JOHOR BARU: The Johor Youth Council (MBNJ) has asked Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (pic) to stop interfering in the state’s affairs.
Its president Md Salleheen Mohamad said the council was looking closely at the development pertaining to the youth, especially with the state government’s decision on the matter in the last 48 hours.
“The Federal Government, especially the Youth and Sports Ministry, must find the reasons why Johor and other states are still capping the youth age limit at 40,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
He claimed the ministry, under the leadership of Syed Saddiq, was neither serious nor sincere in handling youth-related issues holistically, especially those involving unemployment, training and career opportunities and economic development at the state and federal levels.Md Salleheen said MBNJ was against limiting the youth age to 30 as this would prevent the progress of the youth development agenda.
He also said Syed Saddiq should not meddle in the state’s affairs as Johor had a mentri besar, executive councillors, state administrative officers and youth council bodies that were working to help the development of the youth.
“It is better for Syed Saddiq to focus on other pressing issues, including promises made to the youth such as PTPTN, employment opportunities – especially for 400,000 Malaysians working in Singapore – cost of living and housing matters,” he said.
On Monday, Johor announced that it would maintain its categorisation of youth for its polices as those aged between 15 and 40 despite the Federal Government’s move to lower the age limit to 30.
Johor, at the time, joined Selangor and Sarawak in maintaining the youth age cap at 40.
On Tuesday, the Johor government changed its stand to lower the youth age limit to 30.
Less than 24 hours later, state Youth, Sports, Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives Committee chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali issued another statement saying that Johor would maintain its youth age limit at 40 following “advice from several parties”.
Earlier in Kuala Lumpur, Syed Saddiq said he would seek an audience with the Johor Ruler to provide an explanation on the age cap for the youth.
“I have actually written to the palace many times seeking an audience to discuss certain issues.
“He is my Sultan, so it will be my duty to explain if there are any concerns from him,” he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he acknowledged that the Johor royalty had given its views on the issue and that the state government should be given space to carry out policies.“That is why I’m asking the mentri besar and state exco to meet and explain this to the palace. Hopefully, the palace will not interfere.
“They can give their views, but it’s best if national policies can be uniform across all states,” said Muhyiddin.