KUCHING: The age limit to categorise youth in Sarawak is not a major problem but what is important is the development of youths in the state, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has said.
Abdul Karim was referring to his meeting with federal Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman yesterday, after the latter paid a courtesy call on the Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, at Wisma Bapa Malaysia.
“Age limit for youth in the state is no issue for federal government, they respect our decision.
“What is more important is to have more development programmes for our youths.
“I had a lengthy discussion with Syed Saddiq on how we could work closely with each other, apart from the youth age limit issue and he said the federal government understood our views,” said Abdul Karim, when met after the signing ceremony on collaboration between SCB and Maceos at a hotel here yesterday.
“Furthermore, youth organisations in Sarawak are registered with the Registrar of Societies, so the state has decided on age limit for youth at 40 until the State Legislative Assembly agrees to change the age limit,” he added.
He informed that his ministry, the youth unit and Sarawak Sports Corporation had good working relationship with the federal Youth and Sports Ministry.
“We will continue to collaborate with the ministry even though at the federal level, the youth age limit has been revised from 40 to 30 or 15 to 30.
“Apart from that, youth development is our responsibility, whether it’s at the federal level or the state.
“We should not be hassled by the age factor. It’s not necessary for us to follow federal. Sarawak has got its own ways to look at things.
“There are reasons why we still maintain the 15-40 years because if we look at some programmes and benefits, most are for those aged 40 years and below,” he said.
Recently, Syed Saddiq presented a Bill on Youth Organisation Act and Youth Development (Amendment) 2019 (Act 668), among others to limit the youth age from 40 years to 30 years.
He also mentioned that, as for now, the amendment Act only involves youth associations that are registered under Youths Organisations Registrar (ROY).