division Education Initiative Society founder Leslie Lau, who said it would be best if lowering the age limit of youths be implemented in stages.

“The intention and reason for the amendment is good, but it needs more time (to be implemented) as the gap being removed is 10 years. This will affect a lot of youth organisations in Malaysia.

“I would suggest doing it in phases, for example, reducing it (age limit) to 35 years first, and then provide a grace period of one to two years to allow everyone to adapt to the change. They could then do a second phase where the age limit is reduced to 30, with a one year grace period,” he said.

Mohd Hafidz Rohani

Meanwhile, Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Chamber (DUBS) Miri Youth wing head Mohd Hafidz Rohani said lowering the age limit to 30 would empower the country’s youths and prepare them to become future leaders.

“I see the amendment Bill to lower age definition of ‘youth’ to 30 as a good move to groom future leaders for the country. It will also mean more opportunities will be given to the younger generation,” he said.

Mohd Hafidz, however, said he was not in favour of the proposal to reduce the voting age from 21 to 18 as he felt more in-depth study was needed.

“For me, giving someone the responsibility at the age of 18 to choose our leaders is quite risky as most are probably not yet mature enough to fully grasp the country’s political landscape. It would be better to focus on improving the electoral system first,” he said.